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We all get to the point where we realize that life is short and fragile. If you’ve reached the stage where you’re asking yourself, “what should I do with my life?” trust me, you’re not alone. As a Career Coach, I’ve worked with professionals at various stages of their lives who ask this same question. Asking “what should I do with my life?” is an excellent opportunity for reflection, healing, and personal growth.
If you’re going through a period in your life where you’ve reached a certain level of enlightenment and feel like starting over, you’re right where you’re meant to be! It can seem daunting, frustrating, and even scary. The good news is, that YOU have the power to find your path and make the changes necessary to live a life that brings you fulfillment, satisfaction, and pure joy.
Whether you’re moving to a new city, looking for a new job, dream job, career change, a better place to live, or you’re seeking overall happiness, you’re in the right spot! In this article, I’m going to share the top 15 questions I ask my clients to help walk them through answering the question, “what should I do with my life?”. We are going to dive into personal development, career choice, and finding your true calling to forge your own unique path in this world! Let’s embark on this journey together.
But first, here’s a quick note of inspiration and encouragement
After working with and speaking to audiences across the globe, I can tell you with certainty that at one point in life, EVERYONE asks themselves this question. You are not alone and are more than capable of changing paths at any time. I want you to remember these five things.
As someone who has constantly reinvented themselves, I can tell you that you will get through it. I’ve tried a lot of different things, made big changes, made the wrong decision, and spent a lot of time trying to figure it all out. So trust me, I get it. The process can be a bit frustrating simply because you have to look in the mirror and be honest with yourself. But once you do, it’s life-changing. You can do this. You got this! I’m here for you every step of the way if you need me! If you’re looking for one-on-one coaching to help you navigate this chapter of your life, CLICK HERE.
Now it’s time to dive into the questions and insights you need to answer the big question of “what should I do with my life?” In this article, I’ll provide a question or concept and give you greater details. So grab a pen and journal and get ready to do the work.
Let’s start this journey with a trip down memory lane. Why? High school was probably one of the times that you were unapologetically authentic to your thoughts, goals, and dreams. When you were younger your dreams were probably bigger and bolder than they are now. Life sometimes has a way of beating us down and forcing us to take the most “practical” or “realistic” route.
I want you to take a moment to dream again and let yourself believe that you CAN do anything and reach any goal. Need a nudge? Start by reflecting on your high school years. What were your favorite activities? Were there clubs, sports, or hobbies that you couldn’t get enough of?
These early interests can provide valuable clues about your passions. Have you strayed from those desires, or have they always been in the back of your mind?
A note to remember: High school is often a time when our interests are pure and unburdened by societal pressures. Remember what made you excited back then; it might hold the key to your future happiness.
Now, let’s fast-forward to the present. Where are you now? Now that you’ve experienced all of life’s ups, downs, twists, and turns, how do you feel? What are you passionate about? Actually, let me rephrase that, what do you give a damn about these days? What topics get you going? What do you do in your spare time? Hint: what we do in our spare time is usually what we care about the most!
That being said, ask yourself, how can you combine your current interests with the skills you’ve developed over the years? Finding the sweet spot where your passions and talents intersect can lead to a fulfilling life.
A note to remember: The best way to build a fulfilling life is by leveraging your skills and combining them with what truly excites you. This synergy is often the foundation of a successful and meaningful career.
Continuously evolving and learning is a crucial aspect of finding your life’s purpose. As a Career Coach and a lover of learning, I’ve found that continuously evolving and learning is a crucial aspect of finding your life’s purpose. Life is truly an ongoing journey of growth. What new skills have you learned lately? What have you taken a genuine interest in?
If you’re not taking advantage of your company’s personal development budget, I want you to start. In order to remain competitive and discover new joys and passions, you need to immerse yourself in new learning opportunities.
So what’s your next step in personal development? Consider taking courses, attending workshops, or seeking out experiences that align with your aspirations. At the beginning of each year, I highly recommend writing down your learning and personal development goals and committing to enrolling in opportunities that provide them. Industry conferences are always an excellent opportunity to learn about multiple topics within a few days!
A note to remember: Personal growth is not a one-time event but a continuous process. Embrace opportunities to learn, evolve, and become the best version of yourself.
Have you ever dreamed of being your own boss? Do you value having flexibility and unlimited opportunity? Most importantly, are you a resilient risk-taker? If so, entrepreneurship is a path worth exploring. As a small business owner myself, I’m going to openly admit that it’s a challenging journey, but it can be gratifying if it aligns with your vision.
If you choose to take this path, enter the journey with realistic expectations. Recognize that being an overnight success rarely occurs. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the social media hype and believe that every small business is thriving based on the number of likes and followers that a person or company has. Don’t believe the hype. Focus on moving forward and taking one step each day to move your business forward.
Bonus tip: if you choose to go this route, I recommend starting off by working and “side hustling” until your business starts to make traction! Also, build a supportive community outside of your family and friends. They mean well but don’t always have the best feedback. Get around like-minded business owners who can offer advice and support.
