What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do

PHOTO BY PETER SPEROAs the years pass what I want to be has become clearer to me.  I want to be consciousness, love, peace, joy, and utterly present.  What continues to elude me is what I want to do.  Not knowing my outer purpose has caused me to engage in a lot of efforting to “figure it out,” which comes along with the residual anxiety from thinking I should know what I want to do when I don’t yet know.  This mental non-acceptance of what is, not only causes suffering, but is also a sure ticket to becoming out of alignment with the present moment.

The other night I received a profound message from a colleague who wasn’t even trying to offer advice.  She told me that all through her twenties she kept trying to do what she thought she was supposed to do; she tried to “make it happen.”  But eventually everything came together, her outer purpose became clear as day and was not what she initially worked for all those years.  For her, this new understanding would have come one way or another, and the years spent thinking she was supposed to have it all figured out would have been much better spent just enjoying herself.  Not only would her purpose have presented itself eventually anyway, she said it probably would have become apparent much sooner had she not been attempting to “make it happen” the way she thought it was supposed to.

In the gift of her story I heard echoes of Tolle, “Don’t let a mad world tell you that success is anything other than a successful present moment.”  Enjoy the “right now”, no matter how messy that “right now” appears, and how elusive future security may seem to the thinking mind. A seed of joy now will be realized in even greater abundance in the future.  A seed of presence now, will grow into your life’s outer purpose.


13 thoughts on “What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do

  1. I echo your friends comments, I spent a long time ‘searching’ for my purpose.

    When I finally realized I had to turn my mind off most of the time, it came effortlessly. The heartbreak is that I wasted a lot of years that should have been spent enjoying a lot of different experiences… I have forgiven myself and live without regret…

    But I hope others, similarly troubled can learn much earilier…

    “Welcome all experiences, you just never know which one might turn everything on…”

    • Thank you for your story, it is sure to help many others, and it means a lot to me. That reminder to turn the mind off is incredibly helpful. And it is also beautiful how one moment of presence can propell you years ahead in your outer purpose. I appreciate your wisdom!

  2. Wow, I love this – thanks for sharing!
    I too definitely am like you, knowing what I want to be but not what I want to do. And it’s hard sometimes to enjoy the ‘now’ when now is a state a transition and change. But even though that can create a lot of anxiety, it also offers freedom and possibility, which may not be available later in my life. And that is something to be grateful for then and enjoy 🙂

  3. The thing is we can only put that meaning on it on reflection. It’s possible that the struggle was part of the journey to understanding what we want to do. Without it, it may take longer to find as we bob around like a cork in a stream. 🙂

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