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11 Examples of Life Direction

Life direction is the overall course that a person takes with their thoughts and behavior. This greatly influences the way that a person approaches life and experiences it. The following are illustrative examples.

Future Perfect

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther....
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Moving towards some beautiful vision of the future. This can be a vague feeling that you are meant for great things or that we are all meant for great things. It can also be some sort of specific vision of what could be. This may not be achievable but nonetheless may serve to create hope and motivation.

Past Perfect

Can’t repeat the past?…Why of course you can!”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
The feeling that that past was better than now such that change is to be resisted and the past restored. This can be a strong intuitive sense that an individual feels from the start. However, this sense can also build with age and experience as our past begins to grow larger than our future.

The Journey

It is not your paintings I like, it is your painting.
― Albert Camus
A sense of coolness or living in the moment whereby an individual is relatively unconcerned with goals. This would also imply no strong preoccupation with the past or future whereby you can focus on now.

The Eternal

I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.
― Abraham Lincoln
Pursuit of religion, philosophy, spirituality, knowledge or science whereby an individual is primarily interested in foundational mysteries of life.

Social Competition

I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: Oh Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it.
― Voltaire, Letter to Étienne Noël Damilaville, May 16, 1767
Focusing on the competitive battle for social status. For example, pursuit of followers, perceptions, recognition and acceptance. This can involve various types of negativity such as one-upmanship or schadenfreude.

Social Contrarians

There is a level of cowardice lower than that of the conformist: the fashionable non-conformist.
― Ayn Rand
An obsession with social status and social competition but from a contrarian point of view. For example, pursuit of inclusion and acceptance into subcultures that have their own system of social status that differ greatly from the general social status of society.

Social Pursuits

There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy, and the tired.
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
The pursuit of social experiences, relationships and inclusion. People are inherently social and are often move in the direction of either social status, social criticism or pursuit of actual social experience.

Bread & Circuses

People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses.
―Juvenal, Satire 10.77–81
The pursuit of entertainment. This also tends to have a social focus whereby entertainment becomes a substitute for social experience. For example, if you watch a steaming media series you may begin to feel that you know the characters.

The Last Man

I have often laughed at the weaklings who thought themselves good because they had no claws.
― Friedrich Nietzsche, Spoke Zarathustra
The last man is an construct proposed by Friedrich Nietzsche to describe those who value only safety, security, comfort and convenience. Nietzsche likens this to a rejection of the potential of humanity whereby survival and the path of least resistance are the only goal.


The higher man is distinguished from the lower by his fearlessness and his readiness to challenge misfortune.
― Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power
The ubermensch is another concept proposed by Nietzsche as the antithesis of the last man. The ubermensch is driven by a will to power -- a life affirming force that embraces risk-taking and pursuit of each individual's potential as they see it.


Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.
― Albert Camus
Viewing the world with a sense of wonder and awe such that you are humbled by it. This would involve acceptance of your small role in things along with an ability to enjoy and appreciate life quite deeply. This may allow you to achieve big things as you aren't easily self-satisfied.

Personal Development

This is the complete list of articles we have written about personal development.
Comfort Zone
Increased Productivity
Life Accomplishments
Life Change
Life Direction
Life Goals
Life Principles
Life Purpose
Meaningful Work
Negative Emotions
Peoples Why
Personal Challenges
Personal History
Personal Improvement
Personal Leadership
Personal Power
Personal Principles
Personal Productivity
Personal Qualities
Personal Success
Personality Traits
Pragmatic Principles
To-Not-Do List
Why Statement
More ...
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