Do I Really Have a Purpose?

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    I don’t know my overall purpose in life. I’ve had vague ideas of how things should be, but I feel like even though I am “on track” to my goals I feel like I am not in a satisfactory place. I don’t know whether I will be happy when I get there, or if I ever will. I have been trained to recognize patterns and opportunities, and it’s hard for me to say no to things when I can tell it will enrich me in some way.

    This is where I am. I am a law student. I decided that I wanted to be a lawyer when I was younger because it was the closest thing I could get to being a professional writer, and I had no desire to teach English or Literature. Then I discovered I loved Economics, but lacked the math background. So I just went to law school, because it had been my dream for so many years, and I was already emotionally finished with being an undergraduate student. Right before law school, I had a summer internship at a company that I really loved working for, and it paid well. I returned to work there this year, because they said they wanted to have me back. (YAY!) At the same time, one of my law professors asked me if I would be his summer research assistant. I said yes, without really thinking about the consequences. I didn’t have anything else to do really after work, besides read or work on learning a musical instrument, so I said I would. I was doing it “for the joy of it”. There is a lot more work than I anticipated, and it is swallowing the remainder of my daily hours.

    My day looks like this: Get up, go to work, go home/to the law school, work until about nine or ten o clock at night. Go to bed. People at my day job ask me what I am doing over the weekend, and I tell them that I am working. I have a deadline to turn in research by, and I am not working fast, so I know the weekends and weeknights are gone. This schedule will likely continue for the rest of the summer. I will return to law school in the fall for a similar schedule, but I will have class, and homework, and hopefully some hours to log at the office.

    It is 8 pm on a Friday night. I have been staring at a screen for twelve hours. The only people I have socialized with this week are my co-workers and the people I live with. I do not have friends that I socialize with regularly at the law school. My long term (ex) boyfriend broke up with me about six months ago because he got interested in someone else, and we were ultimately incompatible. I am very introverted and need a lot of alone time because the world seems very noisy. Friends are hard to make and keep, because I don’t have a lot to “say”, and am “quiet”. It’s a strange new world. I thought I would be out having fun, and enjoying life while I am young, but I am not.

    I take on work and projects because I am driven by “success”, being “passionate” about what I am working on, and I am easily bored. I need to feel “productive” with whatever I am doing, be it work or play, or else I feel I am wasting my time and get upset with myself. I don’t enjoy living in the moment, because quite frankly, the moment sucks. I take on almost too much work to fill my day, but in the end, I always get it done… at the sake of…well, I don’t know… fun. I don’t even think I know how to have fun, anymore. I can only sit around and read, or play music, or cook, or go golf, or live life unplanned for about a week before I need to “work” again. And yet “work”, in the general sense doesn’t seem fulfilling.

    I feel directionless.


    • This topic was modified 9 years ago by Lucy.

    Dear Lucy,

    This too shall pass but you need to recognize that-

    1) Learn to make friends – go out sometimes – ironically, the 80-20 principle actually works – my productivity doubled when i was working lesser hours on work adding some minutes of pure fun. Why? Because i felt super happy and then happier to work – i stopped doing the silly “oh i am not working, i am bad” kind of thinking which made me chronically stressed, exhausted.

    You really got to consciously reduce that internal pressure cooker – write in your diary, dance a bit, call a friend for a few minutes, plan a few hours of fun with old friends on the weekend – you just need a small change and that can lead to big results. If possible, when your co-workers asks you “what are you doing this weekend?” – smile and say “lots of college work but it will be fun to go see that movie or eat at that new restaurant” – eventually ask them if possible – the more you can bond with your co-workers, work stops being a pain in the ass despite being stressful. I realize it sounds contrary to your introverted needs but i will get to how to cope with the energy decline and the need to escape on the weekend –

    2) When you get some time alone, try to fill those few minutes with something that nourishes your soul – not just lying down and thinking “Oh man, i took too much…oh God, school will start soon, what the hell will i do” – instead, go take a walk, listen to relaxing music, watch encouraging ted talks, some silly TV show – instead of using your alone time to brood, try to use it to replenish your reserves. I suggest you try some guided meditation or yoga.

