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Simple Questions to Find Your Direction in Life

by Scot Chadwick

Defining your direction in life helps you navigate opportunities and challenges with purpose and resolve. How would you briefly describe yourself to someone? Follow the steps below to discern your life purpose.

The Need for Direction in Life

Many people today feel lost and wander through each day. They are confused about what they should be doing with their lives and are uncertain and overwhelmed in making critical decisions. Anxious thoughts afflict them, and they have a depressed outlook on life. Sadly, they often expect to have an unfulfilled life marked by frustration and regret.

You can get beyond your confusion and uncertainty.

Does this describe you? Then you are in the right place! You can get beyond your confusion and uncertainty by discerning the right direction for your life. Understand yourself and determine where you are headed. This is your life, and you are responsible for making the most of it. Consider the steps below to find your direction in life.

Step 1: Evaluate Yourself.

Start by asking probing questions of yourself. Seek to recognize what it is that makes you who you are. Write down your answers. Be specific and concrete: give particular details about real things. To start, invest some time thinking through your answers to the following questions.

Skills: What Do You Do Well?

  • How would you describe your top strengths?
  • What talents do you have? What are you naturally good at?
  • What things have you learned to do well? What are you competent to do?
  • What are you most successful doing?
  • What things come quickly to you that others marvel at?
  • How do you help people?
  • What skills would someone pay you to do?
  • What could you teach someone else to do?
  • What accomplishments are you most proud of?

Interests: What Gets Your Attention?

  • What are you curious about?
  • What do you love to learn about?
  • What absorbs your time?
  • What work does not feel like work to you?
  • What gets your special attention?
  • What do you typically find yourself thinking about?
  • What do you daydream about?
  • What do you enjoy telling other people about?
  • What do you want to learn about?
  • What would love to learn to do?
  • When do you feel alive?
  • What gets you up in the morning?
  • What do you lose track of time doing?

Values: What Is Important to You?

  • What core beliefs and fundamental principles guide your life?
  • What do you know to be right, true, and good?
  • What qualities do others see in your work?
  • How do you approach a task?
  • What do you expect to find when you have finished your work?
  • What makes you different from others?
  • What do you treasure? What matters to you?
  • What does a great day look like?
  • What do you love to do? Why do you think this is so?
  • What would others say that you desire most in life?
  • What do you want out of what you do?
  • What excites you?

If you don’t want what you are currently after, what do you want instead?

Look for patterns within your listed skills, interests, and values.

Step 2: Summarize Your Findings.

Now review your lists and combine and clarify your notable entries with as few words as possible. Look for patterns within your listed skills, interests, and values. Prioritize the top three items in each category.

Step 3: Get Input from Others.

Once you have your lists narrowed down, go to a few people who love you, who know you well, and who will speak to you truthfully. Present your lists of top-three items and ask for their opinion. Do they agree with your assessment? Do they think you have been accurate? What else would they add?

Step 4: Write Your Direction

Consider writing a short story that portrays how you see your life developing in the future.

Using your top skills, interests, and values, describe what success looks like. Consider writing a short story that portrays how you see your life developing in the future. Also, you could take the perspective of the end of your life and draft the eulogy that you would like to tell your life’s story.

Your clear direction informs the goals you will set and the action plan you craft to accomplish your goals.


Clearly defining your direction in life allows you to answer questions like, “Why am I here?” and “What am I supposed to do?” Your sense of purpose also empowers you to persevere through challenges and obstacles.

Keep in mind that you will change and grow throughout your life. So, you should also reevaluate your skills, interests, and values regularly and refine or possibly recast your direction.

The big idea is to be deliberate about how you live your life. Take action every day to move in your chosen direction.

Originally published on July 29, 2019

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