A note to remember: Starting a business can be a daunting prospect, but it allows you to shape your destiny and create something that reflects your values and passions.
We all have an inner voice and a conscious mind that can lead us to our purpose. So tell me, what’s the first thought or feeling that comes to mind when you ask yourself this question? Just answer, don’t think about it. If you can be truly honest with yourself and answer with no filter, you will find that is usually what your true desire is.
Another aspect to note is this, your career choices should resonate with your life purpose. Take some time to uncover the deeper meaning behind your career decisions. Is there a higher purpose you’re working towards? If the answer is no, ask yourself “Who have I built my career for?” and “Who am I trying to impress.” If the answer is anyone other than yourself, it’s time that you put your dreams, hopes, and desires first!
A note to remember: Choosing a career that aligns with your life purpose can infuse your daily work with meaning and fulfillment.
Our minds and hearts often hold the key to everything. Pay attention to the thoughts that play in the back of your mind. What we daydream and think about often is what we really desire.
Remember, every grand adventure starts with a single step. What’s your first step toward your dreams? Define it clearly and take action. This is your moment to begin your journey.
A note to remember: The first step is often the hardest, but it’s also the most crucial. It marks your commitment to change and growth.
How often do you ask yourself hard questions? You know the ones that make you uncomfortable, but force you to face reality and be honest with yourself? The big questions bring the biggest and best breakthroughs to our lives.
Honesty is a MUST when it comes to answering big questions. You can start by asking yourself questions such as:
Life is full of mysteries. Are you willing to ask the big questions, even if they don’t have easy answers? Sometimes, it’s in wrestling with these questions that we find our most profound truths.
A note to remember: Asking big questions is a sign of curiosity and a thirst for understanding. Embrace the uncertainties of life; they often lead to profound insights.
Life is full of uncertainties, changes, and unexpected twists and turns. This is why adaptability and throwing yourself into new situations is essential for a someone smooth life experience. Being open to new experiences can lead you to unexpected places. Are you willing to explore new things and different paths? You might discover opportunities and experience positive changes that you never knew existed.
The funny thing is, when we try something new, we can unlock passions and desires we never knew existed. Do not be afraid to try something new. Often, we are extremely dependent on trying new things with others. I recommend taking the risk and trying a new activity by yourself if a friend is not available. Also, avoid making excuses or assumptions before you try something new. Even if you don’t love it, at least you can say now you know!
A note to remember: New experiences can broaden your horizons and introduce you to new passions and interests.
Achieving your goals often requires time and effort. How much time are you willing to invest in pursuing your passions? Dedication and perseverance can be your greatest allies.
Whenever I first started my resume writing business (and later pivoted to coaching), I remember being told that it was oversaturated, there wasn’t a market for it, and I’d never be able to compete with all the bigger companies. The truth is, yes, it was hard to build a business, but the truth is… it’s not impossible.
Everything in life has a “hard” aspect. You have to choose which hard you prefer to deal with. Remember this next time you refer to something as hard…
Choose your hard and devote time to working towards your dreams! You can do this.
A note to remember: Success rarely comes overnight. Commit to investing the time needed to achieve your dreams.
The truth is, many people never figure out what to do with their lives because they are unwilling to be uncomfortable. Growth is uncomfortable because it means taking risks, trying something new, and betting on yourself without knowing the outcome.
Growth happens when you challenge the boundaries of your comfort zone. What’s a great way for you to break free from the familiar? Your comfort zone may be cozy, but the magic lies beyond it.
A note to remember: Stepping out of your comfort zone can be uncomfortable, but it’s where you’ll find the most significant opportunities for growth.
We’re currently living in a world where overindulging in social media is the norm. While video games, guilty pleasure shows, movies, and other media entertainment are fun, they are also a distraction. The 3 or 4 hours you spend indulging in entertainment, you could use those to further your passion and goals by learning a new hobby. As you dive in, you may find new hobbies and passions waiting to be discovered.
A note to remember: Exploring new interests can reveal hidden talents and bring fresh excitement into your life.
Everyone needs someone who can help them see themselves outside of themselves. As you grow and evolve, I strongly recommend having one, two, or even three mentors that you can share your goals, dreams, and desires with. It’s important to have someone who can give you helpful inside, tips, and introduce you to connections who can help you reach your goals. Also, mentors can serve as great accountability partners as well!
A note to remember: Having someone to look up to, bounce ideas off of, and share your dreams with can be life-changing when it comes to figuring out what to do with your life.
To find fulfillment in the work that you do, it has to align with your deepest core values (at least 50% of the work you do!). Understanding your values is crucial to being at peace with what you do in life. So, are you asking the right questions to discover your core values? To uncover your values, you can try completing the following sentences:
I care deeply about ____________.
I care about fixing the following problem _______________.
