Ever get this feeling that you need to have your whole life figured out because you were expected to and deep inside you just want things to happen “as planned”? Well I often got, yes that’s past tense, that feeling always before.

Nowadays I seem to receive a lot of emails on advice on how to get things figured out immediately. My answer is this- you’ll never have it figured out in a rush, these are the times when you need to be both patient with yourself and your circumstance/s.

The pressure is real, add to that people asking what our plans are, when we intend to do things, and so much more. It progresses as we age biologically and professionally, and there’s also a certain expectation that we all need to take on a traditional work path, and that’s fine, but when it begins to get into us affecting our own so-called quality of life then we need to take a step back and remember that we don’t need to pressure ourselves into these matters, well, not at once at the least.

It seems to be ironic that the older I get, the more I realize that there are still a lot of things I want to do in my life, add to that a training that I really want to get myself into but I need to tame my mind and heart of the dynamism of life and not fail to appreciate what I have on hand, at the present. There are two sides to every struggle when it comes to life decisions – strategic and just plain bold risk-taking.

And so here are my thoughts just in case you find yourself stuck at the moment –

It’s okay to not know your purpose or path immediately.

Time does exist so take advantage of it, I know I’ve been speaking about having to value time but in some cases you just have to accept the fact that some things take much time.

Right after I passed the medical boards I had to earn a bit by moonlighting (term used when we take on jobs that’s not yet specialized), I was deadset on becoming a surgeon but things kind of took a twist when during these times when I worked I met a lot of people who all provided different perspectives, learnings and knowledge thus leading me to the specialty I now have which is Occupational Medicine. It was far from what I wanted but I am grateful for that time I was given to go over decisions I had to make. No regrets.

People’s opinions, while it may be of help, are only secondary, don’t get drowned on it.

One of the things people struggle about is worrying about what other people think, yup that’s reality, the most independent person in the world have, at one time, worried about this. Most of the people I encountered while working on moonlighting jobs before told me that they were more scared of what other people would say instead of their own failure as an individual. This came as a surprise but I guess this also forms part of the affirmation we need as human beings. As they say affirmation feeds our egos and this somehow keeps us going; but look at it from a different perspective – these people wouldn’t have to deal with the results of the decisions you make so why even bother putting much weight on it, they’re not living our lives anyway, well that’s the way I saw it which eventually gave me a feeling of self-liberation from what the dictums of society was. As difficult as it has been, sticking through my own decisions have been the most rewarding experience so far.

The irony of the human condition is that we’re so focused on reaching some goal, some happiness, that we seem to forget that the journey itself is where life happens.

We all hold a promising future, but don’t allow the thought of it let the present get by.

There may be times when we get too engrossed in believing that we need to know what we’re going to do that we fail to hold on to the present. We get scared that things won’t work out, that we’ll fail not only ourselves but others too, and this eventually leads to never truly getting into living in the moment. We all need to give our future some thought and as they say envision it and “create” it but that thinking works best when we also learn to focus on what we have at the present.

So there, it’s perfectly okay to not know what you want for a while and even if it recurs it’s still fine, it happens – remember that life is dynamic. We need to get away from the stigma associated with people who do not have a clear plan for their life path.

I urge you to go ahead and explore as many experiences to gauge what you truly end up loving—which may happen several times throughout our lives, and know that at any time the course of our lives may change, serendipitous encounters happen. It ain’t easy, but taking a step forward is already great progress and believe that it gets you closer to that goal you’re destined for.