“What am I doing with my life” – 7 steps to finally work it out

“What am I doing with my life?”

Have you been asking yourself this question?

It’s a big question, but it’s also a common one.

We all want to fulfill our potential and make a big impact on life.

After all, we only get life once and we want to make the most of it. 

But if you’re asking yourself this question, then you might feel that you’re not doing enough.

You feel like you’re going to be disappointed when you reach the end of your life.

But it doesn’t need to be like this.

We all have the ability to make change, and the fact that you’re reading this article now means that you want to make change.

That’s a great first step.

So in this article, we’re going to figure out what you really want to do with your life so you can start taking purposeful action. 

1) What’s your “why”?

This is the first question you need to ask yourself.

I know it sounds lame, but understanding your “why” is the key to motivation, which will unlock the door to taking action and finding fulfillment.

German philosopher Frederick Nietzsche once said, ‘He who has a why can endure any how.’

The question is, how do you find your “why”?

What’s important to remember is that this isn’t some big esoteric question.

You just need to decide what’s important for you at this current time.

Write down a list of things that you want to achieve in life and that you enjoy doing.

Maybe it’s buying a house and spending time with your friends and family.

The answers might be different for everyone. But it’s very hard to find your “why” if you don’t know what’s important to you.

Next, you should make a list of things that you are actually doing in your life right now.

Now you can match up this list with your “why”?

For example, is it really important to run that extra Math class when that could be time spent with your children?

Do you have to spend money on dinner at an expensive restaurant when that could be money saved that goes towards buying a house?

The trick is to get rid of the unimportant things and focus on things that actually fulfill your “why”.

2) How to figure out what you REALLY want in life

Understanding what you want to do in life isn’t an easy task, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing with your life.

Nor is it something you can just figure out by thinking about it for 5 minutes.

It takes a lot of reflection and introspection. You need to understand your true self to figure out what you really want in life.

So, to help you out, here are 3 ways you can get to the bottom of your deepest desires:

1) Where will you be in 5 years?

While this questions seems meaningless and cliché, it’s an incredibly important question to figure out for yourself.

It’s not an easy question to answer. You can’t answer it in a concrete way. It’s hard to picture.

But thankfully, just trying your best to answer this question might be all you need.

And don’t just think about this question in terms of your career, your house or you net-worth.

Think about what you to BE in 5 years. A better parent, brother/sister, husband/wife?

Once you understand what you want to be in the future, it gives you a “why”. It gives you purpose.

2) Write your personal manifesto

This might seem a little pointless on the surface, but it’s a great way to figure out who you really are and where you stand in life.

It helps you define yourself and how you want to go about life.

To write a personal manifesto, all you have to do is write down your beliefs and intentions on whatever is important to you.

Make sure you use strong, affirmative language. Don’t write “should”. Instead, write “I will”.

3) Start digging into hobbies and side projects

Sometimes you just need to trial new things to figure out what you really enjoy doing. This means trying out new side projects and hobbies.

This could be all sorts of different things. It could be taking up golf, tennis, volunteering in different industries. It could be anything. Just give it a go and see if you like it.

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3) Is your “why” actually meaningful?

This is important to consider.

If you’re “why” is simply about material objects or impressing other people, then it’s not going to end well.

You can’t let other people dictate your life.

And you can’t let superficial “things” control your mind. They’re just objects and they won’t last forever.

In general, if your “why” is about your significant relationships, your values or your character, you’ll achieve a lot more personal growth as you go about your journey.

4) If money were no object, what would you do?

At some level, money is a driver for all of us. Maybe not the number one driver, but it plays a part.

So, perhaps it’s time to look at the job you’re doing now and ask yourself if you’d still be doing it if money were no object.

So, if that was the case, what would you do? Be practical – you probably aren’t going to be a professional footballer or model, but really think about what you’re perfect job would be.

How are you going to work towards that?

Whatever it is, I can guarantee you that it won’t happen overnight. It takes time to build your perfect circumstance in life.

But if this is what you truly want to do, then it’s going to give you a “why” to get there.

Watch this video by spiritual Alan Watts on why considering this question could be life changing for you.

5) Stay clear and focused

If you’re not clear on why you’re doing something, then you’re going to waste time and you’ll feel lost.

When understand your “why”, your actions are always meaningful. 

You’ll be confident, calm and ready to take action.

When your focus is elsewhere, you’ll feel cloudy and lacking in motivation.

When you ask yourself, “what am I doing with my life”, it shows that you’re not clear on your “why”.

You might even start questioning your life choices, harboring resentment and regrets.

But these emotions aren’t helpful.

You need to focus on what you have now and what you can realistically achieve in the future.

Ask yourself: What preoccupies your mind the most?

If it’s not your “why”, then no wonder you’re feeling lost and unsure.

What you spend time focusing on and taking action for is your choice. It’s up to you to take responsibility.

Here’s a technique to get your mind to focus on the present moment:

6) What don’t you need in life?

To maintain your focus, you need to figure out what’s getting in your way.

All of us tend to have too much stuff, too much projects and too many things going on in our lives.

It can make you feel cluttered and unsure of what to focus on.

Once you’ve figured out your “why”, it’s time to ask yourself: “What’s getting in my way?”

For example, if you’re looking to buy a house, do you really need to spend $200 a month on magazine subscriptions?

It’s getting rid of little things like this that will allow you to maintain focus on your purpose.

There will be no “what am I doing with my life” because everything you’re doing is for a purpose.

7) Whatever you do, don’t follow “The Law of Attraction”

If you haven’t heard of it, “The Law of Attraction” states that whatever consumes your thoughts is what you will get in life.

So, if you think about all the things you do want in life, you will get them. And vice versa.

It’s not useful and it doesn’t work.

If you want to achieve your goals in life, you need to take action.

The fact of the matter is, you’re going to have negative thoughts and you’ll doubt yourself at one point or another. We all do.

The key is to not let it change your behavior and actions. It’s important to keep taking action that will eventually help you achieve your “why”.

In conclusion

Remember, asking yourself “what am I doing with my life” is perhaps the wrong question.

It’s time to consider what your “why” is and what actions you can take that will help you achieve it.

Once you’re clear on your purpose and you remove anything standing in your way, you’ll be well on your way to living a life that most people couldn’t dream of.

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Lachlan Brown

Written by Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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