Finding Your Place In the World

Posted: March 10, 2011 in Psychology
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Finding Your Place in the World

Many people settle for whatever is next in deciding where their lives will go. This can work out great if you want what those around you want. Since “birds of a feather flock together”, you mostly do have the same interests as your friends.

But growth requires change and you won’t always develop the same new interests as your friends. You need to recognize where you want to go if you are going to grow as an individual. You don’t need to be held back by your friends’ interests. You should be making new friends all the time. That’s part of a strong social life.


What are Your Gifts?

What has inspired you most in your life so far? Can you do more of that? Can you turn it into a career? Will your friends support you?

There are several elements to following your dreams. You need to keep learning. You need to practice to increase your skill. You need to develop social networks related to your interests.

You can study and practice on your own, but it will be more fun with others. It never hurts to have more friends. If your interests are very specialized, online friends may be the only way to develop a good size social group. Studies have found that we can handle up to 150 friends before we start losing track of them. That gives you a lot of room for social change.

You influence your social world and your social world influences you. Develop a social community that shares your values and goals.


Your Personal Place in the World

When you were a child, your parents or gaurdians determined your place in the world. Your values, how you spent your time and your level of happiness was all set according to their dreams. I hope you had a happy childhood. Many did not. A happy childhood is a good foundation for building a happy adulthood.

In your teens, you had the first great challenge for finding your place in the world. You became free to go to more places without your parents always following along. You could read more and developed new friendships. As you grew in strength, intellegence and emotional maturity, you could choose your own path. If you were lucky, your parents helped where they could. If not, they blocked your goals.

Once you left home, real freedom became possible. Or maybe it is becoming possible for you. I don’t know your age, but once you are on your own your life is your choice forever after. You can surrender your freedom to others if you want to. Many do. It can be worth it for the right career or the right life partner. When your career and spouse align with your goals you are living the dream.


Your Social Place in the World

What if your career or spouse don’t support your goals?

Career Isn’t Aligned

You can work on your goals outside of working hours and prepare for a career change. If your job sucks up all of your time, you will have to change jobs. The most you can get out of that kind of job is money. Build up your bank account and move on. Change jobs as often as you need to until you’re in a position that can work for you. Don’t forget the possibilities of self employment or starting a small business.

Spouse Isn’t Aligned

This can be tough. Divorce doesn’t seem like the answer, but it is for some. But why is this such a problem? You don’t spend every waking minute together. You should have a work / life balance. You really only run into difficulties in this area because your career is not aligned and you need to work on your goals in your hours off work.

Unless your spouse is completely opposed to your goals, you don’t need a divorce. You need to change jobs. You might not like talking about your relationship, but you need to explain the need to change jobs to keep stability in your marriage.

Friends Aren’t Aligned

This should be the easiest to fix. Find more friends. Look for social groups related to your goals. Practice your interests and you will meet new people along the way. You don’t need to cut off misaligned friends. Spend your recreational time with them.

You take your happiness with you on your journey through life. If you aren’t following your dreams, your happiness will be limited. Are you allowing yourself to settle for contentment because you have found an easy existence? What can you do to break out of your comfort zone and make your life into all that you know it can become?

Article text copyright 2011 David Arthur Smith. All Rights Reserved.

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