Have you ever accomplished something, then wondered where to go next? Or, perhaps you've accomplished something and just continued down that same path because it worked. Many people become stuck in this way because of "security of sameness." You can get stuck from problems as well as triumphs.
I have to say that my life has been a most interesting set of twists and turns, but I've always had opportunity to maintain a little bit of control. The control I kept, however, was not over my environment or my direction, but on me and how I handled or initiated change. You realize when you get stuck and that you devise a plan to move forward---it all depends on how you manage and initiate your own change.
--- Planning Out Your Life ---
I hear so many people say that you cannot plan your life, "you just let it happen." So, what happens while you're sitting there waiting for life to happen? But, if you plan your life too rigidly, what experiences will you miss out on?
You really can't plan your life right up to end, nor can you plan it out five years and expect it to work as you expect. I know that sounds bad, but planning your life and expecting to stick to it will only limit your options and keep you in one place all time.
Realize that, as you experience change and enjoy life, you grow. Growth spawns new ideas, feelings, and intellect that change your point of view. As your point of view changes, so do your directions and options in life. You must be willing to change your life's plan as you grow so that you can take on more challenging things and be accepting of other new experiences.
As I write, I think of some of things I've done in my life. I once worked for a major corporation and wanted to be in management. But, once I got there, what was next? Nothing. I didn't realize that I forgot to think about what happened next and I didn't know that once I got there---"there" was not where I wanted to be anymore.
The point is that you cannot plan your life in an absolute manner or you'll either miss out on new experiences or end up in a place you no longer want to be. You must learn to adapt and change your plan after each step of your path. As you achieve each new goal, you grow, taking you one step further.
--- Geometry of Life ---
Sameness is security for many. You wake up, go to work, go to store, take care of kids, change oil in car---what else is there? If you notice, sameness you experience is in form of a geometric shape---line, square, circle, rectangle, or triangle. Take note of things you do during your day and determine shape of consistent paths you take.
For instance, when I worked in downtown Denver and lived south of town, my path was a straight line. I lived at end of Broadway, 14 miles from town. I drove down Broadway to my office, which was located in a building on Broadway itself. All of my stores, friends, and family were within one block on either side of Broadway. This became so monotonous that I could drive to work in a daze and still get there safely. Sound familiar?
The easiest way to break out of this shape is to change your path from time-to-time. I'm not specifically referring to your path to and from work. I'm speaking of any path that seems to have etched itself into your existence---you create a "rut" in your virtual road from travelling same path too often. For instance, instead of going down Broadway, I should've taken freeway and made a square, then changed it later to some other shape.
At first, even small changes will take a lot of effort, but one thing you'll begin to notice is that you're indirectly changing other things as well. This is what you want to do!
Once you "break out of your shape" you have to figure out what it is that you want out of life. Don't go material, go more for fulfillment as material things are only a reward for accomplishments. Also, being emotional beings, satisfying a feeling or desire is a fulfilling reward in itself---it makes us feel whole.
--- Making a Plan ---
To help you stay out of your rut, you must make a plan that takes into account many things you want to do in life that fulfill you. The overall plan consists of your Mission, your Vision, and your Goals. Each of these items identifies what you want, where you're going, and how to get there.
* Defining Your Objectives Realize that, just because you want to do something, there is a reason you want to do that thing (i.e., fulfillment, acceptance, and education.) Since you're probably not sure why you want to do these things, you might want to do a dozen or so things with each providing same fulfillment---this leads to clutter and confusion.