One of the things we continually beat ourselves up with is the thought that we don’t know which direction our life is going. Why is this such a common source of anxiety? Who said we had to know?
Maybe it all started with this question we got when we were kids — what do you want to be when you grow up?
Is it a doctor? A lawyer? A fireman? A professional athlete?
Children are effortlessly immersed in enjoying their life because they aren’t caught up in the future, yet when we ask questions like this, we begin conditioning their minds to need certainty about what’s next.
As we get older our need to know grows and grows, until it’s terrifying to not know. It’s even more embarrassing when someone asks you what’s next in your life and you don’t have a good answer. It’s childish not to know.
You might as well start sucking your thumb.
But have we ever actually known what’s next? As much as I’d like to think so, I’m constantly being proved wrong. We don’t know where our life is headed, and if we look back over the course of our life, it’s become clear that ultimately we are not the ones who decide anyway. What’s more true is we seek to believe the illusion of knowing where our life is headed.
People can believe in an illusion, but only until the bubble bursts. The problem for many people is they try and climb back in the bubble, thinking they can revert back to the bliss of ignorance. It’s impossible, and to one degree or another, all of us have had our illusion of control shattered on the rocks of reality.
The only way home is to align your beliefs with what is. You have no idea where your life is going and constantly worrying about it takes you away from fully experiencing each day. When we rest in the truth of this, we can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that it’s not our job to figure everything out. Our job isn’t to figure out where we will be in the future or where we’re headed, it’s to determine what we want to be doing today, to get infinitely curious about what we want in this moment. We don’t get to know what we want in the future, because we get that information in the moment it happens. We’re on a need-to-know basis with whatever greater intelligence keeps everything running smoothly.
Even if you could figure out where your life is going, would you actually want to know? Wouldn’t it be like spoiling the ending of an amazing movie? I’d rather be surprised, because to me, the mystery of my life is what makes it worth living.