What do I do to better my situation

19 years old. Bum. I Suck at academics. Suck at work. Suck at social life. Suck at taking care of my health. Very confused about my place and/or my path in life.
Asked by Johnny

Hi Johnny,

I can see from your request for some guidance that you might be feeling in a rut with your life.  I would like to offer you a different perspective to consider today.

Life Is An Experiment

Look at your entire life as an opportunity to experiment. With each new experience, learn something about yourself. Notice what you are drawn to and what you do not like. With your next experiment, do more of what you are drawn to. There is no such thing as “failure” if you are experimenting. You are always learning.  If you are not sure what to do next, just do something – anything.  Action brings learning and more actions.  It doesn’t matter which direction you choose.

Try many things - some may work, some may not. You may learn a lot about yourself in the process. Whatever you choose to do, consider something that feels right for you and pushes you a little out of your comfort zone. 

No need to worry about making other people happy. It is your job to live your own life and make yourself happy.  There is no race or finish line.  Experiment to discover your unique gifts and find ways of sharing them with the world. That is your only job.

Expectations Are the Root of All Unhappiness - consider dropping any expectations that you may have or that you think others have of you.

Unmet expectations create most negative emotions. How would you love to spend your days?  The way the world works these days it maybe possilbe to find a way to make a living in more creative and uniques ways.

A Google search may reveal others who are already doing what you dream of.  Reach out and connect with those people.   

Being “successful” doesn’t mean having lots of money, a “good job,” a big house and so on.  Those are stories that our culture soemtimes perpetuates yet has often been proven to be false. Success can mean, first and foremost, loving and accepting yourself just as you as right now.  Success means loving what you do and using the gifts that you were born with to help others.

Simple Steps to Create Your Own Amazing Life:

1. Help other people

If you’re struggling to figure out what to do with the rest of your life, my initial suggestion is to stop focusing on yourself and all that is going wrong or is wrong with you!  Find people who you can help. What are you good at that you take for granted?  What are things that others compliment you on that you think are “no big deal.”  Those are your gifts.  Find ways to share them.

2. Find your happiness

My next suggestion would be to find the happiness that is buried inside you. Let it out.  Avoid telling yourself that you cannot be happy until everything falls perfectly into place.  Even if that happened, the happiness would be fleeting. Being happy is a decision.  It does not matter what your situation is.  In every moment, you’re choosing how you feel.  Practice mindfulness by taking a deep breath and noticing how you feel in the moment.  Do you want to feel that way?  If not, make a new choice.

3. Let go of expectations

Feeling like you have let others down is a story you tell yourself.  I am guessing that it is probably not working very well for you. How about writing a new story that creates more positive feelings in your life?  If others are telling you that you have let them down, ask yourself if you happily agreed to live up to their expectations.  Trying to live up to others’ expectations is hard to achieve.  It is the sure-fire path to unhappiness. You cannot make other people happy.  Your job is to make you happy and that comes from inside. If you say, “I’ll be happy when….” then you’ll never be happy.  Smile a big smile right now and hold it for at least 30 seconds, even if (especially if) you do not feel like doing it - weird as it seems, it can work wonders.  Do that a few times a day, every day.

4. Express gratitude

Find things to be grateful for throughout your day and write them down. Carry a journal or record them in your phone somewhere.

Things you can be grateful for now:

You have people in your life who love you;

You are free to change jobs;

You are alive and healthy;

You are free to start over and make new choices whenever you want

You have eyes with which you can see the sky, clouds and people around you;

You have food, clean water and clothes.

Whenever you see something beautiful, say “thank you” for the opportunity to experience that little bit of beauty.  If you are grateful for something about another person, let them know.  Do not assume that they already know.  You might make their day.

5. Experiment while you at a job you are not happy with or while you are not working and have plenty of time on your hands, experiment a little every day.  Journal your innermost thoughts. 

Ask yourself lots of good questions like - What Should I Do With My Life?  Consider taking classes that interest you, not ones you think will lead to a job.

Moving from where you are to a different place in your mindset is unlikely to happen overnight.  It happens when you decide to make changes. Take small steps each day toward how you want your life to be.  Experiment.  Some days will be better than others. Keep taking consistent small steps in a direction you choose and allow your happiness and satisfaction to grow.

You might want to explore seeking a counsellor who is experienced with working with life changes and understands where you are coming from.  They are out there and would I feel sure would enjoy working with you as you explore your potential and help you to find something that you consider of value and want get you on the path to experiement with your life.

Best of luck,