“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” - Steve Jobs
We all want to find our destiny; but how do we know when we have strayed from the true path we are meant to be on?
Each of us is born with our own talents and gifts and strengths—unique energies that need an outlet. What is right for one person will not be right for others. So how do we know if we have lost our way?
Well, apparently, there are some tell-tale signs.
1. We’re a holic.
Are you drinking too much, eating too much, perhaps even training too hard or working too hard? When our lives are out of balance, they veer towards our greatest weakness. If you’re doing anything in excess, then you know you’re off track.
Being a workaholic is a great excuse for most of us; we can tell ourselves we’re getting somewhere but we’re actually keeping ourselves too busy to notice the real issues. It’s a sure sign that we’ve buried ourselves in things that seem important to hide from the things that really are.
2. Everything is going wrong.
It’s a strange thing about life, but when we’re heading in the right direction, we always get the inside track. Everything flows. Life seems so easy.
But step off the path and even the little things will go wrong; we drop our cellphone in the ornamental fountain; the stoplights are always red; we get parking tickets.
Is it just one thing after another? Maybe life is not out to get us.
Perhaps life is trying to warn us.
3. We are always getting sick.
Our body is an extension of our thoughts, especially our subconscious ones. If we’re getting sick all the time, it could be our innermost self trying to tell us that we have lost your way. (This is one of the last signs, so try to catch your thoughts and feelings before they get to your physical cells.)
4. The house is too tidy.
Or maybe just too cluttered. Either way there is no balance; it looks compulsively neat or like the morning after an orgy at a frat house. Extremes are an extremely bad sign. Take a look around. What is your apartment saying to you?
5. We don’t want to think about it.
Because we might not like the answers we come up with. Are we in the right job? Should we leave our current relationship, because it’s not really that fulfilling? If we habitually avoid such questions because they make us feel uncomfortable then we are likely way off track. Most often we are afraid of the answers, because they could lead us to tough choices we don’t want to make.
Why? Well, that’s the sixth sign.
6. We are afraid of being afraid.
We’re afraid to end our current relationship because we think there might not be anything better—even though this one is pretty ordinary; we won’t leave our dead end job to chase down our dream because we’re afraid of failing. It takes real courage to change.
We are all afraid of change, of uncertainty. What if our inner voice asks us to turn our whole life upside down? So we make ourselves as busy as possible, so we never have time on our own when we may have to listen to what our spirit is telling us.
7. We feel comfortable.
Comfort zones are not always pleasant places to be; they are just familiar. Our comfort zone may be a job that pays the bills to keep us in a life that we hate; it may be a relationship that is going nowhere but is too safe to leave; it may be physical place, a hometown that we won’t leave because of family and friends even though our dreams won’t ever happen if we stay.
The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth. If we never feel uncomfortable, that’s not a good sign. Life is a journey, not a destination.
8. We are afraid to let go.
Letting go is the hardest part of moving forward. Barnacles hold on to what is safe and disdain the current; but they never choose where they are going to end up.
The past provides us with excuses for failure, so there is always a powerful incentive to hold on. It can also mean that we may have to forgive someone in order to let go, perhaps even forgiving someone who doesn’t deserve to be forgiven. But do it for us, not for them.
So if you’ve lost the way, how do you find your way back?
They say the most important thing is not doing, but listening.
Take time out to listen to yourself. Shut down the clutter. The best guide you have is what is inside you. If you have a gnawing feeling in your gut that you have lost your way, listen to it. It doesn’t matter if what it tells you seems illogical, or if other people will disapprove. This is your life, and you’re the only one who knows if you are living it.
Listen to the inner voice, that nagging feeling in your gut that tells you you’re on the wrong path. And when it speaks to you don’t judge, don’t say that’s impossible, don’t say my family will never let me do that — just be curious about what is there.
Ask yourself – are you living the way you choose – or are you living someone else’s life, someone you really don’t know?
As Steve Job says, time is limited. It’s the one thing that doesn’t appreciate over time and the one thing no one is making more of. You don’t have time to wander off into the woods. If you have any of these signs, maybe, just maybe, it’s time to check in with yourself.
And if it means taking a path less traveled by, then do it. It could be what life has been trying to tell you to do all along.
For the next 72 hours only, everyone who joins up to my newsletter will get a copy of
THE YEAR WE SEIZED THE DAY, for Kindle
This post originally appeared on LIFEHACK as ’8 Signs you’re not Following your True Path.’