Blogger | Teacher
Do you ever feel aimless, listless, or unsure about life? Have you doubted whether you’re doing the right thing, or if you’re far behind everyone else in your life? Do you ever struggle to try and feel content with where you are or to know your “purpose”?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then don’t worry: you aren’t the only one. Questioning your place in society and the direction of your life is something that we all experience from time to time.
For those of you who feel aimless and need a little help finding a new perspective to see your problems through, here are some points to consider before you start telling yourself that you’re not doing enough or you’re falling behind everyone else. I hope they make you feel a little more okay about where you are and where you’re going.
It’s difficult to find a “purpose”
One reason so many of us seem to struggle with days where we feel aimless is the pressure to find a “purpose.” Since we were kids, we were told that we need to have a goal, an ultimate plan for our lives. But as we get older, we learn again and again that plans change and sometimes life is simply beyond our control.
It’s okay if you don’t have an ultimate “purpose” in your life, or if you’re still trying to figure out what you want to do. Even if you’re a fully grown adult, you don’t have to have all the answers. Life isn’t always as simple as a checklist on a piece of paper, and even if that checklist remains unfinished or changes as you move along, that doesn’t mean you’re not still living a good life.
Having a “purpose” is really great, but if you don’t have one, that’s completely okay, too!
It’s easy to get lost in comparisons
When you reach your twenties and thirties, sometimes the reason you feel aimless is that you’re lost in comparing yourself to the people around you. Once you leave college and enter the “real world,” people begin to go in different directions: some people get married, start having kids, go to grad school, or even find amazing jobs that make them really happy.
And if you’re not doing any of those things, it can be easy to begin to feel like you’re not doing well enough. The comparison game is incredibly dangerous because we start to base our ideas of what our lives should look like on everyone else’s lives.
At the end of the day, though, you have to ask yourself if someone else’s life is even what you want. When all of your friends begin to get married and you feel like you’re falling behind, remember to ask yourself “Do I even want to get married?” When your classmates are going back to school to get their master’s or Ph.D. and you feel like you’re failing, always think “Is that even something I want to do?”
It’s so easy to fall into comparisons, but you have to remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can to make your life something that will make you happy, and that has nothing to do with anyone else.
Social media stunts our idea of happiness
One reason I think many people feel aimless during this day and age is that social media stunts and changes our idea of what happiness looks like. Not only are we playing comparison games with our friends and the people we know, but we’re also being bombarded with celebrities and influencers who are living amazing, impressive lives and posting all about it online.
It’s easy to forget when we see people’s lives on social media that things are often not what they seem – that the lives people lead may look perfect online, but also have their own struggles and difficulties. In the same way you don’t post all your problems online, even the “happiest” celebrities and influencers hide parts of their lives.
Don’t stunt your own happiness by trying to compare yourself to anyone, whether that person is a friend or a complete stranger online. You’re doing amazing things, and as long as you’re happy then that’s the most important part.
Life always feels so long
For me, one reason some days feel aimless and my life feels like it lacks direction is that I become overwhelmed by the idea that life feels so long. How do I make a decision about how I want to spend my whole life if that means I’m cementing myself on a possible path for another 60 years? How do you decide how your whole life will go when life seems to go on for so long?
But life isn’t that long, not really. It passes faster and faster every day, and that can be a bit scary to think about as well. And while I’m sitting and worrying about where my life is going, I’m losing out on opportunities to simply enjoy it for what it is.
Not to mention, there’s always time to change the direction of your life. If you don’t like the direction you’re going, it’s completely okay to change your mind, even if you feel like you’re too old to start again. It’s never too late to find the thing that makes you happy and follow that dream.
People are constantly changing
One thing that I’ve heard from many people in my life is that they feel aimless because they don’t know who they are and they no longer fit into the roles they used to have in their personal relationships. When you move away – whether it’s for college, work, or personal matters – oftentimes you lose the place where you used to feel like you were most comfortable and have to find a new emotional and mental home for yourself in your new environment.
And if you ever try to go back to the person you were before, you discover that that role no longer exists for you anymore. It’s scary to feel like you don’t have a place in your life and the lives of the people around you, and this loss in the security of knowing where you belong can make you feel aimless.
However, it’s important to recognize that people are constantly changing. You’re not the same person that you were before, even if only a year has passed, and that’s not a bad thing! Growth is so important for becoming a well-rounded person.
Don’t be afraid of the change, and remember that if you were able to find a place for yourself before, you’ll definitely be able to find it again. Some things just take time.
Are you happy?
At the end of the day, one thing to consider if you feel aimless is simply “are you happy?” Even if you’re life doesn’t look how you expect, and even if you’re not sure where you’re going or what you need to be doing, are you happy with where you are now?
Some other questions that you can consider are “are you safe?” or “are you able to grow in the environment you’re in?” If the answer to any of these questions is no, it may be time to reconsider your plan or where you’re going in life. But if the answer is yes, then it’s okay to stop looking so far ahead in life and simply enjoy the moment.
Life may seem like it’s long, but it will pass by faster than you realize. Don’t forget to take the time to embrace the life you’re living and enjoy every minute of happiness.
Do you know of more ways we can change our perspective when we feel aimless in life? Tell us in the comments!
About Draven Jackson
Draven is an avid writer and reader who enjoys sharing her opinions on movies, books, and music with the rest of the world. She will soon be working as a teacher in Japan and hopes to use her experience to connect with other teachers and students around the globe. Draven spends most of her time at home with her family, her dogs, and her ferret.
To see more, view all posts by Draven Jackson here.