What if instead of asking, "What do I do with my life?" you asked, "How can I better experience life?"
A lot of people, especially those under the age of 40, wander through life asking what their purpose is on this planet. They think that once they discover some almighty purpose, they'll wake up every day for the rest of their lives with complete and utter joy and enthusiasm.
Essentially, finding their purpose will be an answer to all of their problems. Life will be great. But until then, no bueno.
There are a few problems with the question, "What's my purpose?"
First, when we make this inquiry, we're looking into the outside world for an answer that can only be found within.
If you think about it, we only experience the world on the inside. Things happen on the outside, all around us, but we can only ever experience them inside of ourselves.
If I ask you to tell me where the TV is, you'll point across the room. But you're still seeing it inside your own mental plane. In fact, what you're seeing is a 3D rendering of the TV - inside your head.
Yes, the TV is over there, but you, the consciousness, are literally experiencing it inside your mind.
So when we look to the external world for an answer, or a purpose, we're neglecting the fundamental fact that the external purpose isn't special, but rather, the way we think it will make us feel, on the inside, is what's special.
You might be wondering why that's an issue. So what if I want something out there to make me feel good in here. That's not okay, you're saying?
It's not that it's not okay. It's just that, it's a very limiting way to live, and you'll be searching in vain for the rest of your life. So long as you depend on external circumstances to make you feel good, you'll forever be at war with reality.
Another problem with the question, "What's my purpose in life?" is that we don't ask it intelligently.
It's one thing to sit down with intention to ask yourself the question, then write down different avenues to pursue, and then actually create a plan to pursue them. (Not to mention carry out that plan).
But how many people who ask the question are actually doing that?
Instead, people are asking it without even trying to think of an answer, and then getting overwhelmed when no answer is in sight.
Here are some better questions you could ask yourself:
How can I experience more of life?
How can I increase my enjoyment of life?
How can I become more at peace with the present moment?
What's keeping me from enjoying life today?
What's causing all this disturbance inside of me?
How can I get rid of the stuff inside that's holding me back?
Some of these questions might sound foreign to you. That's okay. But don't let it stop you from asking them. If you look deeply, the answers to these questions will take away your need to find a purpose.
This seems to be a hard shift for people, because they don't trust that life will guide them to where they want to go if they don't have a purpose. They think that if they relinquish all desires, their life will turn out an aimless failure. But few people consider the opposite being true. What if life just turns into a complete blessing? Not just sometimes, but all the time?
What's stopping you from trusting that life will guide you, provided you fully engage with it, utilizing your intellect for good, not for mindless melodramas?
We need to learn to trust that life will guide us, so long as we willingly participate in all that it has to offer.
Sure, if we do nothing but complain, resist reality, and hold onto the past, there's no amount of trust that will guide us to well-being. That's called delusion, and there are plenty of people doing that.
This is different. This is trust in the same forces that allowed you to be here. The same forces that started 13.8 billion years ago with the Big Bang and continue to manifest every single day. These forces have a way of knowing what they're doing. Otherwise you wouldn't be here. Can you not accept that, and go for the ride?
As the great masters say, "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf."
Live with substance!