“Successful” in the eyes of a lot of people. Felt guilty and ungrateful for even playing with the idea of walking away from a position that so many other people would have killed to be in! But we couldn’t keep pretending that everything was okay. We knew something was missing. And although we didn’t know exactly what that was or what our next steps were, we knew we couldn’t carry on like this forever. In the years that followed, we learned how to create a life filled with a crazy deep sense of purpose, sustainable happiness, and getting paid to do work we love while making a meaningful impact in the world. Now let’s look at 7 ways to tell if you’re not living the highest success in life.
1. You’re not waking up excited in the morning.
If you’re not excited (or at least enthusiastic) in the morning — then you’re most likely not living your highest purpose. If you’re waking up a couple of days each week with a monotonous feeling of having to do “this” again today — that’s probably a sign that you’re “off purpose.” When you’re Living On Purpose, you wake up excited in the morning because a personally exciting life awaits you.
“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” – Steve Jobs
2. You have really “high highs” and really “low lows.”
If you can’t seem to break the phenomenon of feeling absolutely phenomenal for a few days, but then kind of crappy afterward — you’re most likely not living in alignment with the purpose of life. If you can notice a pattern of thinking how amazing life is one week, and how bad it is the next — that’s probably a sign that you’re “off purpose.” When you’re Living On Purpose, you still have the really high highs but you also have much higher lows (and your happiness becomes sustainable).
“I’d always believed that a life of quality, enjoyment, and wisdom was my human birthright and would be automatically bestowed upon me as time passed. I never suspected that I would have to learn how to live – that there were specific disciplines and ways of seeing the world I had to master before I could awaken to a simple, happy, uncomplicated life.” – Dan Millman
3. Your life isn’t entirely fulfilling you anymore.
If despite knowing that you have SO much to be grateful for, deep inside there’s a feeling that something’s missing in your life — then you’re most likely not connected to the meaning of life. If you’re doing a lot of the things that society suggests is “right,” but you still feel that something is wrong — that’s probably a sign that you’re “off purpose.” When you’re Living On Purpose, you’re entirely fulfilled because you’re living a life engulfed in personal meaning.
“Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” – Helen Keller
4. You’re surrounded by people who are bringing you down.
If you find yourself surrounded by people who are nagging, criticizing, complaining, and condemning — then you’re most likely not living the purpose of life. If you don’t have a group of people in your life who’s qualities you admire — that’s probably a sign that you’re “off purpose.” When you’re Living On Purpose, you’re spending the majority of your time with people who inspire, empower, and encourage you to be a better person.
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
5. You’re ignoring your dreams because you’re scared to move on.
If a couple times each month you start to fantasize about what you would do if you had more free time — then you’re most likely disconnected from the meaning of life. If there are a ton of things you’d rather be doing with your life but haven’t yet found a way to muster up the courage to tell your family and friends — that’s probably a sign that you’re “off purpose.” When you’re Living On Purpose, you’re spending your time doing the things that you love most in life (whether your family and friends understand/agree with you or not).
“If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you’ll be unhappy for the rest of your life.” – Abraham Maslow
6. You’re working in a job that depletes you of energy.
If the primary purpose of your job is to get a paycheck and there’s not much personal meaning in what you do — when you’re most likely not living your highest purpose. If you’re counting the days until the next three-day weekend or six-day vacation — that’s probably a sign that you’re “off purpose.” When you’re Living On Purpose, you don’t just have a job but you have a calling (one of the many differences between a “job” and a “calling” is that a job depletes you and a calling energizes you).
7. You feel stuck in the “rat race” but don’t know the next step.
If you’re in a perpetual state of thinking that you’ll be “happier when” the next good thing happens and you’re not enjoying the journey — then you’re most likely not living the meaning of life. If you’re so focused on getting “there” that you’ve accepted being submerged in stress and anxiety as normal — that’s probably a sign that you’re “off purpose.” When you’re Living On Purpose, you’ve embraced that the priceless pleasure of life comes from enjoying the journey on your way to a destination deemed meaningful.
“For a master, the rewards gained along the way are fine, but they are not the main reason for the journey. Ultimately the master and the master’s path are one. And if the traveler is fortunate — that is, if the path is complex and profound enough — the destination is two miles farther away for every mile he or she travels.” – George Leonard