Finding purpose and fulfilment in life is always a complicated process. Life is full of moving parts and balancing the demands of your passions and practicalities is a real challenge. If you’re looking to build a life that you love, knowing what you’d like to do with your life is a great place to start. This article will provide you with some simple questions you can ask yourself to figure out what to do with your life, how to feel fulfilled, and how to make it all work for you.
Where shall we start...
What Type of Person Do You Want to be?
This is perhaps the most important question you should consider when making big, life-changing decisions. When you imagine the best possible outcome for your life – what kind of person do you envision yourself being? The kind of person you aim to be is a great guide for the smaller decisions you make.
Remember when making life choices that acting like the person you want to be is the first step towards becoming that person. This sounds obvious, but Olympians trained like Olympians decades before they stepped onto the Olympic stage: living out the virtues you want to embody is the best way to achieve your ideal self.
What Kind of World Do You Want to Live in?
This is an underrated way of figuring out how to spend your life by using it to bring about the changes you want to see in the world. Ghandi is famously quoted saying that you should “be the change you want to see in the world”. This quote is overused but, when deciding what to do with your life, the question ‘What change do I want to see in the world?’ is enough to guide your whole life.
When it comes to making changes in your life, you don’t necessarily need to aim at a specific charitable line of work. If you’d like to live in a world with more respect for a certain sport/field, if you want to live in a world where a certain branch of science is more well-understood, or if you want to live in a world where some area of human life is more convenient, you can use this individual ideal to guide your life.
Elon Musk is a great example of how this question can guide you towards a fulfilling life in a field that has genuine benefit to society as a whole. Take a step back and look at the world you live in, think about the world you’d like to live in, and think about how to ‘bridge the gap’ between the two. This way of making the world a better place is a great tool for figuring out what you should do with your life.
What Do You Enjoy Learning?
This is an inherently practical question you need to ask yourself. Becoming really good at something requires a huge amount of learning, and learning requires a lot of patience. Loving what you do and enjoying learning are key to becoming the very best you can be within a certain field. If you want to become the best at anything, loving the hard work is the best way to boost your chances and will be necessary to overcome the obstacles between you and success.
Alan Watts famously said that you should focus on what you’d do if money were no object. This is partially true – in the developing 21st century job market, there are many opportunities for experts in almost every field. If you like something and you dedicate enough time to learning about it, you can make a real living out of a passion.
This is the kind of learning that is enjoyable and easily marketed – be sure to focus on developing coaching skills and authority, as this is the difference between a passion and a career in a field that you love.
Are You Trying New Things?
How can you know what to do with your life if you never try new things? A rich pool of experiences is a great starting point for figuring out what to do with your life. If all you have ever done is worked and socialized with the same people, it is easy to miss out on the things that might have given your life more purpose and meaning.
Try everything – sports, activities, hobbies, temporary jobs, travel, and creative pursuits are all great ways to expand your horizons. One of the best ways to figure out what to do with your life is to do more! Give yourself the best odds of finding your passion by going out and experimenting with new experiences, ideas, and perspectives.
It might be the single most intuitive option for finding something to do with your life, but looking around at the things that make your peers feel happy and fulfilled is a great way to start exploring your own needs. Look at the happiest people in your life, those you want to be like, and try some of the things that make them happy.
What Are You Good at?
Sadly, this is something that will always be a part of deciding what to do with your life. This is intimately tied to your love of learning a skill or subject, but being good at something is a necessary condition to being paid for it.
The best way to get good at something is to practice it. Working hard is the best way to improve at anything – this is equally true in your career, regardless of the field you choose to work in. This is another reason why it is important to find something you enjoy learning: the majority of being good at anything comes from practicing it. This practice is easier, and more likely to be productive, if you are passionate and enthusiastic about the subject of your study.
Being good at something is easier said than done, but those who are truly passionate about something are likely to see rapid improvement. This is why it is important to try and find the mid-ground between the things you enjoy, the things that improve your self-perception or perception of the world, and the things that you are good at. You can become better at something by working on it, but you are unlikely to work your way to loving what you do.
“What should I do with my life” is a huge existential question. Sadly, there is no simple answer and a meaningful solution can only come from profound self-awareness. These questions are a great way to get in touch with yourself and begin planning the things in your life that will provide you with purpose and direction. Answering these questions may be a lengthy process and require some hard introspection, but living a life full of meaning and fulfilment is worth every minute!
Luke is a freelance writer inspired by health, wellness and life!