Is ‘I don’t know what to do with my life’ a recurring thought? Try this!

Instead of Airplane mode, it’s like Survival mode - a never ending to-do-list in the form of post its, checklists on your phone, calendar reminders. You celebrate checking everything off to get you through the day or the week. It’s a way of managing your overwhelm and feeling productive. But actually, you realise these albeit wins have little to do with progressing something deeply fulfilling for you and what once was your dream? Oof.

Does all this ‘stuff to do’ ever leave you wondering, what is the bigger picture of life outside of ‘returning those pillow cases, buying Kate’s birthday present and fixing the car door handle’? 

You’re not on your own.

When did you notice that the bigger picture was hard to see on this daily recurring hamster wheel? 

I noticed when I sat on the train from Grand Central to Stamford, Connecticut. I had worked from the office on Fifth Avenue, New York that day. The splendour of walking through Grand Central station watching the hustle and bustle of commuters, tourists and new yorkers never ceased. I exhaustingly looked down at my phone and started to scroll down my to-do list. I couldn’t help but feel what was now becoming a regular occurance of a) overwhelm and b) when I add up all these life admin ‘to do’s - what does it all mean? Where am I going with all of this? I had tried to force myself to feel immense gratitude and fulfillment - I got to work in New York! People would give anything for this opportunity like mine. But really, I had to admit to this deep sinking feeling of being lost and empty at the same time. 

I was stuck though. If I didn’t do the job I was here to do, then what would I do? I had no idea what to do with my life or what my alternative path could be even though I knew this one was not right for me. It was scary.

You’re probably reading this because you’ve come across that feeling of ‘I don’t know what to do with my life’. Or if you’re reading this and haven’t, it’s not a bad thing to assess. In fact, I applaud you for getting here as not everyone will.

It is an overwhelming thought and a blog post is not going to do your answer fully justice but my aim is to make it a whole lot less overwhelming as a start! And give you some pointers that helped me get clarity.

Here’s where to start.

STEP 0 - No pouting


 We need to lay a mindset foundation first.

Being faced with the thought of ‘i don't know what to do with my life’ can be a very daunting thought. I want you to get your chin up now and clear the shadows in your mind because what you are dwelling on and googling is actually a highly impressive positive junction in your life. It is a pivotal point for a beautiful awakening journey that is going to take you to places of joy that you never knew existed. So it is a GOOD thing that you are thinking about this. Pat yourself on the back! 

You are also NOT ALONE. Over 9000 people a month google ‘i don’t know what to do with my life’- and that’s only the people that google it (there’s a lot more who think it). I have many clients that come to me feeling lost, stuck and searching for direction. We are all in this together.

So now I hope you are somewhat relieved, let’s get to it. 

We’re going to change the thought into a more positive question ‘What should I do with my life?’

I am a problem solver at heart with an analytical brain. I need satisfying, tangible next steps so here are the steps that helped me solve this question.


STEP 1 - Land Rover Vs New York Dining

What does a good answer to ‘what should I do with my life’ look like to you? I.e what what would a good life look like to you? Would it be to live in the British countryside in the middle of nowhere with 5 chickens, 1 cow, a cheese maker, 3 children, a Land Rover and some solitude? Or would it be in the hustle and bustle of New York, writing a food blog of underground fine dining restaurants meeting fascinating people?

It will not be the same thing for all of us - go with the annoying child Why, Why, Why technique as you ask yourself this - it does work! 

ACTION STEP - grab a piece of paper or create a new ‘Note’ on your phone and write anything that comes to you that you would want in your life from chickens, to fine dining, to children, to hobbies. Doesn’t matter how outrageous it is. if you follow me then you’ll know it could be very possible.

TIP - this works best when you write your answers without thinking too much ie. go do something fun then write it.

Once done, here are reflection points on your answers:

What is it about those things that makes you happy? 

What is the feeling you get when you are around or doing those things? 


My belief (along with scientific research) is that ultimately most people want a sense of ‘purpose’ from life. Having meaning and purpose in what you do in your life regardless of all the material objects around you has been scientifically proven to create happiness and improve health (add scientific references below).


STEP 2 - Pina Colada Festival Reveals All


ACTION STEP - let’s explore what brings you a sense of meaning a bit more through. 

I was listening to Claudia Winkleman on BBC Radio 2 yesterday and I loved the analogy so I’m using it here in a different context (thank you Claudia!).

If we were planning a pina colada festival and you were to offer your services, what would you offer? 

For example, would you be the MC on stage entertaining everyone, would you be the security guard ensuring everyone is safe, would you make the food and watch people enjoy eating it, would you be serving the drinks, would you be first aid support or customer service, would you influence the team to provide half the proceeds to a specific charity etc. What would you offer and why?

Write your heart out.

TIP: you can create whatever role you want.

Reflection point: does your answer relate to any of the world’s problems that you may want to help solve? Are there any world problems you want to help solve? 


STEP 3 - Chickens and a sense of Purpose

ACTION STEP - Time to get out of your head. Pick one thing from your last two revelations that you said you are interested in, is tangible and sounds fun. Got one thing?

For example, the looking after chickens thing sounds interesting to you, or making pina colada cakes.

Go and TRY it. So often we think something sounds like it’s going to make us happy but really when we try it, we learn new things about it we didn’t know.

Do you have a local farm where you could go and ask questions about chicken farming to find out more, help out?

Not sure if having children is going to give you a sense of purpose? 

Borrow your friends' kids, nieces/nephews, give the parents a day off and see how it feels being around them.

Not sure if being a photographer for a living is going to give you everything you want? Speak to someone who does it and ask to find out more.

Learn from what you experience (good and bad) and refine your asks/wants and needs. 


STEP 4-  Pizza Vs Pasta 

If you’re indecisive about what you may want, here’s a fun trick I like to do.

Instead of saying ‘I don’t know what to do with my life’, try ‘I DO KNOW WHAT I WANT’

Start small.

For example, if you’re like me and you get into the pizza vs pasta dilemma when asked what you want at an Italian restaurant. You end up picking one under pressure and then get total food envy when your friend orders the one you didn’t choose. Try this instead.

When you’re ordering and debating over what to order say ‘I DO KNOW WHAT I WANT” - and make the decision of what your gut says in that instant. You will never have food envy again! (PS. sharing is an option!).

Try this mantra ‘I do know what I want’ in small day to day decisions e.g picking Cheerios vs Rice Krispies at the supermarket, whether to watch the next episode on Netflix or read instead. Slowly you will start to learn your deep core desires and hone in your ‘self’ decision making skills and what actions you need to take to make you happy.


STEP 5 - Tomorrow Never Dies

Read through all the thoughts that have revealed themselves to you whilst reading this article.

What do they show you are lacking today?

What can you do to get more of the things that sound exciting in your life right now?

About that current overwhelming to do list  - swap 1 thing with an activity that will actually help you take the first step on this new path. What you could do tomorrow to get a tiny piece of one of these things into your life?

And finally,  you may not want to hear this but I need to tell you. You are not able to solve this all in one go, none of us ever will. Go step by step, start small or start with your biggest frustration. The beauty of life is that things will reveal themselves to you as you go, it is a journey but you need to stay tuned in. Cliched, but having been on this for a few years now, I can tell you it is true.

Zero Mondays focusses on helping people get clarity in their career as it’s where we spend most of our lives and where I had my biggest frustration. 

If you have been on the fence about whether a change in career is the right thing for you, then download our free workbook here.

Join the community, share with your friends and tell me what you will be doing at the pina colada festival!...


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