If you feel that your life has no meaning, ask yourself these 9 questions

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Let me guess.

You’re trudging through life day by day, unsure of where the road is going, scared of all the uncertainties waiting just around the corner, and confused about the true meaning of all this.

You might feel all alone, but the truth is… this is a universal experience.

Everyone feels lost sometimes. Everyone loses a sense of direction. Being human was never meant to be easy.

The reason you are lost right now is that you will soon re-discover yourself. All you need to do is not give up and ask yourself these 9 questions.

1) Are you in your comfort zone?

Comfort zones are exactly what it says on the label. Comfy. Safe. Like a nice blanket you can wrap around yourself when you’re scared.

But there comes a point when your comfort zone has reached its limit. You keep on living life but find no purpose in it; you feel stuck in a time loop of work and sleep, work and sleep.

It’s time to break out. Pick up a new hobby. Change careers. Dump that person who only ever lets you down.

It’s scary, I know. But it’s also the best form of self-love you can give yourself.

Throw yourself into the sea and prove to yourself just how great a swimmer you are. Because when it comes down to it, we don’t try our hardest unless we have to. Breaking out of your comfort zone is the necessary pressure you need in order to thrive.

2) What would your ideal self do on a daily basis?

Five years ago, I used to live in a fantasy land. Daydreaming was my favorite pastime. I used to imagine my amazing future life – the clothes I’d wear, the high level of fitness I’d have, the wonderful work I’d be able to do every day.

The truth is, I was miserable. I vicariously lived through my imagination because I was too lazy or too scared to take the necessary steps leading to my ideal life.

But then I saw a video where a woman asked, “What would your ideal self do on a daily basis? Close your eyes and imagine it. Step by step. Once you’re done…choose to live like you already are that person.”

I did. It took some time, of course, but I ended up following that advice, and I now do what I love for a living, go to the gym regularly, and work on myself every day.

I’m happier than ever before.

3) What would your childhood self love to see you achieve?

Look, I get it. You might be thinking this question is silly because we all wanted to be so many different things as kids.

I wanted to be a vet, a writer, a library worker, and a teacher, and those are only the ones I clearly remember.

But when you think about those dreams in detail, you might be able to see a theme and figure out what truly matters to you as a person.

As an example, the reason I wanted to be a vet was my love for animals. I’m not actually interested in biology. The result is that I’m planning to have lots of pets and maybe live on a farm.

My desire to become a library worker was inspired by the fact I was a huge bookworm, not because I wanted to work behind the desk and categorize books. Teaching was all about spreading helpful information, which can be done through many other career choices.

But the reason I wanted to be a writer was bigger than all that. I started writing at eight years old, and I was already imagining it all going to print. There was something about creating a story through the sheer power of words that fascinated me.

If my childhood self saw me now – I’m a full-time writer – she’d jump up and down with joy.

What about you?

4) What gets you in a flow state?

I love flow states. According to research, it’s a state of being where you are so fully engaged in the task that there is almost no self-referential thinking involved in the process.

In other words, you become the activity itself. Time passes by in a blink. You are so engulfed in what you’re doing that nothing else matters.

What’s more, your productivity skyrockets. You take on challenges with relative ease, feel confident in your abilities, and are entirely present in the moment.

To sum it up, it’s absolutely amazing.

What gets you in a flow state? Or what haven’t you tried yet that you think has the potential?

Go and do it. Find an activity in which you thrive.

5) What ignites a sense of curious playfulness inside you?

A flow state is one thing. Playfulness is another.

People work at their best when they’re continually challenged. If you love maths, it’s probably not because of the routine steps in algebra but rather the complex problems that get you thinking.

As a writer, I love experimenting. I find prompts and write short stories, compose poetry, and jot down notes about various story ideas because I’m just endlessly fascinated by the power of storytelling itself.

Don’t settle for something that dulls your mind. Build a life that inspires you to seek out new opportunities and solutions.

6) What would you do if money wasn’t an issue?

I know what you’re going to say. “Well, money is an issue, so this question is kind of pointless. Hiking doesn’t pay the bills no matter how much I enjoy it.”

But here’s the deal. 

You can’t make money from hiking itself, but you can take up photography and create awe-taking photos from your journeys. You can build a social media platform or a profitable blog about hiking.

Thanks to the internet, almost anything is profitable. I mean, some people literally make YouTube videos where they study silently for nine hours, and people watch it because it helps them feel motivated during their own study sessions. Meanwhile, the creator is earning money from ads and sponsorships.

So, I’m asking you again. If money wasn’t an issue, what would you do? And once you have that figured out, how can you turn it into something that pays your bills?

Right now, you’re probably framing things in the wrong order. You think you have to work for a living in order to enjoy your hobbies.

But what if you look at your hobbies and turn them into an income stream instead? Then you’ll do what you love every day.

7) What do you want your legacy to be?

When you’re gone, what do you want people to remember you for? What do you want them to say at your funeral?

Is there something you want to leave behind, like a charity organization, a business that helps people improve their mental health, or children who love how you raised them?

In the end, your legacy boils down to your priorities. I want my words to make an impact even long after I’m gone. My mom wants the people in her life to remember her as a good person with a kind heart.

Both are valid.

8) What’s something you’ve always wanted to try?

I always wanted to work on my fitness, but I never put in the effort to actually do it until I had an injury and needed to get myself into the gym to make sure it never happened again.

Working out has now become a habit, and what’s more, I’ve found meaning in it.

It’s satisfying to know you are giving your body the strength it needs. It feels good to be in sync with your muscles, to explore your limits and opportunities on a physical level, and to have an outlet for all your emotions.

What is something you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t gotten around to do? Take the chance now.

9) Why are you so harsh on yourself?

No, but seriously. Why are you beating yourself up so much? If your friend was in the same position, would you tell them all the awful things you say to yourself in the privacy of your own head?

The goal of life isn’t to succeed at everything you do. It’s to experience every up and down to its full potential. If you’re sad, cry. If you’re anxious, jump around and feel it in your body. If you’re lost…start searching.

Your life does have a meaning because you’re already here. The next step is to figure out how to live it in the best way you know how.

You’ve got this.

Related: 10 questions we rarely ask ourselves (because we’re scared of the answer)

Denisa Cerna

Hi! I’m a fiction author and a non-fiction freelance writer with a passion for personal development, mental health, and all things psychology. I have a graduate degree in Comparative Literature MA and I spend most of my time reading, travelling, and – shocker – writing. I’m always on a quest to better understand the inner workings of the human mind and I love sharing my insights with the world. If any of my articles change your life for the better… mission accomplished.
Get in touch at denisacerna.writing@gmail.com or find me on LinkedIn.

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