Is it common to be driven towards change even if you cannot seem to find the answer?

by David
(UK)

Question


My mid-life transition seemed to start in my early 40s, when I decided to quite teaching and find something more meaningful in life (teaching was either about exam results or riot control, not about learning).

I have a very supportive wife and she helped me take time off to try and figure out what it is I want to do. After talking to friends, colleagues and undertaking numerous tasks and activities I am still unable to figure out what I want to do with my life.

I have not rushed this phase and I have even spent a year seeing a councilor.

Interestingly, I have discovered a lot about what has motivated me in the past and what ideas and emotions now seem obsolete in relation to the future.

I am not looking for a quick fix answer; I just would like to know if it is not-uncommon to be able to figure-out straight away what it is you want to do?

Is there a subconscious phase where you spend a lot of time examining yourself before you slowly become aware of what you think is the next direction for yourself?

The frustrating aspect is that I can feel in inner drive forcing me into a new direction; I just don’t know what it is yet.

Thank you for your help
PS, a very good website

Noel's Answer

In a nutshell, yes, it can take quite a while. In my case, I wondered 'what I should do when I grew up' until I was in my forties. I then had a vision of the Soul of the Earth while I was at a very powerful retreat, and decided as a result of that experience that my life mission would be to help people take better care of the earth.

As I have worked in agriculture for many years, the way I chose to carry out the mission was to teach a decision-making framework called 'Holistic Management' to farm and ranch families.

I did this through most of my forties, then when I hit fifty, that sense of life mission seemed to 'get soft', and I quit teaching Holistic Management, and sought what to do next.

That search took me a while as well, during which time I began to move into my 'third age', and now I am most interested in helping people become elders, rather than simply becoming elderly.

It is good you saw a councilor. A personal coach can also be useful at times, as well as personal/spiritual retreats, where you can tune in to your deeper self to see what might be urging your forward.

I also suggest the New Warrior Adventure Training, where among other things, you will define a life mission for yourself.

A couple of books you might find useful are:

You may also find some of the exercises and books suggested on the "Your Life Mission" page useful.

Stay the course. This confusion will pass, and you will get a clear new sense of direction as you 'follow the slender threads', as Robert Johnson suggests in his book.

Noel

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