10 unmistakable signs you’re not living your true purpose

What is your purpose?

Personally, I can’t put it better than the great mythologist and writer Joseph Campbell, who said, “Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning, and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.”

Framed like that, it’s not about finding the meaning of life, but finding your own meaning to live your life by.

I’m lucky. I’ve always had a sense of purpose in life and a clear idea of the way I wanted to live. It’s taken a long time to get there, but I can honestly say I’m pretty close to where I always wanted to be.

Not everyone is as lucky.

But sometimes, knowing what you don’t want is the first step to understanding what you do want.

And there are some signs you can look for that will tell you you aren’t living your true purpose.

Keep an eye out for these unmistakable signs to keep you on track to a meaningful life.

1) You lack direction

Sometimes, making up your mind is the hardest thing of all.

I don’t subscribe to the theory that you can be anything you want to in life. We all have limitations, both the ones placed on us by the external world and our own skills and abilities.

With that said, there’s a huge range of possibilities open to even the least fortunate among us.

And that can be intimidating.

Do you ever feel like you’re just taking up space? As though life is passing you by while you go through the motions, doing what you have to do without ever really knowing what you want to do?

People who live their lives with purpose don’t feel that way. Even when the road is hard, they know exactly where they want to go.

If you don’t, it’s a sure sign you’re not living your true purpose.

2) You don’t know what you want

For some of us, it’s easy.

I always wanted to be a writer, pretty much from the moment I learned that someone made a living out of writing the books I loved to read as a kid.

That doesn’t mean it was easy to get here. But it does mean I never had to wonder what I wanted.

That’s not true of everyone. Maybe you don’t know exactly what you want out of life. All you know is that you want more than you currently have.

It can take a lot of soul-searching to discover your true purpose.

Often, it starts from a place of being honest about the emotions you want to feel in life.

Do you want to feel loved? Do you want to feel safe? Do you want to be admired for your achievements?

Once you understand these emotions, you can take a look at your skills and abilities and start to think about how you would achieve these emotional states.

Because it’s only once you know what you want that you can start seeking it.

3) You hate your job

We all like to joke about the dread of Monday morning and how much we’d all like to retire to a Caribbean island.

But do you ever think about how weird those jokes really are?

After all, we spend almost a third of our lives at work. Life is far too short to do something that makes you miserable.

Now, I’m not naïve. I’ve done my share of crappy jobs. We all need to put food on the table, and our choices in how we do that are often very limited.

There’s nothing wrong with doing a job for now that you don’t love, but that supports you. 

But there is something wrong with spending your entire life doing something you hate.

I’m not saying your purpose in life has to come from your work. Still, it’s hard to live a purpose-driven life if you spend most of your waking hours doing something you hate.

4) You let other people make decisions for you

This is a big one. And unfortunately, it’s something I see all the time.

There are so many choices in life that it can be overwhelming. So sometimes, it’s easy just to go with the flow and let other people decide everything for you.

I have a friend who does what his dad does for a living. 

He didn’t particularly enjoy it. He doesn’t seem all that good at it. It doesn’t pay well, and it doesn’t give him a lifestyle that he wants.

But even though he is a full-grown man, he is still under the influence of his parents, and they decided for him how he should earn a living.

It’s not just parents. It might be a partner who wants you to pursue a certain career or live in a particular place. It could even be your friends.

But living a life other people think you should, even if they want the best for you, is a sure way to live without a purpose of your own.

Ditch other people’s expectations and focus on doing what’s right for you. That’s the only way to live your life with purpose.

5) You aren’t excited about the future

Living a purposeful life doesn’t mean everything will always go great. But it does mean you should be hopeful for the future.

If you’re not, it’s a good sign that you aren’t living with purpose.

Anything you try to do will present you with challenges. In fact, living a purpose-driven life is often much harder than just doing what everyone else thinks you should.

But it can also be absolutely thrilling.

This is your life. You should be excited about what tomorrow may bring. 

If you’re not, it’s a bad sign that you’re living without purpose.

6) You feel stuck in a rut

This happens to all of us sometimes. 

After a while, it can feel as though every day is exactly the same, as though nothing ever changes.

You lose interest in your work. You may even lose interest in things that used to bring you joy, like hobbies and pastimes.

This can happen even when you live with purpose. But it never happens for long, because sooner or later, your purpose pulls you out of any rut.

7) You don’t have energy

Living with purpose takes a lot of energy sometimes. But it gives you much more back.

When you live without purpose, on the other hand, it’s easy to get fatigued and worn out.

That’s because you don’t value what you are doing. There barely seems a point, and you’re just going through the motions.

Our psychology can have an enormous effect on our physical well-being. If you feel unmotivated and lethargic to make any changes in your life, it’s probably because you aren’t living your true purpose.

8) You feel like other people seem to have it all figured out

Social media is deadly for this.

We are constantly bombarded with images of people who seem to have everything we are supposed to want. Exotic vacations, beautiful homes, gorgeous partners, and all the other pleasures life offers.

Often, it isn’t true.

Still, when you haven’t figured out your own purpose, it’s easy to feel like you’re the only one. It starts to seem like everybody but you has it all figured out, and that you are the only one who is floundering without knowing what direction to go in.

9) You do what everyone else does

This is just another way of letting other people tell you how to live.

Whatever society you live in, it needs certain things from you. It needs you to obey the law, to pay your taxes, and to buy the products advertisers try to sell you.

We all experience a huge amount of pressure to conform, to live the life we are told we should.

But you don’t have to.

If you want the 9-to-5 job, the two kids, the white picket fence, then, by all means, go for it. But go for it because it’s what you want, not what you were told to want.

And if that’s not the way you want to live, don’t let any amount of societal pressure convince you to do it anyway.

10) You have a nagging feeling that something is missing

Finally, this may be the clearest sign that you’re not living with your true purpose.

Because people who are, never feel this way.

Yes, there are doubts and setbacks along the way. But when you live according to your true purpose, you never have that sense of lacking something indefinable but crucial.

If you do feel that way, it’s a sure sign you haven’t yet found your purpose.

The purpose-driven life

As far as we know, we only get one life. And it’s way too short to spend it doing things just because you think you should.

Finding your purpose isn’t always easy. But it is essential if you don’t want to waste your life on things that mean nothing to you.

Break Free From Limiting Labels and Unleash Your True Potential

Do you ever feel like you don’t fit into a specific personality type or label? Or perhaps you struggle to reconcile different aspects of yourself that don’t seem to align?

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