LIFE: Travelling in a Purposeful Manner Towards a Vague Destination

Image Credit: Paulius Dragunas on Unsplash

In this post, I talked about just doing the next right thing, because asking “What am I supposed to do with my life?” is too big a question. Always and forever, just do the next right thing.

But how are you supposed to know what the next right thing is?

By being honest with yourself about the only possible next step from where you are in your life right now. Accepting the reality of where you're at and what you can actually do - what makes sense to do - in your present situation.

You have to live life from where you are; you can't live life five steps ahead, you have to take the steps that are here for you to take right now.

When I'm anxious or feeling lost, I need to remind myself that I can't solve all of my life's problems in that very moment. I've repeatedly caused my own stress by demanding that I come up with all of the answers to my life's problems immediately, in that moment when I'm falling apart. (That's definitely the best time to re-evaluate life choices, right in the middle of an ugly cry.)

Image Credit: Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

In those moments, I have to dial-back to the present moment and ask "What's the NEXT right thing here? What do I have to do right now?"

If I've been crying (which is usually the result of thinking too much about what I'm supposed to do with my life), then it's as simple as going to wash my face.

What about you? Is the next right thing as simple as cooking dinner, picking up the kids from school, going to a yoga class?

Just the next right thing.

You can't live life five steps ahead, you have to take the steps that are here for you now.

Identifying the next right thing is about being in alignment with what's in front of you at this very moment.

If you spend your whole life doing nothing but the next right thing - with the right thing being defined as whatever your life dictates - you will live a good life, I promise you.

Inevitably, you will be led to follow your curiosities and you will discover your true self and live your best life.

It might feel as tough focusing only on the next right thing is a haphazard way to live; what about plans and goals and all the things you want to accomplish?

Those are good; have goals, have dreams. A goal is a lighthouse that guides you in a particular direction.

But if the goal seems very far away, and if the path to getting there isn't straightforward (almost never) then it can feel disheartening; it can feel as though you're lost because you don't see any co-relation between what you're doing right now and where you want to eventually end up.

But sometimes the purpose of a goal is only to give you guidance on the general direction of the next right thing.

And the next right thing doesn't have to be a big grand vision about what you need to do in two months from now, two years from now - it's about today, about right now.

I need to keep reminding myself that doing the next right thing has led me to lead a fascinating life; I've worked on a cruise ship, become a professional scuba diver, and learned Spanish while living in Argentina - and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

All because I was at points in my life that dictated those actions as being the next right thing for me.

In Egypt, summer 2009

So today, it's ok not to have an answer about forever.

It's good enough to focus wholeheartedly on the next right thing. And the wholehearted part is important. To step forward confidently and immerse yourself in whatever life is offering up in this present moment.

And if it's not the right thing? If it turns out to be wrong?

You'll only know that if you step forward wholeheartedly.

It’s better to make a mistake with the full force of your being than to carefully avoid mistakes with a trembling spirit.

Folks, that's the definition of LIVING - to be fully and wholeheartedly immersed in living the present moment.

It's not about living in a constant state of waiting to arrive somewhere - "when I've reached this goal or that" - it's about full immersion in the next right thing in front of you. Which will lead you to another next right thing, and another.

And when you do that consistently over the course of your life, then at the end you will be able to look back and say that you truly lived.

Whenever I feel as though there's somewhere I'm supposed to arrive at (the magical land of "there" where everything is perfect), I get very stressed out, and my life becomes frantic. I start to rush and get impatient. As soon as I detach from specific goals and simply focus on doing the next right thing, I chill out and life gets calmer.

Your life will unfold naturally as a result of continuously and wholeheartedly doing the next right thing.

Always and only the next right thing.

Image Credit: Soul Weaving


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