Sometimes we get lost. Sometimes we don't know what to do next. Or if it even makes sense to do something next. Sometimes we're so overwhelmed by what's going on in this world and in our lives that we simply don't know what to to anymore. And when I say we, I'm mostly talking about myself.
This is a collection of the things that helped me over and over again when I lost my way. When I got lost. When I didn't know what to do next anymore. When I was overwhelmed by all the stuff that was going on in this world.
It helped me to find myself again, over and over again. Sometimes I didn't even realize that I got lost somewhere along the way. I only realized most of it in retrospect. So all of the stuff is a reminder for myself. It helped me in the past. Maybe it'll help you as well. Maybe not. And if it doesn't, I tried at least doing one of the things on this list today (the 2nd thing on this list)..
# start writing
Write down your thoughts. Your feelings. What' going on deep down inside of you. Write down everything you're feeling right at this very moment of confusion. Of not knowing what to do next. And then try to write it in a way that you could publish it. And I don't mean that you have to get rid of all the emotions. Or all of the embarrassing stuff. What I mean is that it's written in a way that it all makes sense. You don't have to publish it. But write it in a way so that every time in the future you don't know what to do anymore, you can go back, read that piece and it all starts to make sense again. That's exactly what I did back in 2013. And now I'm here. Writing this..
# help others
What happens when you help others is that you really help yourself. Helping others will make you feel good. It will give your life a purpose. Without a purpose in life, life can sometimes feel like being a zombie aimlessly walking around, sleeping, eating, drinking and surviving. Everything starts when you give your life a purpose. And helping others will help you to discover that purpose.
# stop listening to others
All our lives we do the things other people tell us to do. Our parents, teachers, professors or our bosses. Or me. Especially, me. It's time to change that. It's time to start listening to that inner voice of yours. That voice that every once in a while whispers these things in your ear. These things you're trying to avoid. To ignore. And that voice doesn't seem to go away. So stop ignoring it. And start embracing it. One step at a time..
# start creating things
Until the age of 28 I didn't know what I wanted to do in my life. I still don't know what I want to do in my life. But I see a lot clearer now. And the only thing that helped me see clearer was that I started creating things. I started businesses (which all failed), I started writing books and blog posts. I created things. Tangible stuff. More or less. I even designed T-shirts. And even printed them myself. And that's how you really figure yourself out. That's how you go from being lost to getting found. By creating things. And if you wait until you figure yourself out to start creating your own destiny, you'll never create anything. Because only by creating things will you be able to figure yourself out.
# go travel
When you travel the world (or just to another city) you'll start seeing the world from a different perspective. But don't just travel to hang out with other foreigners. They see the world exactly like you see it already. You won't learn a thing. You'll only get more ignorant than you've ever been before. Go to local coffee shops. Hang out there. Alone. Don't talk. Just observe. And listen. Enjoy the small differences. Like the way people order the check down there. Or how they always serve the oldest person an the table water without even asking him. To show respect. Pay attention to the small details. And start showing some respect..
# stop going out for drinks
Every time I go out for drinks, the next day I feel super depressed. It's just what alcohol does to me. I guess the saying is true. When you drink lots of alcohol, you tend to be super happy, vibrant and active. But the next day all that happiness will be gone. Going out partying, being joyous and having a good time is like borrowing from tomorrow's happiness. After a night out drinking, the next day I usually feel like all the happiness was sucked out of me. It feels like I will never be happy in my life ever again.
# less is more
Throw away all the stuff you don' need anymore. Give away everything you haven't used in the past 6 months. All the stuff and all the clutter in your life leads to a confused mind. A cluttered mind. Too many things to choose from. Too many clothes to wear. Too many books to read. Too many.. too many decisions. And all of these small decisions we have to make every single day add up. And take away all our energy. They drain us. And then we don't have any energy left for the really important stuff. So we'll never do the important stuff. Only the unimportant stuff..
# smile at strangers
Smiling at complete strangers can do wonders. Not only will it make you happy, it might also make someone else happy (in case they don't think you're a mass murder). Sharing a smile with a complete stranger is all about compassion. It makes us feel a lot more connected to each other. And that's the essence of it all. Getting rid of all the devices that disconnect us from each other and feeling more connected to each other once again..
# forget the past
We tend to get lost in the past. When everything was so much better. When we still had this or that. When everything was just fine. And then we start blaming other people for our misery. That we're so miserable right now. And when that happens we can't smile to strangers anymore. And we will go out for drinks to cheer us up. Until we've borrowed so much happiness that there really is no happiness left anymore..
# be grateful every day
Be grateful for everything. Yes everything. How can you be grateful for everything? I don't know. Here's what I do every day. I take 2-3 minutes every day and think about the stuff I'm thankful for that happened to me the last day. I'm thankful for that conversation I had. That nice dinner I had (or lunch or both). That I was able to write this post. That people liked that post. That I was able to afford transportation from point A to point B. That I was able to afford that coffee. That I was granted another day on this planet. And the list goes on and on and on. Try to list at least 15 things you did or that happened to you the last day you're grateful for. Even if it's just that bottle of water you were able to buy. No matter how big or small. List it. It'll change your mood instantly.. Or in the long run..
# make a did list
Instead of to do lists, start making did lists. This will show you what you achieved during the day. And it won't tell you what you did not do that day. Because that's essentially what to do lists do. They'll ALWAYS tell you what you DIDN'T do. And everything else you did loses importance. To do lists basically enforce negativity. They'll always tell us what we didn't do. What we didn't achieve..
# do something scary
Do something you've been wanting to do for quite some time but were too afraid of. The thing is that being scared or being afraid of something is like a barrier. And once you were able to break through that barrier, once you realize that it's not that bad at all, you can do it all the time. You can do the scary things all the time. Because they're not so scary anymore. And the more scary things you do, the more you'll be able to unleash your true potential. That potential hidden deep down inside of you. Inside of all of us. That potential that will show you the way. That will show you what you should do..
# change your job on LinkedIn
Whatever you feel like doing in life add it to your LinkedIn profile description. Two years ago I changed my profile description to author, blogger, investor and something else. The thing is that I was none of it when I wrote it down. Today I'm still not really any of it. But it doesn't really matter. What matters is that you write that stuff down. And sooner or later people will start believing that you're an author. Or a blogger. Or whatever. And then, maybe one day you'll also start believing it. One day it might become true. And this will be one of the best days of your life. The thing is that you have to start somewhere. And a place where everyone can see it is a good start. I think..
# stop using your smartphone
I don't use a smartphone. But every time I did, I got sucked into endless scrolling, swiping or whatever. And then all of a sudden an entire day was gone. Puuuf! All of a sudden it was 1am in the morning. And I still didn't do anything. And I still didn't have a god damn date. Or met someone in real life. Right now I have to use a smartphone again. I have to, to be able to go online. To have a stable connection. I use my smartphone with Internet access and establish a connection between my cell phone and my laptop to go online. But I don't have anymore apps installed. To not get sucked into all of this swiping and scrolling again..
# do something unexpected
Do something no one expects from you. Do something not even you'd expect from yourself. Invite a friend to dinner. Or invite yourself to a friend's dinner. Or your friend's house. Or call someone you haven't called in quite a while. It doesn't matter. All that matters is that you break your habits.
Because the habits, the stuff that you did in the past are the exact same things that got you where you're at right now.
That dark and lonely place where you don't know what to do anymore..
Read More: How to be rich (even when you're a failure)
[Related: I stopped giving a shit a long time ago]