I have great news. You don’t have to know ‘what to do with your life.’ You don’t don’t need a ten-year plan. You don’t need to wait till you ‘get there’ or wait to ‘reach your potential’. You just need to be present each moment, each day⁠—respond to what arises, learn and iterate.

Think about the rhythm of your personal evolution as circular, not linear. It is an ongoing process of play and experimentation with life, learning, reflection and refinement.

It’s a continuous dance with life, not a race to the finish line.

When you live in this more present, focused and fluid way, you free yourself from the paralysis of perfectionism, the rigidity of needing to know and the desperate attempts to get control of it all. Instead, you can be fully present to what is actually happening in the here now. And since you are fully present, you’ll be able to respond to what is arising with the best of who you are. Living in this way, you also free yourself from the whole idea of regret. There are no regrets in experimentation and exploration. Just discoveries, results and new wisdom.

When we grip too tightly to our desires, when we ‘need to know’ or ‘get there’ we stiffen up, we get serious, we start charging forward, we cling and we become dissatisfied with where we are now. We forget to be playful, explore, take risks and try new things. Worst of all, we forget to be present for our moments and our lives.

Listen, there’s an old saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans”. This points to the fact that life is inherently unpredictable and uncertain. Even though we hate to admit it, much is out of our control. Our best laid plans will often not turn out the way we think despite our best efforts.

I’m not saying you should throw out all plans and goals, but it’s wise to hold your plans lightly…and make the primary focus of life your moment-to-moment dance with life. Work with what’s right in front of you. Decide who you want to be, how you want to show up today—in each decision, each conversation, each moment. That truly is all you need to do.

Remember⁠—fulfilment isn’t a destination someplace in the future. The opportunity to live your life fully is now. Right now.

No need to worry, fret or feel a deficiency because you soulmate hasn’t arrived, your mortgage isn’t paid off yet, you still have ten pounds to lose. No need to strive and struggle and push your body and mind to the limit trying to get all the plans to work out.

Just bring your focus home to this moment. Dance with life. Play. Experiment. Respond. Reflect. Refine. Repeat. Enjoy the ride.

Learn the Art of Mindful Living with Melli O'Brien: