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Do You Wish You Could Stop Stumbling Through Life?

When you stumble, you are reacting to circumstances rather than creating them. You could argue that life is a constant barrage of challenges that are thrown our way, but if we keep compliantly jumping (or falling) over the hurdles, we will never understand that there is the option of walking off the track and finding a new way.

This is not easy if (for example) you have a family to support. You stumble from job to job, living from mortgage payment to mortgage payment, yet you feel lost. Your loved ones keep you going, as is often the case, but you find it hard to feel passionate about where life is leading. That is why you are content with stumbling…. it gets you from A to B. Somehow.

Some of us are lucky enough to have worked out our passion in life (one of mine is helping people work out theirs). It is a voyage of discovery, a game of trial and error, but once your values and strengths align, you will rarely stumble. When you have found your purpose you will be motivated to take clear and defined steps towards making it real.

Feeling that you have a purpose is one of the most wonderful (but elusive) sensations. Depending on the circumstances of your life, this feeling can come and go, but if you ever feel like you are losing sight of what matters, here are three steps to regain your true north:

Identify your values. Work out what gives you that little tingling sensation. Reflecting on which behaviours make you happiest is a great start. Reflect on why this is, and question how you might start to gradually incorporate those values into your life.

Discover your strengths. Sometimes you have to look for an external perspective when you are working out what you are good at. Our internal dialogue can often become fixated on a certain self-view - it takes others to remind us of strengths that have long laid dormant.

Find your flow. For me, “flow” is that feeling of being effortless in what you are doing because it is what you are meant to be doing. You don’t notice that time passes and life seems that little bit sweeter. That is what happens when values and strengths align.

None of this is easy, or quick….

As with any physical challenge, the mental challenge of finding your purpose takes resilience and perseverance. When one door closes, others will open, but it may not always be when you expect and where you expect.

It is all too easy to look at “perfect” people on social media with their enviable lives, but they do not share the blood, sweat and heartache that it took them to get there. Unless they were very lucky, and I certainly don’t advocate a belief in luck or fate as a strategy.

It is hard work finding and pursuing your passions.

Sometimes you have to carry on and simply believe. Even though there is no end in sight. You just have to decide that you are worth it and all the effort will fall into place.

Our happiness (and sometimes the happiness of those around us) depends on it.

Start that journey for yourself. Right now.

Sarah Burdaky is an experienced leadership, people and OD consultant and coach,a lecturer, a public speaker and a writer. She has worked with a wide range of organisations across Europe. She now helps people get the most from themselves and from life, and helps organisations bring the best out of their people. She has had work published in The HR Director. She is a Trustee of Women of Worth (WoW), a UK-based not-for-profit that focuses on proactively building skills for psychological wellbeing and resilience amongst disadvantaged women.

Feel free to contact Flourish at

if you would like some exercises to help you identify you values, strengths and flow, and prepare yourself for your career search.

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