Hello Adam. I have been reading your website for quite some time now, and frequently return to it in search of some wisdom that could help me with my life situation.
The main problem I have is that I have absolutely no idea what to do with my life. I feel completely lost on a day to day basis, and my mind is frequently spewing out thoughts like "I have no idea what to do", "I'm lost" and such. And I truly feel that way.
I don't know what the answer to me is anymore. I don't know if I should pursue something in the external life and see if I can improve my life that way, and if that is the case, what I could do, because I have no idea. I'm in a college I'm not really sure I like or is right for me, and I'm afraid to keep going with it and end up regretting it in the future because it wasn't the right choice and I'll end up stuck in a job I hate. On the other hand, I'm also afraid of dropping out of it and doing something else because 1) I don't even know what that something else would be, and fear that my parents would think I'm lazy for dropping out of school to do nothing and 2) I fear that any decision I make would be wrong because it would come from the ego and I should first diminish its influence over me by awakening.
I've had some minor experiences in that regard, mainly some moments when I stepped out of the egoic mind's influence and could observe it producing its thoughts impartially, but they were very brief and sparse, and not much has changed since, except that I now know it's possible to do that. Which is what started the whole conflict to begin with, because now I feel like I should first do the "inner work" and resolve my mind's conflicts before doing anything else.
But I simply can't observe the ego, it doesn't happen like that. My mind judges me for not being able to do it, and escaping my thoughts and emotions and not putting aside a time everyday to practice staying as awareness. Every time I try to do it ends up being just another struggle, trying to remain as a presence and observing my thoughts.
These conflicts make me feel paralysed and I don't have the energy to do anything. Anything I try to do I end up losing motivation very soon, and end up just feeling depressed and bad about myself. I truly feel lost about my path in life.
I realize this wasn't really a question, but I would really appreciate it if you could say something about it. I'm sure it would help me in some way. Thanks Adam. :)
I can not tell you what you should do, because I don’t know.
What I could suggest is that you just stop trying, for a moment, to find your place in life again. So if you feel lost, let yourself feel that way rather than trying to fix it through any kind of method.
Things are clearer when we are no longer in conflict with ourselves, or our feelings.
Thoughts like “I am lost” can come up when the mind feels like its old securities and reliances are falling away. It feels isolated without a story or direction to go in. The thought “I am lost”, I assume, is not a neutral, factual statement. It probably occurs when you are at home, or shopping, when you know exactly where you are. It is really a mental fiction built on concepts, the story of your life and where it is going.
Our society is usually saying that if there is no clear direction, if you feel “lost” in life, then this is very bad and you must fix it. But give it a bit of space. When you aren’t relating to life through a mental interpretation, often the step to take now is more clear. You might not get a plan of what to do over the coming weeks, or you may, but there may be something that you just naturally move to when you are no longer seeking security through a story.
Or perhaps you won’t be moved to do anything. I don’t know what the answer is. Although I do feel on some level that it is fine to just continue as you are in college. Your mind may make grand assumptions around what it all means, and it is scared to go in either direction, so it really is a rubbish guide. It is scared to dive into the college life, and it is scared to leave. So it feels paralysed. This is all through trying to fix everything through thinking, fearful thinking. Continuing with college doesn’t really mean anything. it doesn’t mean you will later get a job that you hate. Who knows what will happen? Who knows who you might meet, what you might do, what you might learn, what other interests may spark your mind?
Unless someone felt very strongly inside themselves that they had to leave, to go somewhere else, I would not advise just dropping out. However, I don’t actually know what is right for you.
It sounds as if you do not find college life intolerable. Give yourself some space. Don’t instantly believe what you are thinking. Don’t worry about trying to detach yourself from the ego, because this is just more ego, trying to make yourself into another separate self which is separate from something else. You don’t have to jump three or four years down the line. Leave your life open.
Life has an intelligence of its own. Situations like this can help you to see how useless your own ideas are, the ideas you have been conditioned to believe in, and something deeper can begin to move through. All it requires is no longer conflicting with the moment, as it is. If there is something that needs to be done, it arises from here, from stillness, from the intelligence that does not rely on the intellect.
It may take a bit of getting used to, of no longer making decisions through fear, but as you get used to it you will see that life is not out to get you.
There may be more to say, but as of now, that’s all I have.
Thanks for getting in touch,
Comments for Don't Know What To Do Anymore
(from previous website)
May 30, 2016
Thank you NEW
by: Jamie Hanley
That was very helpful. I got this sense of relaxing into life without categorizing it.
May 31, 2016
by: Adam - InnerPeaceNow.com
Thanks Jamie, glad it was helpful.
Jun 10, 2016
by: Anup Adhikari
I feel lost too although I won't try to fix from here. Thank you Adam.
Jun 10, 2016
Thank you NEW
Hi Adam, thank you very much for the thoughtful comment. :)