In her beautiful poem, “The Summer Day,” Mary Oliver asks, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” How about you? Do you want to leave it to chance, sort of blowing in the wind like a tumbleweed? Or, do you want to create a life that is about you and chock full of things that are meaningful, fulfilling and joyful?

What we say and do each day determines the trajectory of our lives. Of the myriad of choices we make every day, each one matters, at least a little.

Only you know if you are satisfied with the quality and direction of your life. How and with whom do you want to spend your time? What do you value about these individuals? Which activities are important to you?

If you don’t know, maybe you’re stuck! Maybe you don’t want to think about it. Maybe you haven’t imagined something different. Maybe you don’t exactly know how to proceed. Maybe you don’t have the skills. Maybe it just seems too hard!

Change your attitude

Have you ever seen a stream so blocked by branches, mud and weeds that it created a dam? If that dam was somehow unblocked or unclogged, the force of energy that is unleashed by that flow of water would be amazing. The same is true for getting yourself or your life unstuck from old habits, negative beliefs or circumstances. It would be exhilarating and fun!

What about your path? Does it lead somewhere that matters to you? Is it a path of purpose? Is your journey joyful? Are you looking ahead to the future or are you looking back? Is it a path that is worthy of you, your energy and commitment? If so, that’s excellent!

If you feel blocked, as the water in a dam, getting unstuck will give you the freedom, energy and motivation to thrive.

If your current life path seems to have just happened on its own and you feel stifled or stuck, you can fix that by changing your attitude, acquiring a few essential skills and choosing a different path.

Here is some help with attitude adjustment:

  • All you can do is all you can do.
    There are no guarantees of results.
    You cannot control or change another person.
  • Delayed gratification is the patience and discipline to wait and work for something better later on.
    The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
  • It’s not what happens that matters so much, it’s how you handle it and what it means to you that counts
    Don’t be defined by things that are out of your control.
  • Mistakes are okay. Just be sure they’re new mistakes.
    Mistakes are opportunities to learn.
    We learn much more from mistakes than from success.
  • Start with the end in mind.
    Seek first to understand the situation.
    What outcome to you want?
    Why is that important to you?
  • We don’t know what we don’t know.
    Blind spots really are blind.
    One bad decision can start a journey down a rabbit hole.
  • We must learn our own lessons, in our own time, in our own way.
    We change when we are ready and not a moment sooner.
    When the student is ready, a teacher appears.

There are many skills to help with getting unstuck. Clarify what you want to accomplish and why it’s important to you. Then, decide how to proceed. Don’t spend time on how to achieve an outcome before you know what you want. The “what” must always come first!