We all undoubtedly have things in our lives that require answers. We want to know how to master certain skills, “woo” others, and make the right decisions in life. But most of us might not know where to begin looking; and as a result, we become stagnant. I’m not saying I know all of the answers, but here are some strategies on how you can get on track to find your purpose in life.

Read

There are few ways that you can really begin to find yourself; and one of them is reading. It’s one of those things that can be so beneficial to us that we don’t realize it until we begin to do it consistently.

What I’m saying here is read, read, read. Read articles. Read the newspaper (all of it, not just your favorite section). Read magazines. Read novels,short stories, and classics. Read things that you don’t normally read and take it all in. Reading is a basic action that, when done correctly, will give you power beyond belief.

Not only can you take away as much as you want (based off of how much you read), you can apply it to your life in many ways. But to begin, you have to have the willpower to do it. So just do it already.

Related: 5 Books to Read Before College 

Write

Once you start to read more, you’ll only benefit your writing skills. Knowing how to write — and doing so with a purpose — can give you a sense of self-realization. You get to express your thoughts in ink (or for this generation, on glowing screens) which helps you solidify your feelings and figure things out for yourself.

One exercise to try is to write 500-750 words a day. Do this for a month or two and you’ll begin to see yourself thinking clearer and you’ll have a new sense of self. That’s something that you’ll want when you’re trying to answer all of life’s questions.

Related5 Reasons to Always Carry Pen and Paper

Discuss

I cannot tell you how beneficial it has been to be able to have intelligent, open-ended discussions with people who think both similarly and completely opposite of me.

One of the rules for discussion when you first meet someone is to not talk about politics or religion. But I say challenge those ideals. Yes, politics and religion are extremely delicate topics, and should be handled with care; but that doesn’t mean you have to shy away from it.

Discussing things, especially things that are hard to talk about openly, generates a discourse and a variety of thoughts. It can inspire you to think differently than you’re used to and it can help you become open-minded. The key here: be willing to do the same amount listening as you do talking.

Take the Long Way

Everyone is consumed with taking the easiest, safest, shortest routes with everything. But why? What does “easy” get you? What do you learn from being “safe” all the time?

Not much, in my experience. Take the long way home. Walk or ride your bike to and from work instead of driving. It’s something new and it’ll give you a fresh perspective on your life and how you live it.

I can guarantee you that you don’t learn as much if you take the shortest route to a destination — whether that be physically or metaphorically. Switch things up. It’s not going to hurt you.

Don’t Do What You’ve Always Done

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

Have you heard that before?

If you always do the same things, how can you expect anything new to happen? Do something different with your life; go to a workshop or perform your favorite poem at an open mic at your local coffee shop.

You’re bound to learn something different if you do something new and exciting, something that you’ve never really done before. You’ll end up with a new sense of direction. Even if you absolutely hate it, at least you know that now.

Related: 5 Ways to Live Life Like an Improv Game 

Take a Risk

Life is hard. It requires you to make hard decisions sometimes, and it’s really easy to make the decision that is unbelievably easy to make as opposed to one that you’re not quite sure of.

But once you learn to take a risk, even if it’s just once and you fail completely, you learn how to find your purpose in life. You’ll learn more from failing than you will from succeeding in making a “safe” decision.

 

Image: Jason Jones