What’s the first step to the next step?

If you’re in a space in your life where you’re feeling a little unsettled despite having achieved much of what you dreamt of achieving, you’re not alone. It’s not at all uncommon for people to desire change or something more. Often when we set out on our career path we have a vision of what we’d like to do and where we’d like to be a few years down the line. So we embark on that journey. But along the way we realise that what we’re working towards, perhaps isn’t our true heart’s desire after all. And then we flounder. What now?

Life is a journey

While having ambition and goals is a good and purposeful thing, we shouldn’t lose sight that life is a journey, made up of learning experiences. As we experience more and gain knowledge, it is bound to influence us in some way. Sometimes it makes us realise that what we set out to achieve isn’t really that important to us after all. Or, that there is a different way to get to where we want to be that’ll bring us better experiences or knowledge in the process.

When we step on to a different path there’s the opportunity for wonderful new experiences. And yet it’s this exact wealth of opportunity that often holds people back from making a change. With so many options making a choice can be challenging. Especially when the decision holds weight. People start to question: What if I make the wrong decision? What if I head off in one direction and it turns out to be wrong? What if I miss out on other opportunities because of the choice I made? And so we get paralysed by indecision. How do we start to find out what we want and what direction to go in? What are the first steps to taking the next step?

Do or don’t

Sometimes the realisation of what you don’t want is the exact catalyst needed for change. If you find yourself moaning about certain things or getting irritated by them, it’s a sure bet these are things to focus on. The more clarity you can gain on the things that you don’t want. The more it can help you gain insight and define what you do want.

If you’re going to embark on this journey, you’ll want to document the process by having a journal or workbook to record your thoughts. This is really useful because as you move forward it is good to go back and read about where you’ve been. It’ll remind you why you chose the direction you’re going in and what your motivations were. It can also be a source of encouragement for those days where you don’t feel as though you’ve made much progress. When you go back and read your earlier journal entries you’ll often realise how far you’ve come.

Happiness and purpose

The interesting thing is that while most people say that all they want from life is to be happy, happiness is a fleeting and subjective emotion. It can be influenced by so many things. And this is often why it can feel so elusive. Purpose on the other hand, knowing that you’re doing something worthwhile, that contributes something to the world and makes you feel useful, is more likely to result in a sense of contentment and happiness. If this is what you truly desire, if this is what you think may be missing from your life, then I invite you embark on a journey of self-discovery. It may be the most rewarding thing you do this year.

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