If You've Ever Said You Don’t Know What You Want to Do in Life, Read This.
Sometimes men get this nebulous feeling that they have no direction in life. A lot of men are unsure of what true success means and looks like for them. They may look at other so-called ‘successful’ men, but not feel drawn to their endeavours or priorities. There are many reasons that men become burdened by the sense that their lives lack purpose and meaning, which are worth examining.
If you can’t shake off the directionless quality that your life seems to have taken, you don’t have to dwell in that place forever – there are actionable and beneficial steps you can take to get you out of your rut.
What Causes a Lack of Direction?
All sorts of areas in our life – if we do not tend to them in a way that is healthy, fruitful, and intentional – can become directionless.
One of the biggest issues for men who feel they lack purpose in life is their work. Men may take on jobs that they feel expected to do or that they believe translate into success (high salary and status), yet find that such work doesn’t provide the satisfaction and meaning for which they are hungry.
Chasing money, power, status, and material goods may be understood as the direction of success for some men, but if you follow this path and find out it doesn’t actually make you happy, you may feel completely lost, unsure of what career path will provide the internal success (rather than purely externally approved success) you seek.
Another area in which men feel directionless is in their relationships with others. Whether it’s friends, colleagues, or your partner, you may surround yourself with people who you feel you can’t be yourself around, who aren’t helping you to grow. You might have guy friends who you drink with and have banter with, but you might feel such friendships are superficial and missing something essential. Meanwhile, you might have colleagues who are competitive, jealous, and bitter, who never seem supportive or cooperative.
You may be having an active sex life with multiple partners, which as a man you believe is meant to make you happy, but really you are yearning for a meaningful connection beyond sex. But a serious relationship is not always the answer to this problem, as some partners can accommodate or feed your own purposelessness or fail to support you in your personal growth.
How to Add Direction in Your Life
When it comes to improving your work and your relationships, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Rather, there are different ways you can experiment with in trying to add direction in your life, in a way that seems harmonious with who you are as a person. For example, if you feel your career has no direction, you can try spending as much time as you can on your hobbies and personal projects. If you become skilled enough at something you genuinely enjoy doing, it is possible to at least make a side income from it and – at some later point – transforming your passion into a full-time career.
When it comes to your relationships, it’s important to surround yourself with people who want you to do well and support your pursuit of self-development. Don’t be afraid to seek out new groups, meetings, and crowds. Also, make sure to avoid toxic people who, either in obvious or subtle ways, stunt your personal growth or cause you to go down a negative path.
These are just a few suggestions on how to move forward and add a sense of purposeful and positive direction in your life. It’s fine if one change doesn’t solve things. The trick is to never stop experimenting and to stay persistent once a particular pursuit resonates with you in a meaningful way
Written by Sam Woolfe
I'm a freelance writer who is interested in mindfulness, mental health and the evolving concept of masculinity.