Do you know your purpose in life?
No? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
According to statistics, only 25% of us do!
Here’s the thing.
Finding true meaning in life is a tough journey that we all have to go through. The road can be pretty lonely and stressful at times.
It’s not like you wake up one morning and have everything figured out. At least not in my experience.
What’s more, research shows purpose anxiety (the stress associated with not discovering your true purpose) is a very real problem.
So, how do you know where you actually stand on all of this?
See if you recognize any of these signs. If they sound familiar, you probably haven’t found your true calling (yet).
1) You have trouble getting out of bed
We’ve all been there.
Because let’s face it, hitting snooze and staying in that warm cozy bed is much more appealing than starting your day.
If sleep-ins are a regular occurrence for you, chances are you don’t know your purpose in life.
Think about this…
Those lucky few who have actually discovered their passion don’t really have this problem.
On the contrary – they can’t wait to spring out of bed and start work on their exciting project. They may even dream about their passion or have new ideas that they’re itching to try out.
If you continually struggle with the rise and shine, it could indicate a more serious issue (than simply not knowing your purpose in life).
Depression can be described as losing interest in activities or loss of pleasure over a prolonged period of time. And not wanting to get out of bed (consistently) is a telltale sign.
But let’s not get too carried away.
There’s a big difference between the occasional lazy day (that we all face from time to time) and clinical depression. It’s important you make the distinction and seek professional help if you feel things have gone too far.
2) You don’t have any long-term goals
Plan the work, work the plan!
Setting goals and making ambitious plans (to achieve those goals) are signs that you’ve found a real purpose in life.
It comes down to motivation.
Big accomplishments require a bit of forward-thinking. And if you’re truly passionate about something, you’ll happily put in the work to succeed.
Whether your goal is landing a job at NASA or doing charity work in Africa, setting long-term goals will keep you on track to realize your dream.
Put it this way.
Without goals, you’re directionless. You may even feel like life is passing you by (at an alarming rate) without much progress.
This is probably because you haven’t found something that lights that fire in your belly.
You may even feel like…
3) You’re a grasshopper
If your CV has more parts to it than a jumbo jigsaw puzzle, you’re probably a grasshopper.
In other words…
You’re constantly changing jobs, moving locations, and trying new hobbies.
Being a grasshopper is a slamdunk sign that you’re yet to find your purpose in life.
Because people with a passion have something that grasshoppers lack:
They dedicate the majority of their time to one single objective (and love it too). Anything else is just a distraction. They’re dedicated, committed, and consistent in how they operate.
But don’t worry.
In many ways, being a grasshopper is a natural prelude to finding your purpose.
To use a famous dating proverb – you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince charming.
Well, the same is true when searching for your purpose!
And if you’re a grasshopper, chances are…
4) You dread going to work
Do you love pulling sickies or feel completely trapped by your routine?
Maybe you also feel like you’re working to live (rather than living to work).
In other words…
Your work is not your priority, but rather a means to an end or a stepping stone on your (long) journey of discovery.
This makes perfect sense (when you think about it).
And suggests that your current work isn’t your passion.
5) You don’t have any hobbies
Another big sign that you don’t know your purpose in life, is having very few (or no) hobbies.
Think about it.
Hobbies are actually a starting point for finding your passion.
In fact, it’s essential to have activities outside of regular working hours if you want to eventually discover something that you love.
Whether it’s hiking, playing video games, reading sci-fi books, or traveling, if you can eventually turn your hobby into your job, you’re winning in life!
It might be easier said than done because making money from hobbies brings its own set of challenges. But at least it’s a start, and will give you something to aim for going forward.
Here’s the key.
Don’t focus on the money (you shouldn’t be motivated by this anyway if it’s truly your purpose).
This leads nicely to our final sign…
6) You’re too focused on material things
Are you constantly chasing material success? You know, things like money, status, and fancy possessions.
Don’t get me wrong.
We’d all like to live in a villa by the sea, own a Lambo, and never have to worry about money ever again.
But this isn’t really a priority for people who know their purpose in life.
Let me explain.
Money should be seen as a by-product of working hard on something you love (i.e. it shouldn’t be the only reason you’re dedicating time and effort to something).
And trust me.
Money will eventually come. Plus, unlike grinding a 9 to 5 that you despise, it will feel effortless, smooth, and of course, incredibly satisfying.
When offering vocational guidance to students Alan Watts famously said:
“What if money were no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life?”
The students replied with incredible answers like being a painter, a poet, or a writer, but were reluctant to follow these career paths as they don’t earn money.
Alan replied: “Forget the money, because, if you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time.”