For some people, figuring out what they want to do with their life is easy. They just go to school, graduate, get a job, and experience life in between—a straight path. They just live according to social expectations and work within an expected timeline. It’s the easier way after all.

But some people search far and wide before they can even figure out what they want to do with their lives. These are the kind of people who try to live their lives to the fullest and without a single regret. The thought of sitting down on a rocking chair, old and weak, staring into nothingness, wishing they should’ve done what they could’ve done when the circumstances allowed them to, is dreadful to them.

So, they just follow wherever their hearts lead them—in search of the unknown.

What’s the reason behind this, though? Is it their circumstances? Or is it their mindset? Whatever that may be, everyone is just trying to get by. The world is moving, and so should you.

So, if you haven’t figured it out yet, your journey starts here.

Surviving and living are two different things. Surviving means being able to afford food, shelter, and basic necessities. Living, however, means fostering meaningful relationships with family and friends, exploring places, and trying out new things or adventures once in a while.

Hence, the kind of journey you embark on must be guided by these two things in order to maintain your balance as you move along.

Below are the 3 stages of life based on surviving and living. By learning to identify these stages, you will be able to determine where you are and where you want to be.

A Guide To Figuring Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

1. Getting Out Into The World

This is the stage where you’ve already done everything your parents told you to do. You’ve already had your taste of freedom and now, you’re craving for more.

At this stage, you are already starting to understand career planning basics, make money on your own, and learn to become financially independent.

You either already have an idea of what you’re passionate about, but at this point, it’s fine to not have everything figured out yet. Either way, you already have the means for survival, and the fact that you’re making money means you’re doing something you’re good at. For that reason, you feel more confident about yourself and now want to see more of the world. You want to live.

Travels are very common at this stage of life. You’re already enriching your pocket so you believe it’s time to enrich your soul; learn new and interesting things, explore places or cultures, and just grow with the flow.

Since you are going out to live and see the world, you need to remember a few things:

Time Management

You have 24 hours a day, and because you are just a mere mortal, you need to use your time wisely. You might be thinking that you don’t need time management since you have all the time in the world. And that’s true, especially if you’re still young.

However, once you take on more responsibilities and obligations, you’ll find yourself juggling kids, work, and household chores. So, as early as possible, you need to practice and master the art of time management. Of course, don’t forget to squeeze in some self-care time in there too.


You’ll be faced with many challenges or temptations at this stage. Listening to your conscience will help set boundaries and maintain a clean character. This also helps you avoid conflict.

2. Getting Ready For A Bigger Role

By this time, you probably already have a few savings and investments. You are now also more health-conscious; having a watchful diet and regular exercise. Taking care of your body is a sign of maturity and discipline.

After getting through the first stage, you are now more refined as you are equipped with the learning you got from it. You now have a steady footing and ready to take on more challenges. At this stage, you may want to:


Learning never stops. Once you’re comfortable with your job and income, life would plateau. But if you want to look for ways to increase income and reach new heights in your career, you need to start investing in yourself again—whether that be on a new skill, higher education, or starting your own business.

Settle Down

Having a stable job and a considerable amount of income means that you may be ready to start a family of your own. However, if you’re still searching for a good partner, there’s no need to rush.

Discover A New Hobby

You’re never too old to start a new hobby or interest. You may try to revisit your childhood interests, which you haven’t pursued much in the past due to physical or financial limitations. This includes video gaming, painting, or even stamp collecting. You can also try new things like knitting, crafting, or golfing.

3. Getting Higher In The Food Chain

This is when you have more than just yourself to think about—your family. You start to think less of yourself and more of them. This changes the game because it’s not just about surviving anymore, it also about being a good provider. And to be a good provider, you need to rise to the top of the food chain.

You start to make bigger investments that could secure the future of your family once you’re gone. You are no longer a small fry. You are the one who calls the shots this time.

As long as you worked and got past the first two stages, you already gained enough experience and means to fulfill bigger obligations in life. Now, your feet are firmly planted on the ground, and you see the blueprint of the world right before your eyes.

Final Words

Everyone is trying to find their place in this world.

However, some people tend to look too far ahead, they miss what’s right in front of them; they tend to focus too much on the details and miss the bigger picture in the process.

However, it also pays to plan things—especially when it comes to career plans and goals. Being able to afford a comfortable life is how you can shift from merely surviving to actually living.