How sure are you that you’re on the right path?
Are you sure the ladder you’re climbing is against the right building? Is your health where you want it to be? And your finances?
Too often, you run around living life, and reacting to circumstances, that you don’t stop to question whether that which you set out to get is actually what you really want. At least, not until life throws you a major curve ball, like redundancy, accident, health scare, relationship breakdown or financial crisis.
Then, all of a sudden, your eyes are opened to just how far off track you’ve come. As you stand there, in shock, you look around and wonder how you could have come so far down the wrong path and not realised it. And, if you’re thinking that those curve balls happen to other people, but won’t happen to you, then think again. Because major challenges happen to us all at some point.
So, use these signs to identify if you’re off course, so that you can begin to do something about it now, before your circumstances force change upon you.
Your Life Looks like Everyone Else’s
If your life looks remarkably the same as everyone else’s, then chances are you’re living out someone else’s expectations of how your life should be. You see, you are not a sheep. You are a remarkable individual. Individual being the operative word. With dreams that you may or may not be aware of. Because, when you were small, you believed that anything was possible. Because it was. But, as you grew up, and shared your dreams with others, you were likely told that you wouldn’t make it as a gymnast, or that the acting world was just too competitive, that men were better suited to fire-fighting, that you weren’t scientifically minded enough to be a doctor, and that two thirds of all new businesses fail. So, instead of following your dreams (whatever they were), you forgot about them. Buried them under a mountain of social conditioning. And settled for what everyone else was doing.
You Hate Mornings
The problem with those smothered dreams, is that they fester away at you and leave you feeling disillusioned and completely lack lustre. So, If you’d rather sleep your days away than embrace life, then there’s every likelihood that you’re not living the life you really want. You see, when you spend your time doing things that aren’t important to you, or that you don’t care about – for example, working for a company that makes things you don’t value, or spending time with people you don’t enjoy being around – then it becomes near impossible to motivate yourself to get out of bed. If work is the issue, then you might be living weekend to weekend too; longing for Friday night and feeling hopeless by Sunday evening. Plus, you’ll probably find yourself staying up late at nights to stave off the next day, which only further exacerbates your tiredness. Worse yet, if your personal life is off kilter, the issue can be even harder to avoid.
You Never Get It Wrong
If you never make mistakes then you have stopped growing as a person. Yet, one of the most fundamental needs of all human beings, is the need for new experiences. So, look back on your life and ask yourself, how long has it looked just like it does now? How long is it since you really challenged yourself, or screwed something up? If you can’t remember, or it’s more than 6 months ago, then you are in stagnation. And stagnation is never a good place to be. Because it just leads to demotivation and discontent. Think about it, how many people do you know, that do the same thing day in and day out, and then complain about how dull their life is?
You Don’t Like What You See When You Look Into the Future
Very often, when you’re on the wrong path, you won’t ever look into the future, because the prospect is just too scary. Instead, you put all of your focus on the right now. You remind yourself, and anyone who’ll listen, about how busy you are, how much you have to do, how your job is so demanding, how your kids are a handful, and how many people you have to please.
But, stop a moment, and think about what you’re doing today. Ask yourself, “If I continue as I am, for another 5 or 10 years, where will I be?” If you’re living a life of integrity, aligned to your own values, and focused on achieving goals which are important to you, then your future should look exciting and attainable. If, however, you’re heading in the wrong direction, then chances are the prospect will be depressing, or even terrifying.
So, what can you do if you find yourself on the wrong path? Well, first off, resolve to discover what the right path looks like. Get a handle on what is most important to you so that you can begin to take steps to correct course, and start living a life that is uniquely yours, where you can’t wait to get out of bed (even on Monday), where you are regularly growing and developing, and where you look into the future and see a life that excites you.