It's a horrible feeling, isn't it? The feeling of being lost and not knowing exactly how it happened? I mean, you had it all planned, a career, relationship, the house... Everyone one is happy for you. You're a success in their eyes. You have done everything they thought they couldn't and they encourage you to do more. Yet something is wrong. Is this what you really want ? In the words of Talking Head's 'Once in a Lifetime';
"And you may find yourself in another part of the world
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself-Well...How did I get here?"
It is easy to get swept up in the expectations of life. Get an education. Work hard. Play hard. Wear the right clothes. Follow the rules. Go to the right places. Achieve. Buy a car. Buy a big house. Travel the world. Bungy. Marry. Get a bigger house. Have children. Work harder. Retire...
Yet, there is a nagging feeling that something is wrong. You feel guilty. You have built a career and you're paid well but you're tired. You're stressed. This isn't want you expected. You are unhappy.
You are not alone.
However, you don't need to worry. The moment you feel you are lost, is the moment you can find yourself and get your life back in balance. Those that are truly lost, are not aware that they are. If you feel lost, you are becoming more self-aware and you have the opportunity to change.
The initial reaction would be to say, 'come on, let's find out what you really want.' Yet, that is not always the answer. There are always two sides. On the one-side you already have the answer but you can't see it, you have been distracted from it or have begun to believe it is not enough anymore. On the other hand, the way you are living your life is not meeting your core needs and finding out what you need, gives you the chance to start living in tune with you.
Heads - You've Got Most of What You Need but You Don't Know How to Tune Into It
In a pressured society we are harried along with desires, needing more, not being satisfied, or keeping up with the Joneses; but the reality is, just these material needs alone are unlikely to bring you lasting satisfaction, growth, fulfilment or joy. All they will create is the desire for more once you get to your goal and you discover you are still not satisfied or happy. The drive to continually move forward to find the next thing that gives us that kick, or makes us look good, stops us from noticing and appreciating what's around us. In some cases, we'll even look at our partner or family and wonder 'was this really what I wanted?' Maybe it actually is but you have been distracted by life and you have become disconnected from it and you've lost the love and connection. What happens when you lose the connection? Often the people around you do too. On the other hand, it might be that the legal career you put your time, heart and soul into, really is what you need. It allows you to contribute and to help and it gives you a sense of status and confidence. Perhaps you are just tired and maybe you have lost the balance with other elements of your life such as family, friends, new experiences, or love. Sometimes we inadvertently forget what means the most.
Tails - What Do I Really Need & How Can I Start Getting It?
You have done what you were told. You have fulfilled the wishes of your nearest and dearest and ticked all the 'achievement' boxes but you have this feeling that you are not being you. The big car, the house, the sports clubs; they are all hollow and you are looking for ways to distract or numb yourself from the reality that you aren't getting the satisfaction, joy and love you crave.
Then what is it that you want? What needs do you have to fulfil? Do you want to help people? Do you want to be a leader in your sphere? Is family the most important thing? Are you creative? Do you crave adventure? Do you crave stability? Do you want to get more out of your relationships? Where is your life going? You don't have to follow the crowd.
These are all big questions to ask - and moreover, why you want them. This is the time to truly reflect on how you tick, not how you think you should be. To want what you need, what you think you need and why; and how you relate to others. This is the start of a process that opens your life because you are open to possibilities. Yet we are human, we hang onto old patterns and habits because we feel safe with what is known.
Einstein said; " The definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result." Wise words. To get to where you want to be, you won't get there by doing the same things you always have. Change doesn't have to be frightening, it can be truly liberating. Start focusing on your needs today (not just your Father Christmas list of wants). Make a list of needs. Focus too on what you already have to be grateful for. It's more than you imagine. Breathe. Plan your route.
It is when you are lost that you look at your compass. Your compass is inside you.