"What Do I Want in Life?": How to Find Your Path Forward

Finding what you want in life can be scary and difficult. Whether you're beginning adulthood and aren't sure what you wish to or entering a new phase and wanting something else entirely, not knowing can feel daunting.

There comes a point when many people in life find themselves questioning their path. However, knowing what you really desire is essential. It helps make your life meaningful when you know what gives it meaning.

In this article, we'll take steps to work out your passions, aims, and values – the things that matter most to you. Understanding these better may help point you towards a path that's truer to yourself – one that ultimately feels more satisfying.

So find a quiet spot where you won't be disturbed, and get comfortable with pen and paper at the ready. Let's start exploring. Together, we can figure out how to get clearer on what direction will bring more happiness into your world!

Short Summary

The Feeling of Uncertainty: "What Should I Do With My Entire Life?"

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Feeling lost in your life can be overwhelming, leading you to wonder, "What should I do with my one wild and precious life?" But this sense of uncertainty can be a catalyst for change and self-reflection. Rather than trying to fill the void, think of it as fertile ground that has yet to sprout new possibilities.

Approaching moments of doubt or confusion with an attitude of openness and curiosity might steer you toward rewarding uncharted territories—so welcome them! Consider this stage similar to renovation. Yes, there's disruption and mess for now, but something unique could emerge that's even better than before.

During times of confusion, it's essential to treat yourself well. Give yourself the same kindness and encouragement you would give to a close friend going through something similar.

Keep in mind that this period will not last forever. It is making way for personal growth and exciting new chapters. Have faith in your ability to handle this period with positivity and poise. And only you can make it.

Trust that even when things don't make sense right now, eventually, you'll discover where they fit in the bigger picture—and find what you need along the way.

10 Questions to Ask Yourself When You Don't Know What to Do in Life

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If you're unsure about which direction to take next, it helps to reflect on your situation. Of course, there is no step-by-step guidance. Still, here are ten questions with all the answers that might help light the way forward when you're at a life crossroads:

  1. What activities make you feel passionate and alive?
  2. Think about when you were younger – what did you dream of doing as an adult?
  3. If there was no such thing as failure, what would be your biggest goals in life?
  4. How do you want people to remember you when you're gone?
  5. What skills do you enjoy using because they bring fulfillment and joy to your life?
  6. What problems in the world deeply resonate with who you are as a person and give your life meaning?
  7. Who inspires you? Can you make a list of those people and why they motivate you?
  8. Imagine your perfect day from start to finish—what would that look like?
  9. Picture yourself five years from now—who are you, where are you standing?
  10. Finally, take a step back and consider: What small (tiny!) actions can you take today to make progress on this path?

Consider these inquiries as guidelines, illuminating the path to self-discovery, uncovering truths, and opening doors to a future filled with potential.

15 Tips to Help You Figure Out What to Do With Your Life

Starting the quest to find out what you're meant to do in life can feel overwhelming. These 15 actionable suggestions are here to help guide you through the process of self-discovery—from investigating your interests and what matters most to you all the way to making steps toward a satisfying tomorrow:

1. Evaluate Your Current State

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Let's begin by honestly assessing your current situation. Consider which parts of your day-to-day life bring you joy versus those that feel like a slog. Perhaps you love throwing ideas around during team meetings but can't stand wrestling with administrative tasks afterward.

By figuring out what works and what doesn't, this evaluation will highlight areas worth maintaining—and help identify any new directions worth exploring. Think of it as tidying up your life choices, keeping ones that still fit comfortably and saying thank-you-and-goodbye to the rest!

2. Adopt a Fresh Perspective

Changing your perspective on life can lead you down previously unexplored paths. Instead of seeing them as roadblocks, start thinking about difficulties as stepping stones. If your job doesn't fulfill you anymore, consider what it might be encouraging you toward instead of grieving its loss.

It could be prompting you to go back to school and learn something totally new — or maybe it's pushing you to apply for an entirely different type of well-paying job that better aligns with your passions.

Think of adjusting the lens on a camera. Shifting your focus has a way of bringing previously unseen things into view, things that could excite and inspire you once they're clear.

