From an early age, you had your life mapped out. The work you would do, the house you would own, the one you would love, the places you would go and the person you would be. How did that go for you? Have you lived up to the expectations of your younger self or are […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

From an early age, you had your life mapped out.

The work you would do, the house you would own, the one you would love, the places you would go and the person you would be.

How did that go for you?

Have you lived up to the expectations of your younger self or are you completely off-track?

Many of us achieve more than we ever set out to — and that’s a wonderful thing. But if you haven’t ticked all boxes you had planned to by now, know that you’re not alone.

 Plenty of us are left feeling dismayed or disappointed by our lack of progress towards our life goals.

As it turns out, even the best-laid plans go awry and we don’t end up with the white picket fence or the so-called ‘life of our dreams’.

But, why? Why do we find ourselves headed down a different path? Why aren’t we content with where we’re at, right now?

Of course there are plenty of unique life events and circumstances that can shape or alter our direction — but here are some common reasons why you might not be where you wanted be (served up with a little food for thought on the side).


You looked outside of yourself for guidance

Too often, our plans are made up of someone else’s ideas or expectations of who we should be, where we should go or what we should do.

In other words, we ignore our inner voice. We look outside of ourselves for a vision of what our life is supposed to look like — and let that shape our decisions and ultimately, our path. And unsurprisingly, when we reach ‘that place’, it feels rather icky.

Doing what is expected of you is a recipe for regret. Instead, consider your own needs and values and do whatever it takes to meet them. Ask yourself:

“What feels right for me?”

“What do I want for myself?”


You haven’t arrived yet

Just because we aren’t where we want to be right now, doesn’t mean we won’t get there in the end. Some things take a little longer than expected — life has twists and turns, ups and downs and plenty of bottlenecks and stop signs.

As the saying goes, the man on the mountain didn’t fall there — so keep taking inspired action steps toward your vision or goal.

Just keep climbing.


Sometimes the best plan is to have no plan at all

Holding a vice-like grip on the future and what it needs to look like can prevent you from noticing, embracing — and appreciating — the present.

Joseph Campbell once said, “We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

And he was right.

When you let go of how you think life should be, you open yourself up to what’s right here, right now — and how it is really meant to be.


You haven’t taken charge

We could say it’s because luck wasn’t on our side or the planets weren’t aligned. Because we didn’t deserve it, it wasn’t our destiny or because it was all just too hard.

But chances are, the reason our life hasn’t turned out how we hoped is we didn’t take the reins. We sat back and left it to chance/the universe/someone else.

When it comes to dishing up a life lesson on this issue, we’re going to hand the microphone over to Oprah:

You are responsible for your life,” she says.

“And if you’re sitting around waiting on somebody to save you, to fix you, to even help you, you are wasting your time. Because only you have the power to take responsibility to move your life forward. What matters is now. This moment and your willingness to see this moment for what it is. Accept it, forgive the past, take responsibility and move forward.

“I came to realise that all the time I was praying to God, asking for God to do something, God was waiting on me.”

Has your life headed in the direction you hoped? Are you okay with it? Share with us in the comments below!

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


Question: Are You A Leader?

by Mike Orsini

Heather Hakes & Lacey Duran of MOGI FIT: “Business can bring up your own insecurities”

by Karina Michel Feld

You Have To Let Go A Lot, To Unlock The Next Level In Your Life

by Tony Fahkry

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.