I still don’t know what I want to do with my life

You’d think you would have sorted out your ‘life’s plan’ long before you entered your 60s, but what happens when

You’d think you would have sorted out your ‘life’s plan’ long before you entered your 60s, but what happens when what you thought you were going to achieve with your life goes in the complete opposite direction?

Knowing what to do with your life can be the simplest of decisions as well as the most difficult decision. You might think you should know what you want (doesn’t everyone?) but sometimes actually knowing is difficult to achieve because you have lost touch with yourself.

Several questions might enter your mind when you reach this stage:

  • What should I be doing with the rest of my life?
  • Have I answered my true calling?
  • What are my passions?
  • Is there a way I can create more meaning in my life?
  • A couple of years ago researchers claimed that at least one third of people in their 60s had a ‘late in life’ crisis. Reasons cited for this dilemma facing many of your generation included “two or more episodes of loss, such as a bereavement or life-threatening illness suffered by you or a loved one”.

    The good news however, is you can emerge from this crisis feeling more positive about things than you did before.

    Your desires are important as a means of knowing who you are and what motivates you. For example, if you are feeling thirsty you’ll go in search of a drink.

    If you are feeling like you have no direction you need clarity, power and an action plan that comes from knowing what you want in your life and that in all likelihood it will be difficult to create. Everything takes effort, right?

    There are a couple of simple steps to knowing and getting what you want. Start small — for example, if you are going to commit to running a marathon, your training program will have you running incrementally until you and your body are ready to achieve the marathon distance. Don’t be afraid to ask yourself what it is you want — right now — each day. Allow yourself time to respond. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get it the first time, the important thing is that you don’t give up.

    Has your perspective on what you want to achieve in life changed as you’ve got older? What advice do you have for people who are at a crossroads?

    1. My husband has been a `late bloomer’ in his career, he has studied in many different areas and achieved many of the things he set his heart on only to finally discover that he felt unfulfilled in all areas, sure he had been well paid at times, he had heaps of experience in several different fields but as we have become `oldies’ he has finally realised that while he was climbing the ladder for many years, the ladder was up against the wrong tree!!! Now he is much more content working for himself, he has stepped off the treadmill and now can work at his own pace, he doesn’t earn much money but it is enough and he has time to do the things he now gets pleasure from, such as helping others, spending time with the kids and grandkids, riding his old motorbike up in the mountains and rejoicing in where we live and the beauty all around, he takes time to walk the dog and talk to the neighbours and we feel that we are definitely `marching to a different drum’ but we are very satisfied and happy in our own little life and have discovered that happiness and contentment flows from being involved with others, helping where we can and most importantly investing time in our family, we have great relationships with all our kids and grandkids and also enjoy time with a few cherished friends who have been there for over 40 years,I personally only ever wanted to be a wife and homemaker so I am perfectly happy still doing just that! Now that we have slowed down we still love each other and take great pleasure in walks, picnics, fish and chips at the beach, movies together etc, it is more than enough….

    2. linus  

      So pleased to hear from another woman with similar needs to myself. Sometime I feel like I should be doing more, why so it would look good at my funeral! I looked after both my parents as they aged, enjoyed babysitting for working kids when needed, did canteen at school 20 years, and had many a cuppa with a friend. I support my husbands business and hobbies also. But articles like the above still make me feel I should be in training for the Masters Games or getting a degree. Then a really would not have time to relax! A

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