How to Answer ‘What Are You Doing With Your Life?’ Question With Confidence

By Virginia Warren

What Are You Doing With Your Life?

What are you doing with your life?

Well, who wants to know? Me, that’s who. Which “me” are we referring to here? The real me, or that “other” me that thinks it is the boss, that control freak of an ego. I think if you have reached the point of asking yourself what you are doing with your life, there is a good chance it may just be the real you finally having a say about things, fed up with how your life has been panning out to date. And if that’s the case, look out!! You’re in for a battle.

We are likely to have first been asked this question from a rather young age. From when we have no idea who we even are, let alone what we are going to do with our entire life, this life that we’ve only just begun to know exists. We first become aware of the notion that there is, in fact, a “rest of our life” to be lived and planned accordingly, by our well-meaning parents. The awareness of the rest of my life probably hit me at around my early teens when all other weird and awkward things were happening to me. Basically, I. Had. No. Idea! Back then I thought that art was pretty cool. I liked dancing around with my friends at lunchtime to the Bay City Rollers (a long time ago people!) I also thought I would end up on the stage. Wrong!

With parental “encouragement”, I prepared to carve out my future in the math/science field as opposed to that arty stuff that wouldn’t, accordingly to authoritative sources, put the vegemite on the table (yes, you guessed it – and yes, we did get to hear the Bay City Rollers in Australia). In hindsight, a good deal of that physics has served me well in my current spiritual pursuits, but nonetheless.

Partly as a result of a few personal crises occurring on my way to becoming a grown up, I came close to failing my secondary education, and as a result, my brilliant career in the math/science field was rudely thwarted.  I found my undereducated self aimlessly floundering from “career” to “career” never really caring about the work I was doing. I was left unfulfilled and uninspired. The work I was doing was just not “me.” There was always this inner knowing I possessed, poking me about something I was supposed to do, but of course, I didn’t take the time to stop to listen to “me”. I barely knew who “me” was. My ego smugly kept the real me bound and gagged. I was busy keeping up appearances, bringing in the money just to buy the baubles that we wear as our badges of success. Those badges, sadly, are external fulfillment, ego driven. They announce to the outside world that: “I am good enough –  I have this sparkly thing, it will impress you, and you will like me.” Ego needs that to keep it going, and it will win if you let it.

I presently have the day job of being a lawyer. I didn’t plan for that to happen (which is another story entirely) but of course, we know that there are no accidents, so I believe the real me started winning the game at this point. I enjoy my role as a partner in a general law practice. I am located in a regional area, where you get to know members of a community with real human issues. While I was fortunate to have finally found a fulfilling career where I could be of service to others, there was still that nagging feeling within. There was the real me taking a greater stand, saying, you need to do more for others. Funnily, and again “accidentally” it was in the past few years that I found yoga. For me, yoga was everything I could wish for! After my first class, a light shone in my heart; there was no going back. I now take personal time to volunteer teaching yoga to those needing it most.

It has been a journey, but here I am now. I have learned to follow my heart no matter what. In doing so, I have found who I am. At my core, my purpose is to spread the message of love. I know that this purpose must come before all others for my fulfillment, my soul contentment. Don’t worry, that “other” me, my ego, rears up now and then and tells me that I can’t do what I am doing, that I am foolish. But hey, I’m strong enough to no longer pay attention because I am lucky to have experienced the feeling of inner fulfillment, it is a far stronger feeling than caring what other people think.

In this strange game of me versus me, you know you are well on the way to meeting the real “me” when you find that creative thing in life that makes your heart shine. It is then that you will know what you are really doing with your life. Oh, you can still have all the sparkly things too, but this way they’re coming to you from a place of love.

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