Working towards ___________ sits well with my soul.
I believe that ____________________.
If someone doesn’t agree with _____________ I struggle to build common ground.
I wont tolerate someone who ___________________.
_____________ makes my blood boil.
I choose to protect ______________.
In a perfect world, _______________________________.
These are just a few questions to help you uncover your core values. Ultimately, they can help you figure out what to do with your life as well.
A note to remember: Your core values are the compass that helps you navigate the complex choices of life.
Do you know what you want to achieve in this lifetime? Do not be afraid of setting big goals. After working and speaking with thousands of professionals, I’ve learned that any goal is achievable with a plan, strategy, and commitment to getting it done. So again I ask, what’s the most important thing you want to achieve in your life? Defining your ultimate goals can provide clarity and direction on your path to self-discovery.
A note to remember: Having clear goals gives you a sense of purpose and a roadmap for your journey.
Your journey begins with action. Do not caught up in the trap of dreaming or just talking about what you can do. Do it! Start thinking about what steps you can take today to step out of your comfort zone and move toward a more fulfilling life. Remember, even small steps can lead to significant transformation.
A note to remember: Action is the catalyst for change. Don’t wait for the perfect moment; start today.
These fifteen questions to help you figure out what to do with your life should put you on track to self-reflection, healing, and inspiration. I don’t expect you to be able to answer these questions in a day let alone a week. These questions take time to answer so give yourself the time and space you need. You’ll know when the answer is right when it sits well with your soul and brings a sense of peace to you.
Before wrapping up, I want to answer two most commonly asked questions when it comes to the topic of figuring out what to do with your life. The answers below are also a great summary of what we discussed above!
This is such a profound question and one that many of us grapple with throughout different periods of our lives. To embark on this journey of self-discovery, begin with deep self-reflection. Identify your values, interests, and passions, and consider what truly matters to you. Recognize your strengths and talents; these unique abilities can guide you toward potential career paths or life directions where you can excel. Setting both short-term and long-term goals is crucial to provide direction and motivation.
Don’t hesitate to explore different paths and experiences; trying new things can unveil what resonates most with your inner self. Seek inspiration in the lives of others through biographies, documentaries, and connections with mentors or coaches who can offer valuable insights. The balance between work and personal life is pivotal; define what it means to you. Consulting with professionals like career coaches or mentors can provide you with tools to clarify your goals.
Embrace change and adapt as needed; life’s journey may not follow a linear path, but it’s full of rewarding experiences. Regularly assess your progress toward your goals and be open to adjusting your course. Patience is key, as finding your true calling takes time. Cultivate a growth mindset, stay true to your values, and learn from failures. Celebrate even the smallest of wins, and continually reevaluate your goals and priorities as life evolves. Ultimately, this journey is about discovering what brings you joy, fulfillment, and a profound sense of purpose, and trusting in your ability to shape a meaningful life path.
I strongly believe that it’s never too late to start over. As a Leadership Coach and Career Coach, I’ve helped hundreds of job seekers change careers and create new (and more) fulfilling life paths. Starting over in life can be a transformative and rejuvenating experience. First, take time for introspection. Reflect on what led you to this point and what you want to leave behind. It’s essential to let go of past mistakes and regrets, allowing room for growth. Set clear intentions and goals for your fresh start.
Don’t stop there, start to consider what you truly want in life, both personally and professionally. Create a detailed plan that outlines the steps required to achieve your objectives. Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends, family, or mentors who can provide guidance and encouragement. Embrace change with an open mind and a willingness to learn from new experiences. Remember that starting over is a process, not an overnight transformation. Stay patient, resilient, and adaptable as you embark on this exciting journey towards a brighter future.
First, give yourself grace! Finding your passion and purpose in life takes time, honesty, and deep self-reflection. It’s hard work, but a deeply personal and rewarding journey. Start by exploring your interests and curiosities. Engage in activities that genuinely excite you, whether a hobby, volunteering or learning something new. Pay attention to what brings you joy and a sense of fulfillment.
Reflect on your values and what truly matters to you. Your purpose often aligns with your core beliefs and the positive impact you want to make on the world. Seek inspiration from role models or mentors whose paths resonate with you. Embrace failure and setbacks as opportunities for growth and learning. Sometimes, finding your passion and purpose involves trial and error. Be patient and persistent; these insights may not come overnight. Keep an open mind, stay true to your values, and trust that your journey will lead you to a fulfilling and purpose-driven life.
Finding your life’s purpose is an ongoing journey, and these 15 questions are your compass. Explore them, reflect on them, and use them to guide your path. Your unique journey will involve twists and turns, but it’s in asking these questions and seeking answers that you’ll unlock the door to a more meaningful and purpose-driven life.
Remember you have the power to shape your destiny. You owe it to yourself to do so and you deserve to live a life that you love and brings you fulfillment. Congratulations! Your journey to self-discovery and a purposeful life has just begun.