3. Discover Your Passions

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Take a moment to think about activities that cause you to lose track of time or make you feel excited. These can be anything from creating artwork and penning articles to preparing meals or exploring topics like evolution or the stock market.

For instance, you may get a kick out of tidying up your apartment so much that when girlfriends need to cleanse their closets, they ask for your help.

This could mean you're cut out for a gig in pro-organizing (yes, it's a thing) or even interior design. At the very least, recognizing this passion might lead to a side hustle—or simply more joy-inducing weekends.

4. Follow Your Curiosity

Curiosity isn't just for cats. Allow your curious side to take control of your own path. Try out activities that pique your interest – maybe a cooking course, online coding tutorials, or joining a hiking group near you.

For instance, if you frequently watch documentaries about directors and find yourself wondering how movies are made, why not see if there's a film editing class that suits you?

You might discover things you love that you would never have expected – or find out you're great at something nobody knew about before. Plus, it tends to lead people to exciting chances and fulfilling hobbies: which door will open for you?

5. Don't Be Afraid of Uncertainty

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Welcome the unknown. Life can be unpredictable – but this is often where growth and joy spring from unexpected places. Take being offered a job in a city you've never lived in. While the idea of moving somewhere unfamiliar can seem daunting, it could also be an opportunity to try new things and have a different kind of life.

Thinking about uncertainty as something that opens doors rather than blocks them may change how you make decisions about what to do with your one wild and precious life.

Think of it as if you were reading one of those adventure books where every choice takes you to a plot twist you couldn't have guessed was coming.

6. Learn From Failures

Don't be afraid of failure. Instead, view it as a necessary step on the path to success. Every time things don't go according to plan, they hold lessons that can help you improve.

For instance, say you start a business, and it doesn't take off. Upon reflection, you may discover flaws in your marketing strategy or realize there isn't any need for more demand for your product. You can then take this knowledge forward and refine your approach for future projects.

Think of yourself as a scientist: they don't see an experiment that doesn't work as a waste of time or effort. Rather, they're grateful for what they learn – which will make their next attempt more likely to succeed.

7. Monitor Your Progress

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If you want to keep track of your progress and stay motivated, it helps to take note of where you're at—and how you got there. That could mean anything from writing down a few thoughts in a journal to creating a full-blown spreadsheet breaking down every step toward achieving personal goals.

For example, say you're trying to get healthier overall. By keeping track of what you eat each day along with when and how much exercise you get, patterns may start emerging that can help steer you in the right direction—or provide an essential wake-up call or two.

Think of this record-keeping as filling in your own personal progress bar—it fills up bit by bit as you move closer to your ultimate objectives.

8. Draw Inspiration From Others

Do some research and see if there are stories about people you look up to that inspire you. These could be famous folks like historical figures or actors, or they could be people you know, like your mentor.

If someone like Elon Musk gets your gears going, read about him to find out how he stays so motivated when things get tough.

Going to talks or watching them online, listening to podcasts, reading biographies— all of this can help you understand the paths individuals have taken and what has helped them along the way.

Sometimes, just learning more about someone can give us the push we need. Plus, it might provide some tools for how to think about stuff differently that we hadn't considered!

9. Clarify Your Purpose

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Defining the purpose of your life can bring about significant change. Determine what matters most and how you want to influence society. If environmental conservation is a deep concern, for instance, consider a career development in sustainability or activism.

Ask yourself questions such as "What mark do I want to leave on this world?" and "How can I help to further something greater than myself?" Having this clarity will guide you in everything you do – ensuring that day-to-day behaviors are in line with your ultimate goals.

10. Set Achievable Goals

Setting achievable goals provides a concrete path to success. Rather than becoming daunted by big ambitions, divide them into bite-sized tasks that are easier to manage.

If your aim is to write a book, begin with daily word count targets or draft one chapter after another. This method keeps motivation levels high – and progress can be assessed more quickly, too.

