How to: Find Direction

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition." Steve Jobs

Discerning direction in our lives is a quest that I believe is becoming increasingly pertinent for us nowadays. The world is rife with opportunity and possibility and we’re experiencing a shift away from the traditional – we’re pushing the boundaries of norms, discovering our own priorities and shaping lives that are more in tune with the individuals we have found ourselves to be.

In contrast to years gone by, where maybe there was more of a focus on settling down, attaining a secure, viable career and taking certain ‘expected’ steps according to our life stage, I think now, we have much more flexibility and our plans are significantly more pliable than they would’ve been in the past. Of course with the vast expanse of options available to explore, finding our way and a discernible direction, can be a more challenging task.

At an age now, where some would describe the experience of a ‘quarter-life crisis’, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the exploration of my own direction and where I wish to go. I’ve been away from home since January 2017, travelling New Zealand and Australia, I’ve yet to complete any college course or even get a driving licence, my CV is inconsistent and boasts bursts of picking blueberries and working on boats – I’m not exactly en route to any particular career path nor am I working towards becoming a homeowner.

There’s many boxes I have not ticked, but also plenty of others that I have and will.

I don’t know where I’ll be this time next year or even a few months down the line. I don’t have any solid security in a professional sense and no long term fixed abode.

But, I have direction and I’m really happy.

I understand the responsibility of full time work and I get the need for financial freedom and security. I realise the importance of education and preparing for the future. But I completely trust in my path and know that I’ll be fine as long as I continue in the direction that is true to myself, my passions, my purpose and my sense of wellbeing and contentment.

We only get one life and I want to ensure mine is lived from a place of love, not fear.

Finding direction in my life came from learning about who I am. Had I not had the experience of self-discovery and personal development, I reckon I would still be quite lost – clutching to external expectations and suggestions on how I should live my life. I now wholeheartedly believe in a path that is creatively paved, driven by our dreams and accompanied by our intuitive understanding of what’s best for ourselves.

How can we come to a place of discerning direction? How can we trust our path and cultivate the life we would most thrive in living?



1. Indulge Inwardly

Get to know who you are, what makes you tick and what you want to get out of this one precious life that you've been gifted. Take the time to really understand yourself; your goals, dreams, passions, talents, interests. Direction comes from within, we need to realise our own input in the navigation of our life – we get to be at the wheel at all times - we are the ones in charge and we deserve to tailor our route in a way that nourishes the unique humans that we are.

We're not all meant to do the same things and we don't all thrive off the same activities. There is no step by step to becoming an adult and living our lives. Learning about who we are is paramount for us to trust, respect and stay true to our personal path. What recharges us, what self care we need, what meaning we find in life, what's important, what makes us happy - these are the sign posts, these are the things to pay attention to. 

Be honest, committed and aware to this inner exploration and your direction will be your reward.

"If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading." Lao Tzu

So ask, what would you be doing in a life that you loved? Where would it take you? What has to happen for you to feel content, nourished, fulfilled? What do you need more and less of? Is what you are doing now serving you, steering you in the direction you wholeheartedly want to be going in? What calls you, awakens your passion and drive? Are you living your life for you or for someone else?

2. Go for it!

When we uncover our authentic self, it's up to us to go from there. It's our duty to serve ourselves well, to find out how to achieve our dreams, to begin to plan how to find our contentment, to do what is most nurturing for our soul regardless what everyone else is doing. We need to put ourselves in the picture of our lives, show up and get in the driver's seat.

Of course direction does not dictate only one destination; we may try different routes, we may take a few alternative turns, we may end up somewhere we thought we wanted but in reality required recalculation - it's all part of the journey. But to make any journey, we must move. We must act. We need to get involved in assessing where we want to be and how we'll arrive there.


"Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly. It's your masterpiece after all." Nathan Morris


3. Let Go 

Expectations, fears, norms - everything that makes us feel shrouded in 'should', are not ours to carry. Letting go means we free up the space and energy for what we can hear our inner self shouting out for. When we begin to find our own direction, it's scary and vulnerable and there are no guarantees. And the fears in our mind will try to create obstacles and keep us stuck tucked up in an unfulfilling, uncomfortable comfort zone. But f*ck living like that.

Let love in, let trust in. All the time, I affirm and reaffirm that everything always works out for me and I truly trust in this. Enjoying life means learning to love and appreciate the life that you have. Treat it with the adoration that it deserves and identify, what actions reflect this? What thoughts and plans, beliefs and dreams, embody the love we have for this life? 

There's endless quotes on living life to the full and seizing the day but fear prevents us from actually doing that. I know personally I would've been so caught up with what everyone else was doing and how I should be doing x,y,z but realistically, says who? This is my life, this is your life and I've learned to appreciate how finite and precious a thing our lives are. So, ascertain love and trust for the life you have and let them lead the way to a full, happy, enriched life. Release any attachment to fear or worries and instead fill your map with hopes, dreams and your full permission to follow them.

4. Remember and Reassess

Remember what matters to you - this is at the fore of your personal compass. Continually return to what you know you need, believe in and want and check that you're working towards these ends. Be open to reassess whenever you feel it's necessary. Goals change, options appear, life can and will surprise us - lean into the possibilities that arise and enjoy the unending potential. We can still be moving in our desired direction and allow for pit-stops along the way, we can go off-road for a bit and we can take the scenic route.

Enjoy the flexible fluidity of life. Relish in the unexpected, the lessons and the challenges. Every experience offers the opportunity for growth, clarity and learning. It won't all be easy but it'll all be yours, your way. 


"The good life is a process, not a state of being. It's a direction, not a destination". Carl Rogers

***

I think taking ownership of our life and our choices is an incredible and beautiful privilege. We get to take our life wherever we choose. And that can take any shape we desire - it doesn't mean we have to go across the world or do anything drastic, it means we get to do exactly what is most fitting for us personally. There are people going their own way and paving their own path every single day and their opportunity to do so is no different to any of ours. 

Live creatively, make things interesting and enjoy the freedom you have to explore the possibility that life is waiting to show you.



Comments

  1. Awesome post. I have started reading your post

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  2. You're doing a great job for everyone. Best of luck!

    ReplyDelete

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