What to do when you’re at a standstill in life.
It’s hard, isn’t it?
When you’re finally ending a chapter in your life, and you don’t know what to do next?
Has this ever happened to you?
With the last remaining orders from our “ButterflyEffect” campaign finally being shipped out, I’ve been having a little bit of an existential crisis. What am I going to do next? I’ve spent the last year of my life on a mission for completion, and now that it’s nearly over, I feel like a huge part of me is going to be left behind.
But I don’t want to leave this part of me in the past. I love who I’ve become over the past several months; waking up with a purpose every day, striving with new ideas, excited to work on something that will take our brand to a whole new level.
Just because the campaign is over, doesn’t mean I want to stop.
So what am I, or anyone else, supposed to do in a transitional period like this? What are some good ideas for propelling forward when it feels like my life is at a stand still?
I’ve come up with a very basic (and quite vague) guide on overcoming that weird time in our life. While most of this advice will come off as extremely obvious, they are universal rules for moving forward and growing bigger when a chapter in our life is over.
In this specific time of our life, it will become too easy to fall into a spiral of goal-less days, depressing moods, and laziness. I feel like over the last few months, I’ve completely out-worked and overwhelmed myself with so many tasks, that now that it’s over – I feel like there’s no purpose left to run on.
I’ve spent days, if not weeks, procrastinating on my new goals and new ideas – waiting for some divine intervention and the time I get my next “AHA” moment… and just to let you know… it hasn’t happened yet.
So, this is a really good piece of advice that I can give someone who’s going through the same thing, and it’s honestly quite simple: Stop procrastinating.
Become aware of yourself when you start straying away from your purpose and do your best to commit to doing something new. While it may not seem grand or special at first, I have come to believe that these small actions, when practiced with ambition and determination, can ultimately turn into something bigger than we anticipate.
So, stop doing nothing, and aim for something small to start.
This is a fairly vague tip, and I am sure it is also questionable for some. But having experienced this on my own, that sense of feeling lost and out of control – I do strongly advise people to practice meditation.
Aside from procrastinating, and doing everything we can to avoid trying something new - meditating is great for those who don’t know what to do next. It allows us to open that connection with our self (and if you believe it, that connection with our intuition) and ponder on a few questions that we may have about what’s going on.
I distinctively remember sitting there on some days, with absolutely no clue or inspiration about what it is I should be working on. I had no ideas, no purpose, no goals, and certainly no concept of what I should do with my life next. It was then I decided to take a break from my rumination, and just sit there with the intention of questioning what I should learn; and if anything came to mind, I’d take it as a hint.
Well... It took me about five days before I got some kind of personal breakthrough... But! My advice on meditating is not merely about finding the answer, but actually in relaxing during the times I didn’t have one.
So, next time you find yourself at a standstill, you don’t know what the next phase of your life holds in store for you; ask yourself the questions you’d like to know and meditate on an answer. When the time is right, your answers will come – but in the meanwhile, practice so you don’t get overwhelmed by the process.
"If ideas were the key to unlock infinite potential, brainstorming is the key-maker." - Sarah Elle
Silly analogy now that I look at it, but on the upside, it’s definitely true.
Our mind is in a constant state of calculating odds, and solving potential algorithms. It ruminates nearly 24 hours a day on ideas, concepts, notions, and possibilities.
A few weeks ago, I endured an entire week of endless chatter. My brain was contemplating every possible case scenario; the good, the bad, and the (really, really) ugly. I got so overwhelmed by the likelihood of failing in my career, that I didn’t even think to use my brain’s tendency to be an "overwork-aholic", to come up with ideas on how to get me out of this situation.
The brain is a wonderful thing… when you use it right. If you use the power of your mind to come up with false and disempowering notions; that is exactly what you’ll get.
So instead, why don’t we use our minds to brainstorm ideas that will take us somewhere, rather than letting it focus on the things we can’t do or control.
Get a notebook, or a piece of paper – and sit there with your pen, writing any ideas that come to mind. Whether it’s ideas for a potential business or project, or coming up with cool concepts for a creative piece or a blog post. Anything you think of, that will serve as the seed to any possible move, will take you much further than sitting there contemplating your life and fearing what might come next.
When you have enough ideas, you can start picking the ones that are most efficient and exciting to you, and then get started on that.
Which brings me to my next piece of advice:
Build a plan.
Hands down. This is THE top and most important aspect of finding the ambition to move forward at the end of any chapter in life.
The number one mission behind theButterflyEffect planner is to help people in planning what it takes to get them from their stage of concept and idea, to a full end result.
That is a plan.
Determining the small actions, the tasks and work that our ideas will demand of us in order to become a reality.
Without an idea and a plan, we act aimlessly. When we act aimlessly, we work without direction. And when we work without direction, we always end up lost.
Our plan is the map that shows us where we intend to go. Our work is the steps that take us there.
Not to mention, there’s really no excuse not to have a plan anymore. There are so many tools (hahaha, including this very website) to help us break down each task we need to accomplish in order to achieve our goals.
So, break down your ideas into tangible actions. Create a list of methods, plans, and strategies that will take your goals and then turn them into reality.
And lastly, just:
Whatever it is, whatever you’ve decided on – whether you’re going to venture off into a new project, or keep expanding your current endeavour(s); just get to it.
It’s important to realize that we can keep learning, reading, hyping and talking about our goals, hopes, and intentions; but the harsh reality is: until we’ve actually jumped into the waters of our creations, they will always remain “just an idea.”
Whether you have to convince yourself time and time again to work, or you cave into avoiding getting started, just remember that no one, but you, can do it.
And while you sit there, feeling bad for yourself, or even procrastinating – the work load remains the same. Your dreams are at the same distance, and unless you start walking, you’re not going to get there.
So, these are the simplest and the only real tips anyone can give you about how to keep moving forward when you’re life is at a standstill.
Transformation and growth are processes that are always happening. Whether we like it or not, we must always grow and adapt. There is no standing still. You either keep moving or get left behind.
And while I understand this is a cruel and harsh disclaimer… it is the ugly truth – and there’s no better way of snapping back to reality than with the truth.
But on the positive end of this, I just wanna give you a kind reminder from my own experience.
It’s not that bad.
It’s not as hard as it looks.
And while we can reminisce on what we’ve done, and miss the parts of our life that are gone – there is nothing like moving forward and growing larger.
So, I understand the pain and discomfort of ending a chapter in your life – but you determine what lies ahead.
Do you want to wake up everyday closer to your goals?
Or, will you let yourself fall behind?
Are you willing to do what it takes to create your ideal career?
Or, will you fall into the crowd of purpose-less and fulfillment-less jobs.
Will you create meaningful impact in the lives of those you touch?
Or, will you let your dreams slip right between your finger tips.
The choice is in your hands.
I gave you the tools that helped me grow stronger, it’s your choice to use them to your advantage.