In fact, knocking off milestones feels great because you get regular hits of dopamine knowing you're making headway. Think of it as plotting checkpoints along a trekking route: each one brings you closer to the final destination – and gives you renewed energy for the next leg!

11. Remain Adaptable

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Being adaptable is critical for dealing with life's twists and turns. Rather than fighting it when things change, or surprise opportunities arise, learn to go with the flow.

For instance, if losing your job seems like a disaster, take advantage of the chance: Use the setback to switch gears into an industry you've always wanted to work in or start the business you've been mulling over.

The more adaptable you are, the more likely you'll be able to turn potential obstacles into growth opportunities. Picture yourself as a river—able to navigate around rocks and logs without stopping or getting stuck—always moving toward new and exciting things ahead!

12. Practice Patience And Persistence

The road to discovering your life's purpose can be lengthy and filled with obstacles. Nurture your ability to wait calmly for things to happen –– and continue striving toward your goal even during sluggish periods when headway feels limited.

Take learning a fresh capability like computer programming: you won't become a virtuoso overnight. Instead, stay persistent, practice regularly, and trust that eventually, there will be progress.

Along this path, patience is like a loyal friend. It reminds you that all professionals were once amateurs who took the first step – and that great things can grow from modest actions repeated again and again.

13. Seek Expert Advice

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If you need more clarification about what kind of job you'd be good at or enjoy, speaking to a fulfilling career advisor would be helpful. They can chat about your interests and strengths and then suggest jobs that might suit you, saving lots of time (and energy) spent trawling through job adverts for ideas.

Equally, if there's something specific you want to do – such as become a doctor or lawyer – they can tell you which qualifications or experience you'll need to get started.

People who already work in a specific field you're interested in could also be helpful as they'll have up-to-date information about how it works now and may even help you.

14. Explore Educational Opportunities Or Career Path Possibilities

Exploring new educational options can open up unexpected doors (and new career paths). Whether you start an online course, attend workshops, or go back to school, you might discover interests you didn't know you had or find out how to do something new—and land a job doing it!

For example, taking a certification course in digital marketing could not only make your resume more interesting but also let you see if this kind of work is something you like doing. Education can be a way of both exploring the world and moving ahead in your working life!

15. Build a Support Network

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Having supportive individuals around you can greatly impact the path you take. These may be friends, relatives, teachers, or others who are also trying to figure out which direction to head. They will cheer you on, tell you what they think, and help you in practical ways, too.

For example, if you join a group for young entrepreneurs in your area, you could find yourself getting useful tips from older businesspeople as well as encouragement from peers (those who are the same age as you).

A sound support system does more than make you feel warm inside—it helps to protect your confidence and determination when things get tricky!


As you navigate through life, it can be challenging to figure out what your purpose is and which path you should take. But don't worry! Feeling unsure about what to do next and even getting a little lost sometimes is all part of the journey.

The important thing is to stay curious, not let fear hold you back from trying new things, and use these practical tips with an open mind (and heart) until you find what feels suitable for you.

Just remember: trust yourself. Trust the process – trust that if you keep going step by step, staying patient even when it's hard, one day, you'll look up and see exactly how everything fits together. And that will lead to a life full of meaning, joy, and passion – worth waiting for!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Common to Be Uncertain What to Do With Your Life?

Uncertainty about life's direction or so-called "life crises" is one of the most common experiences shared by many human beings. Not knowing all of it right now is okay. It's a long process of finding oneself, which takes time and patience.

Can Creating Your Own Business Be a Life Goal?

Sure, having your business is, in fact, a very fulfilling objective in life. It gives independence, creativity, and a chance to make a difference in the area of your liking.

What Else Should I Do With My Life If I Get a Dream Job?

Once you have succeeded in getting your dream job, you may bask in this glory but keep on setting the higher goals and facing the challenges. This could be perfecting skills, looking for that opportunity to move forward, or even engaging in passion projects out of work or starting your own online business.

What Is My Purpose in Life?

Finding your life's purpose is often about discovering what you are passionate about, what feels suitable for you, and what brings joy and fulfillment. Reflect on what lights your spirit, touches your core values, and impacts others in a powerful way.