What to do if you don't know what to do

Generally speaking, you shouldn't have to know!

Think back to yourself ten years ago. At that time, did you suppose that you would be right here, right now, doing exactly this and in such a company? Great, if at least in general terms.

We are – constantly, lifelong – learning. That means: we clarify our knowledge. And the clarification of knowledge occurs through the state of ignorance – after all, if you know everything, then you have sort of nothing to clarify.

Imagine for a moment that you have in front of you some kind of school textbook – well, for example, math. It has the usual tasks, and tasks with an asterisk. Common tasks are easy to solve – because they have a complete and detailed explanation, plus a couple of examples. And problems with a star – are therefore with a star, because there is no complete explanation to solve them, and, while solving them, you usually do not know the exact step-by-step solution.

Everyone solve problems without asterisks – cause unless you won't get a good grade. And tasks with a star are considered "for the smartest", and therefore are often missed by the most of the population. This leads to the fact that we – in general – get used to know more than not to know – when facing a task.

But life is not a school. Not even close. And "problems with a star" can occur much more often than those that are carefully explained before.

Moments, when you do not know what to do – are like a task with a star, a small exam for the title of Homo sapiens. And school – instead of teaching us how to cope with ignorance – teaches, on the contrary, to cope only with what you know – moreover, walking along a well-known, well-trodden path. This is its huge minus – although, of course, there are pluses.

So, what to do when you don't know what to do:

  • Point number 1. When you don't know what to do, the first thing that comes to mind is to do nothing.

    The most, probably, natural and logical one. It may sound silly – but this option is just great.

    Not so long ago, scientists have built a so-called connectome – a map of the interaction of brain regions; and found out that one of the brain modes – the so-called default mode – turns on when we are not focusing on any task. I.e. not only not doing anything, but don’t even thinking about it.

    This brain mode is extremely important, because builds the so-called "whole scheme of things" from scattered impressions and past experiences.

    This is the reason why, when you are faced with a difficult task, but do not coping with it right away, postponing it, just doing something completely different, relaxing, walkig: and – whops – it dawned on you! Your brain, operating in "default mode", had inserted the missing puzzle pieces of the puzzle into your "scheme of things" – so, that's it, the problem is solved! Therefore

  • Point number 2: when you don't know what to do, do something simple and familiar.

    That's also super logical: if you don't know what to do, do what you know.

    Archimedes took a bath during his famous "Eureka". When you don’t know what to do, it’s better to do something using your body, without thinking too much using your brain. I.e. some familiar, routine actions.

    So you will improve the brain's blood supply – which at these moments does not think about the task: that means it is in the subsequent "default mode". And this will give an additional chance that you will be "enlightened".

    In general, the very formulation of the problem – they say, "I don't know what to do", suggests priority in your "scheme of things" of the category of "knowledge" over the category of "action". Much of this may be the fault of the very elementary school, which often gives more theory than practice.

    The fact that you see this as a problem at all may mean that you are in some sense still a "schoolboy" or a "schoolgirl" – i.e. in there is a certain disproportion of concepts in your mind, which interferes with living a real life, urging "to learn, learn, learn"... But when it's time to actually live?

    And everyone wants to live well. One of the most important qualities of a wellness is an adequate, sufficient quality and amount of sleep - like, when you wake up every morning without an alarm clock, with burning eyes – like a child. Have you ever seen that a child does not know what to do? Rare case...

    But at the same time, children sleep well; there is even such an expression "sleeps like a baby". Sleep is the apotheosis of doing nothing, so it helps your brain to collect and connect your "whole scheme of things".

    Not getting enough sleep means living in reality in a "disassembled" state. If you don't get enough sleep, it’s not surprising that you don’t know what to do. It's amazing that you can do anything at all! Therefore

  • Point number 3: get enough sleep, fall into your dreams – and reality will become easier.

    On this occasion, there is a wonderful proverb: "the morning is wiser than the evening." And you may just see in your dream the solution of some difficult real issue – as, for example, Mendeleev dreamed of his famous table.

    But good sleep isn't the only thing that improves the quality of life. A person can be compared to a huge spherical wave, a stream going in all directions – esotericists do that comparison using the word aura.

    If you think about it, the wave is quite real: the body, clothing, housing, the sphere of communication – can be considered phases, circles of this wave. These are the very so-called life spheres – the areas through which the wave of your personality constantly passes and is modulated by them, i.e. acquires their properties.

    You constantly – whether you do something or not – acquire the qualities and properties of what you are in. All this "what I am in" can be called in one word – "context". Context? This is where you are. And any person is contained almost constantly in four contexts: body, clothing, home and society.

    Context is like home. And at home – there is a saying – even the walls help. If you are constantly not satisfied with something in some of your contexts – first change the context, then get down to business. As a result, there will be more pleasure and less waste of energy. So

  • Point number 4: get your contexts in order.

    Sharpen the saw before sawing. A bad worker, they say, has a bad saw. But usually it’s not that if you do your job bad, you’re a bad worker. As a rule, the point is that if you do your job bad, you have bad context. Saw got in the way – well, adjust it or change for more comfortable one!

    If you change your context for the better, then your work will immediately become more easy and fluid.

    The primary context is the body. Whatever you do, you are in your body. If you don't know what to do, take care of your body: pleasure it; cure – if it hurts; get in a shape that you will be happy with.

    The second context is clothing. It's the same principle here. Don't know what to do – make your wardrobe suitable for you personally and convenient for you personally. Moreover, it is very often not "to acquire something", but to "get rid of something" – or simply "combine correctly". Remember, first impressions are most lasting, and there is no second chance to make a first impression.

    The third context is housing. House cleaning is just a magical ritual if we consider "magic" as a technique for working with consciousness. Home interior is what a person sees every day many times – and therefore any detail of it is reliably fixed in the psyche. If the house is a mess, then there will be a mess inside your own. If the whitewash from the ceiling is falling or the faucet is flowing at home, then something inside will "crumble" or "leak". Not sure what to do? – make your home, the space where you live, please you.

    The sphere of communication is also your context. Don't know what to do? So stop interacting with people you are not interested in and communicate with people you like!


  • The fifth point – what to do when you don't know what do to – is to ask.

    Sounds just like Captain's Obvious advice, but that's the real deal. Often, when you don't know what to do, you don't allow yourself to know. Because get to know is quite an action.

    Therefore, a good school, by the way, must teach "to learn how to learn" – or at least not block this ability. From school tests, an adult can inherit the deep conviction that it’s not good to copy off of somebodey, and ask for clues too – especially at a difficult, responsible, control moment of life.

    But if each of us would reinvent the wheel before going somewhere, we would still be living in the Stone Age. This is another disadvantage of the school – it teaches us that being a fool is bad, but being smart is good. That A is better than F.

    But at the same time, the fool has one undeniable advantage – he or she is not afraid to ask. A fool can easily say, “I don’t know, explain ma” – but to a smart girl or guy who is accustomed to getting A, that will be difficult. So let yourself be a fool sometimes.

    Do not know? – just ask someone who knows and who is kind to you. And then do what you are offered. Not everything, of course – but you can at least start listening to what people are telling you. If you don't know what to do – someone should know, right?

And if people in your life do not help, or if you are afraid to appear as fool in front of them, or they simply don't give you an appropriate answer – well, that's the reason to contact a psychologist. In general, it often comes to psychology precisely when a person does not know what to do.

That's why I'm doing it. It's delightfully exciting to help people get through this frightening abyss of ignorance.

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