When former NBA player Shaquille O’Neal retired from professional basketball in 2011, everyone thought it was over for him.
He had spent his entire adult life playing basketball and no one really knew who he would become after retirement.
To everyone’s surprise, Shaq was able to reinvent himself — and he did so marvelously. He went back to school to complete his doctoral degree in education with a 3.813 GPA.
Do you relate to Shaq’s story? Are people doubting you, too? Do you believe you have no purpose in life anymore?
Well, if you seek to answer these questions, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we will explore signs that you might not be living your purpose and offer practical advice on what you can do about it.
This journey of self-discovery could lead you towards a more fulfilling life, just like it did for Shaq.
1) You feel a persistent sense of dissatisfaction
One of the most telling signs that you might not be living your purpose is a constant feeling of dissatisfaction.
You have a good job, a comfortable home, loving relationships, yet there’s still something missing. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but it feels like a void that isn’t being filled.
This isn’t about having a bad day or going through a rough patch — this is about an underlying sense of unease that persists even when everything in your life seems to be going well.
This dissatisfaction often stems from not fulfilling your potential or not doing what you are truly passionate about.
It’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole—it just doesn’t work, no matter how hard you try.
But don’t worry, because feeling dissatisfied with your life isn’t something to be ashamed of or ignored.
In fact, it could be the wake-up call you need to start seeking your true purpose and living the life you deserve — an opportunity for self-reflection and growth.
2) You lack motivation and excitement for what you do
Passion and purpose go hand in hand.
When you’re living your purpose, you’re excited about what you do. You wake up eager to face the day and take on new challenges. Your work doesn’t feel like a chore, but rather an exciting endeavor that gives your life meaning.
If you find yourself dragging your feet to start your day, or constantly counting down the hours until the workday ends, it might be a sign that you’re not aligned with your true purpose.
When you’re not living your purpose, your daily tasks can feel mundane and meaningless. You may find yourself constantly feeling bored or disinterested in your work, or even feeling stuck in a rut.
This lack of motivation isn’t a sign of laziness—it’s a signal that something deeper is amiss. It’s an indication that you’re not utilizing your skills and talents in a way that truly fulfills you.
Consider this lack of motivation as a pointer towards finding your real purpose.
It’s an invitation to explore what truly lights you up, what makes you feel alive. Once you find it and start living it, you’ll notice a significant shift in your energy levels and enthusiasm for life.
3) You frequently fantasize about a different life
Do you envision yourself in an entirely different career, pursuing different hobbies, or even living in a different place?
These aren’t just random daydreams—these are glimpses into a life that could be more aligned with your true purpose. They represent your inner desires and passions that are trying to surface.
Fantasizing about a different life isn’t about escaping reality—it’s about realizing that you have the potential to create a life that is fulfilling and aligned with your passion and purpose.
It’s your subconscious nudging you towards the path you’re meant to take.
Instead of dismissing these fantasies, use them as inspiration. They can guide you towards discovering your true purpose and give you the courage to make the necessary changes in your life.
4) You feel envious of other people’s lives and successes
Feeling envious isn’t necessarily about coveting other people’s lives—it’s more about recognizing unfulfilled desires in your own life. It’s a sign that there are areas in your life where you’d like to see growth or change.
So if you find yourself feeling envious of other people’s lives or their successes, it could indicate that you’re not living your purpose.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not about wanting what others have or having a sense of entitlement or greed.
It’s about recognizing the things that resonate with you and make you think, “I wish I could do that,” or “That’s what I want for my life.”
Instead of thinking of envy as a negative emotion, think of it as a helpful signpost on the road to living your purpose.
The key is to use envy as a tool for self-discovery rather than allowing it to breed resentment. It can provide valuable insights into what you truly want in life, pointing you towards your purpose.
5) You feel disconnected and out of sync
Feeling disconnected from your life and out of sync with the world around you is another sign that you may not be living your purpose.
This sense of disconnection can manifest in different ways:
You might feel like you’re just going through the motions, without being truly engaged in what you’re doing.
Or you might feel like you’re on a different wavelength from those around you, unable to relate to their joys or concerns.
This sense of disconnection is often a result of not living in alignment with your true self.
When you’re not living your purpose, it’s like trying to walk in someone else’s shoes—they might look nice, but they just don’t fit right.
This is because living your purpose means being authentic and true to who you are. It means following your passions, using your unique talents, and making a difference in a way that only you can.
When you do that, you’ll find that you’re more in sync with yourself and the world around you.
6) You frequently feel drained and exhausted
If you constantly feel drained and exhausted, even after getting sufficient rest, it could be a sign that you’re not living your purpose.
This isn’t just physical exhaustion—it’s a deeper sense of fatigue that seeps into your emotional and mental well-being.
This type of exhaustion often stems from spending too much energy on things that don’t fulfill you.
It’s like running on a treadmill—no matter how fast or how long you run, you’re not really going anywhere.
As opposed to when you’re living your purpose, where you feel energized and inspired. Where, even when you’re working hard, it doesn’t deplete you—it fuels you. That’s because you’re investing your energy into something that is meaningful to you.
So if you’re feeling constantly drained, that’s your body’s way of telling you that something needs to change. It’s a prompt to reassess your life and realign it with your true purpose.
7) You’re constantly searching for something more
Do you have a nagging feeling that there’s something else out there for you, something bigger and more fulfilling?
If you find yourself perpetually searching for “something more,” it’s a clear sign that you’re not living your purpose.
This search often stems from an innate desire to live a life of significance and fulfillment—a life that is aligned with your true purpose.
The constant seeking isn’t a sign of discontentment or greed—it’s an echo of your soul’s desire for growth, fulfillment, and purpose. It’s a call from within to embark on the journey of self-discovery and to uncover your true calling.
This search for “something more” isn’t futile—it’s the first step towards finding your purpose and creating a life that truly satisfies your soul.
Don’t suppress this longing—embrace it as the beginning of a transformative journey towards living your purpose.
Bottom line: It might be a call to self-discovery
The quest for purpose and fulfillment in life is deeply entwined with our personal growth and self-awareness.
Feeling lost or unfulfilled might not be a negative state but rather an invitation to dive deeper into understanding ourselves. It’s a call for introspection, for reassessing our path, for seeking what truly resonates with us.
One profound quote from the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche encapsulates this journey: “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” Finding our purpose, our “why,” can provide the resilience, motivation, and satisfaction that make our lives meaningful.