A crisis of direction, a confusion over purpose isn't just the preserve of the middle aged. It can strike any time, and can be corrosive to our confidence, our motivation, our hopes. I wonder how many have said those words, "There must be more to life than this?"
Make no mistake that's a cry from the heart, from the depths of our being. It explodes from the echo chamber in which our dreams incubate, evolve, and perhaps for many of us perish. I'm yet to meet a person who doesn't have some unfinished business, an ambition or a sense of longing that they haven't quite tapped into.
Yet how do we respond when the whispers of dissatisfaction become a grumble, a persistent complaint against us? Well don't expect any pat answers from yours truly; I'm clean out. I would suggest the following however, and that is simply not to forget the numerous small things we do each day that make a difference. Life often amounts to many interconnecting parts; a smile here, a word there, or perhaps just opening a door for someone or making them a coffee. What seems small can influence another in life enhancing ways, so don't knock it. Ok, you probably won't inspire them to rewrite the laws of physics or cure cancer, but you'll have made a difference. I know also that in our dreams we often measure ourselves by our failure to achieve the grandiose stuff, but that's a false plateau. By simply showing small kindnesses your influence upon your immediate sphere of reference can be bigger than you think.
Perhaps you're a father or a mother? In which case take a moment to look at your children. You might want to wait until they're asleep, which is typically the only time when they are still. Do you still think you've achieved nothing? If yes, then I doubt that anything I say will ease your angst. And if you live alone and feel that what you do means nothing, perhaps reflect upon those closest to you whom value your honesty, your bluntness, or your whatever. What I'm trying to say is that even if the big dreams don't materialise you're still all hands to the pump amidst the engine room of existence. That constructive advice you gave to a colleague, or that extra few yards you went for a total stranger; those things are never truly wasted.
We can't all be presidents or captains of industry or groundbreakers, yet don't think for a moment that you're not a worthwhile part of the chain. And as for those dreams you can still chase them, and I hope they stir your passions. And perhaps there are things that life still has for you that as yet you've no inkling of? Perhaps amazing good may rise from the ashes of disappointment?
True, life comes without a guarantee, and it owes you neither happiness or wealth nor anything else. But what it has given you is the chance to leave a footprint. Your footprint. And nobody else has feet like yours. Perhaps you should remind yourself of that?