How To Find Your Path In Life? Discover 12 Strategies to Help You Find Your Path In Life
To answer the question “how to find your path in life”, I would first like to clarify that finding your path in life is different AND MORE IMPORTANT than finding your purpose in life…
When people talk about or explore finding their purpose in life, a lot of them have ideas on their actual life purpose, however, they don’t know where or how to start. There are others who make a list of their passions, write out what they would or would not do, and yet they are unable to squeeze out a purpose or draw an inference of the direction in life they’d like to take from their life preferences. Lastly, there are the ones who question themselves “is this what I am supposed to be doing”?
Conquer Your Fears through Focus
When it comes to finding your path in life, you will have to accept that facing challenges is a part and parcel of the whole process and one of those challenges is “fear”. Every now and then, we are faced with the fear of making the wrong choice, the fear of not being good enough, and the fear of failure. This fear may result in pain, embarrassment, confusion and of course we don’t want that.
However, when you focus on how to find your path in life, the mind is less fixated on how things “should be” and certain outcomes. You see, when you focus on your purpose you want it to be perfect, you want to be an expert at what you do, you want to work for the best company, you want to work every day with passion. However, when your focus is on how to find your path in life, you are less likely to be focused on an outcome and so the barrier to change, the barrier to perfection, to be good enough, and to be accepted is less challenging. There is less pressure and less fear, therefore, there is less resistance to change.
When you focus on how to find your path in life, your purpose will then evolve over time and you end up discovering your life purpose in the process. This is the missing key that many personal development gurus and teachers forgot to tell you.
All too often, personal development gurus talk about finding your purpose in life and that should be correct, right? Wrong! You don’t actually need to place your focus on finding a purpose. Rather, “you need to focus on how to find your path in life” and that will lead you to your purpose.
There are basically 4 types of people when it comes to life’s purpose and searching for it.
One: I don’t have a clue, I never thought about it, I don’t know, I don’t care and life’s purpose and the path is BS.
Two: I’ve heard about it, I’m confused, lost, and insecure, I want to find it but I don’t know-how.
Three: I’ve made actions to find my path and purpose but I’m still struggling, I don’t know how to make the right choices how come I’m still not happy, is this where I am supposed to be?
Four: I’m on my path in life and my purpose is evolving as I grow older, I am contributing and giving back, and I never stop learning on the life journey.
Which group do you belong to?
Strategies to help you find your path in life
Here are 12 strategies that can help you find your path in life
1. Deal with Uncertainty: There is always uncertainty, so learn to be comfortable with it. There is no right or wrong choice, there is only a choice. Make the choice you believe will lead you to your life path. How? You may ask. Quite simple. Use your intuition and gut feeling.
2. Patience: You can NOT speed up finding your path and your purpose in life, you can only cultivate your purpose which is like watering a flower. So, focus on your path and over time, your purpose will reveal itself. TIP: use your intuition when you make decisions.
3. Combine your passions: One of my friends is 7 times Canadian Kayaking Champion, Executive Coach, Speaking Coach and developed a painting technique as an artist called “Painting Without a Brush” she did not choose one purpose, she’s simply on her path in life and her purposes will evolve over time as she is walking her path.
4. Connect The Dots: Connect the dots on your life journey to see your path more clearly (what major studies, interests, and experiences you have had that leads you to where you are today). How can you use those talents and experience to cultivate something new?
5. Experiment!: When I started public speaking 10 years ago, I didn’t know who would be my right audience, in which part of the world, and how large they would be. It is only through speaking in front of different groups, universities, fortune 500 companies, high school students, and different group sizes from 10 to several 100s that I learned that leaders and high achievers are the best audience for me in both speaking and mentoring.
6. Your Path May Not Exist Yet: Be aware that for some of you, your path in life does not exist yet! Everyone’s path is unique of course. Now, what do I mean by that? It’s possible that no one has walked the path that is destined for you. For example, maybe you are born to do something unique to develop a new technology that does not exist, to develop a new clothing line, to become the first person on Mars. The point I’m trying to make is that it’s hard if you don’t have a reference point in the external world and you feel you’re alone and not sure about your path. That’s ok. One step at a time on a daily will get you there. You simply have to follow your intuition. Don’t focus on your purpose, focus on finding your path in life (In my case I have a path that didn’t exist: I’m an introvert, doing public speaking, teaching about spirituality in life towards businesses moving to China… there are so many contradictions in my life and figuring it out has been a long process. And it’s my path in life that led me to my purpose in life which is now helping people find their path in life, ironic eh?)
7. Trust the Right People: Learn to trust that the right people will come in the right way for the right reason. When I published my first book The Suited Monk around 10 years ago, a coach came after my talk and she offered free public speaking to me, exactly what I needed.
8. Don’t Look At Other People: Stop looking at other people and the external world, no one can tell you what your path in life is, what you need is to figure it out. Each day one step at a time. Take action and let life take its own flow. This is how you cultivate…
9. Pay Attention to You: Pay Attention to the little voice inside your head. What keeps coming back to you? What are you saying to yourself consciously and subconsciously about what you should be doing with your life? Once you identify and make it specific, take one small action to get closer to that goal.
10. Volunteer: Go and volunteer in a cause that is important for you. Finding your path in life is figuring out which elements in the outside world connect with your inner world.
11. Observe Yourself: Learn to become an observer of yourself. Sometimes we are too much caught up in our minds because of email, our phone, or TV. Take a step back and simply reflect on your day. What worked for you today? What didn’t work? Is there something that inspired you? What new thoughts came up? These are the questions you need to ask while taking note of your answers.
12. Take Note of Your Gift: And finally, if you look at the news today and the world’s greatest problems? How can you help become the world a better place? What is your gift?
Take some time to reflect on these strategies and insights.
In a nutshell, finding your path in life is simply done by following your heart and intuition. The external world and business, marketing, sales, and making money are driven by the mind, when finding your path, don’t use your mind, use your heart, have trust and faith in life, this is how you align both your internal and external self.
There are people who live their life only based on goals and expectations, that’s not where you want to go. It’s ok to be successful but if that’s not in line with who you are you will not be happy. You may burn out and feel lonely. You want to live a life true to yourself and that is to find YOUR way, the way of your heart, all you need to do is to learn to listen.
After your learn to listen, use your talents, gifts and skills to apply it in the external world. This is the only way to be happy internally and successful externally.
The journey of life is the journey towards self-realization, in order to close that gap you need to close the gap between your external world, and your internal world. To do that you will need need to find your path in life so go ahead and take action today.
One final note: finding your path in life is not always straightforward because life can change often. And that change can have an effect on the path you are walking. You change jobs, you may change a relationship, you may change the country you live in. And so, in order to navigate this journey, philosophical counseling is something that can be used during this transition. Philosophical counseling is basically a tool that may assist you whilst you are finding your path in life. The practice and use of philosophical counseling allow for self-reflection during your journey, and to exercise and heighten your own critical thinking, this is especially helpful during a life transition.
The quality of your life depends a lot on the quality of decision-making. And making decisions from within is key to finding your path in life. So follow your intuition and integrate it into the external world. This allows you to be happy internally and successful externally.
You can read more about philosophical counseling here.
About the Author
Raf Adams is the author of The Suited Monk and Suited Monk Leadership. He is a life coach for leaders, helping leaders align their internal and external selves and find their path in life. He has worked and lived in Belgium, China for 12 years, and now lives in Spain. He is a Tedx speaker and is passionate about doing workshops and seminars to help people find their true path in life.