There will be times when life becomes too overwhelming. There will be times in our lives where we have no idea how to go on. There will be times where doubt, fear, confusion, and uncertainty will set in and cloud our minds.
In this age of information where we are constantly bombarded by the tales of what we should want in life. “You have to get a degree from college in order to be happy.” “You need a new phone in order to look good in front of your friends.” “You need that job/promotion.” “You have to have that big house to be ‘successful’.” “You need to get married by this age or else it will be impossible afterward.” On and on and on we are fed by stories of what “happiness” is suppose to be. But instead, these so called “happiness” often times left us with a sense inadequancy to life.
So what should one do when life is at a lost? Here are four simple steps to getting your life back on track.
4 Steps to Get Your Life Back
1. Stop and Take A Step Back
One evening I return to my hermitage from a walk in the hills, and I found that all the doors and windows of the hermitage had been blown open. When I left the house, I hadn't secured them, and a cold wind blew through the house, opened the windows, and scattered the papers from the desk all over the room. Immediately I closed the doors and the windows, lit a lamp, picked up the papers, and arranged them neatly on my desk. Then I started a fire in the fireplace, and soon the crackiling logs brought warmth back to the room.
-Thich Nhat Hanh
Above is exactly what we do with our life when it is at a lost. Thich Nhat Hanh equates our senses as the doors and windows of our life. You can’t pick yourself up in the middle of the storm. Sometimes it is wise to just stop and take a step back from it all. Of course, the purpose of this is not to give up. Its purpose is to give ourselves the chance to recover and prepare to face life again.
To stop and take a step back from life could be anything from spending time with yourself, turning off all your electronics, a solo vacation, meditate, to participating in a meditation retreat. I do not recommend losing yourself to something else or putting the problem off by blurring the reality of the situation like making ourselves busy on purpose or do something just to forget the problem. The point is not to run away. The point is to allow you to step a out of your situation to look inward and review your life with more clarity so that you can begin anew.
2. Understand that it’s ok to be lost.
It's ok to not be ok.
Life never goes according to what one wants. This is the fact of life. So it's inevitable for everyone to, at some point, not be ok.
What is the worst and best thing that one can do at this point?
The worst thing anyone could do when facing such a situation is to hate the situation one is in. Imagine you are lost in a desert with someone and that person just kept brooding, crying out loud, throwing tantrum, and complaining about the situation. How does that help make the situation any better if not worse? To hate the situation you are in is, therefore, like digging you own grave. It only makes everything worse.
In its worse form, it creates an infinite down spiral. When one dislikes the situation one is in one tends to become dishearten and give up the whole thing which makes the situation even worse. And when the situation is worse, it makes one wants to give up even more.
The best thing that one could do when lost is simply to focus on the problem in front of us in order to put our lives back again. Don't victimized yourself. See how others might even be in worse situation. Don't complain. Learn to be opened to the problems of life is a skill. Be nice to yourself.
3. Regaining your sense of direction
Once you have given yourself an opportunity to stop and take a step out of your situation and you are calm and collected enough to face the challenges of life then it is time to find your sense of direction in life.
Finding one’s sense of direction required alot of inner and outer exploration. The questions which one should aim to answer are:
“What matters to me most?”
“What is the purpose of living?”
“What am I passionate about?”
“What is my core value?”
“What is my inner drive?”
“What cause do I believe in that is higher than myself?”
It’s ok to not be able to answer these questions. Many never found their true sense of direction in life until late in their life. It is not something you can’t rush it because it has its own time. However, to help you find what drives you. Here are some advises:
- Don't Overthink. Just Explore.
The benefit of being lost is that it forces you to explore. It forces you to find your inner drive. So take this chance and learn more about yourself and find what it is that you truly believe in. Learn something new. Meet new and inspiring people. Live life differently from what you used to. Perhaps the reason why you are lost is because you haven't try that thing which you always wanted to try. Very much like when you are lost in real life in a middle of a jungle. You probably first need to know and assess what you've got, where you want to head toward, and see what is in your surrounding that could be of use. So get exploring both inside and outside. And try your best not to do it out of fear, but out of joy.
The reason why we are sometimes confused with life is because we have too many wants--some which are even conflicting with one another. Having too much wants makes our lives become too difficult to manage. As a rule of thumb, a simple life always lead to happiness. So find whatever that matters to you most and let go of others which are not. In this way, it is easier to find your sense of the direction which you want to head toward.
- Revisit Your Inner Drive
If you are feeling lost then you must have known what it was like to not be lost. Revisit your past when you feel sure of life or when you felt you have a sense of purpose could be helpful to getting you back on track.
4. Keep Going, Do Not Give Up.
"Players with fight never lose a game, they just run out of time" - John Wooden
You are never lost until you give up. So never give up. Keep going. Eventually you will find your way. Perhaps it is not the path you were expecting. But you will find it. It’s only a matter of patient, perseverance, and time. You have my full support! If you would like to share you story for others to help and support you or become an inspiration to others. You can do so at True Happiness’s Forum.
Posted with : Dealing With Unhappiness