    3) There is no place to reach and then be happy – Please for the love of God, get that thought out of your head! You can only be happy if you cultivate a happy mind – if you keep relying on conditions and circumstances to fulfill you, nothing will ever feel enough – you’ll go to law school and think, once i get a great job, i will totally be happy. Then you get the job, you slave off and still dont change your ways, start thinking “once i become partner, then i will be happy” – when u eventually do make partner, you start thinking “once i get that house, that thing i want, then i will be happy” – Do you see my point?

    Happiness is all around around you. You need to learn to detach for 2 mins and then stare at the walls around you, look outside the window – realize that the world is so much bigger than law school or a job – break into a smile that you are someone who is working hard and is serious about her life, then remember one happy memory where you felt proud of yourself.

    Learn from this present experience – you are able to work really hard when needed but at the same time, dont try to chew more than what you can swallow. Otherwise, you will eventually feel sick and throw up.

    You really got learn to let it go – plan better, put the occasional fun event to cheer you up – believe me, for your sanity, it is needed. Learn the art of balance – learn to be happy

    – Moon


    Thanks Moongal for another insightful post 🙂 Still cant believe you are only 22.

    Hi Lucy

    How can you feel directionless with so much going on ? A person can feel directionless only when they are doing something for the sake of it and to fill their days or when they are doing something to satisfy someone else’s expectations ? Which category do you belong to if you are not doing all of this for yourself and your love for life ?

    Are you trying to be a superwoman ? Do you get a medal for being one and suppose if you do, what will you do with that medal ?

    Some serious questions need to be answered by yourself here.

    Only one piece of advice from me: Can you be kind to yourself for heaven sake !!!!!!

    Your present moment will be gone in this “BUSYNESS” and your future will be spent in regrets because you will be questioning if the “BUSYNESS” was worth it and then that will go on to become your past and the cycle will continue. Why do you we do this to ourselves ? Why ?

    Loads of positive energy coming your way so that you get some courage to ask yourself these questions in a quiet moment before it is too late.




    This sounds like crazy wisdom, but put “DO NOTHING” on your To-Do List.

    Tues. 1-2 PM: Do Nothing

    Sit in the Uncomfortableness of the Nothing, in the anxiety of it. Make friends with it. Breathe it. Live it. Enjoy it.

    It is The Moment. You will eventually notice that you need it, and it doesn’t suck. It is awesome!

    Filling up your days is great, but even in busyness, The Moment is all we have.


    The purpose is to just kill the I
    For that one has to fully surrender to god
    That’s the best way cause GOD has no other choice than to take care of us if we totally depend upon the CREATOR himself…


    Hi Lucy,

    Everyone has a purpose !

    You are going through a period of life when we feel lost and directionless – it happens around middle age to most people and earlier to some but it is only a phase and will pass.

    It is the Universe’s way of getting us to rethink/change our direction in life. You need to go within and figure that out.

    May GOD’s grace guide you !


    Hi Lucy,

    Are you sure you want to be a lawyer? You said it was a dream of yours. But you also said only because it was the closest thing to being a professional writer. To me, it sounds more like you’re settling to do this, and stepping through it without you’re heart in it. ‘I was already emotionally finished with being an undergraduate student’, ‘I returned to work there this year, because they said they wanted to have me back’, and ‘I didn’t have anything else to do really after work’ are signs, to me, that you’re not pursuing a dream. Now I’m not saying you should bail out on any of this. Perhaps you do have some interest in the field. But question whether it is truly a dream of yours. Consider the love you stated for economics and your mentioning of writing professionally. Toss these around in your head. Do they feel more desirable to you? If your day is filled with work and more work that you don’t enjoy, AND that’s all you’re thinking about, then yeah the moment will probably be boring. But it doesn’t have to be. Instead, fill your head with dreams and desires, big and small, long term and short term. Then it really doesn’t matter where you’re at, because any given moment will feel brighter. Drill down into what is it about writing and economics you really enjoy. Get specific. You may find other ways to experience it, who knows, even today. The more aware you are of what YOU love, the more peace you’ll find in any given moment. Let me state it another way. Simply being aware of what you desire is fulfillment in itself. The fulfillment I’m talking about is a warm calmness, rather than a constant excitement. I mention this because we often see excitement as a definition for happiness. Yes, moments of thrill are fantastic, who can argue. But the ‘bread and butter’ of happiness, to me, is peace of mind. This is the opposite of excitement. And certainly not boring.

    Hope this helps 🙂

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