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Published on January 17, 2019

Do You Have an Unfulfilled Life? 7 Reasons Why You’re Not Satisfied

Do You Have an Unfulfilled Life? 7 Reasons Why You’re Not Satisfied

Do you wake up and hit the snooze button? Well, that’s rather normal, so don’t worry.

But if you lack the motivation to get up every morning—even after you’re all showered up and up on your feet—then it’s probably a sign. A sign that you live an unfulfilled life and that you’re not satisfied.

Most people feel confused at some point in their life, but if you feel unsatisfied and unhappy about your life on a daily basis, then it’s time to do something about it.

Maybe you feel like you’re meant for something bigger, maybe you just want to do something different with your life, or maybe you have no idea what you want, or why you feel unsatisfied.

This article will take you through 7 reasons why you might not be satisfied with your life and it will help you take a step towards a fulfilled and happy life.

1. You Don’t Realize You’re Wasting Time

It’s easy to say you’ll do something. Another thing is to actually do it. We have all tried to put off something for the next day and we’ve said: “I’ll do it tomorrow.” But if you do this often, then it could turn into a habit.

If you feel like you’re meant for something bigger, but you’re not moving forwards at all, then it’s time to take a look at your day and your time management. You might not even realize that you’re wasting your time.

Sometimes, people tell themselves it’s enough to get out of the door in the morning and sit at the office until they clock out.

Unfortunately, it’s not enough if you waste your time during the day. Some of the most common time stealers are Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. In other words, take a look at how much time you spend on social media every day. You’ll probably be able to tell if you have a problem.

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Or maybe you plan on working on your personal projects at night or during the weekend (probably both if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur), but you end up on Netflix or only have fun with your friends and family.

If you re-examine your life, you’ll find out what you do right and wrong, and how you can make a better daily and weekly plan for yourself.

It’s not about neglecting people or only being able to do one thing. It’s about understanding yourself and your habits better.

2. You’ve Lost Touch with Yourself

People do different things to feel good about themselves. For some, it means going to the gym and working out.

A study made by Ceren Doğan from the Department of Psychosocial Studies, Birkbeck College, University of London shows a connection between going to the gym and people feeling good about themselves in more than one way:[1]

“Overall, it is argued that for many participants gym exercise is more than physical training; it is also training for life. Based on a thematic analysis of 32 semi-structured interviews it is argued that gym workout is a means to create better versions of the self on mainly three levels.

First, gym participants perceive themselves to be efficient and productive in general. Second, gym training is believed to increase the control they have over their lives. Third, gym members associate their gym workout with amplified emotional resilience, believing that fitness workout makes them not only fitter in a physical sense but also fitter and better equipped in a psychological sense. “

In this case, the gym is simply an example. The point is that we all have something we do that makes us feel good and if we neglect it, then we can lose touch with ourselves and how we feel.

If you suddenly stop doing whatever you do to feel good, or it falls down on your list of priorities, then it might sneak up on you later.

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3. You Put Too Much Pressure on Yourself

While it’s good to create a plan and be ambitious, it can also backfire if you put too much pressure on yourself.

A clear goal helps you move forward in the right direction. But if you put too much pressure on yourself to achieve it, you’ll slowly feel the drive disappear day by day.

Or maybe you have taken on too much weight on your shoulder at work and at home at the same time.

If you need to focus on an important project at work, talk to your family and let them know that you need to focus on that for the next few months, but make it clear that it won’t be forever.

If it’s the other way around, then don’t take on more than you can at work. Every work situation is different, but if it’s possible for you to not take an extra shift, work late all the time, or place yourself on a difficult project, then do it, and focus on your family for a while.

4. You Don’t Finish Things

Many people have ideas. Some of them are great. Some of them are not. But it’s often not about the idea itself. If you set out to do something, but don’t finish it, then it doesn’t come without a cost.

In your mind, it might just be the idea that never goes any further. In reality, it can be about so much more than you not finishing a project.

Humans are creatures of habit. If you decide to do something and then don’t manage to finish it a couple of times—it slowly turns into a habit — a bad habit. Once you start to feel like you can’t do anything, then you’ll feel unfulfilled.

The good news is, we’re able to break habits and create new ones. Take back control and finish your projects (big or small).

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5. You Don’t Have Social Life

Human beings are social animals, we all need some sort of social life to feel happy and fulfilled.

Even if you prefer your own company in most situations, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need some sort of social life.

Maybe you’re lonely without even knowing it, but you’ve told yourself that you don’t need a partner in life because you’ve been on your own for so many years.

Or maybe you’ve never really had any good friends, so you’ve given up on meeting new people and socialising.

Either way, it’s never too late to change it. It’s true that you don’t necessary need both a partner and a good friend, but you do need someone.

No one is meant to live a completely isolated life. Put yourself out there or reach out to someone you lost touch with.

6. You Lack Purpose

It’s easy to wake up every morning and go to work. Well, maybe not completely easy, but we can all do it. The same way we can go out and smile, but on the inside we might not feel like smiling.

If you lack purpose, then it’s probably not something that will sneak up on you over night. It’s going to take some time for you to realize that this is why you’ve been feeling unfulfilled and unsatisfied.

It’s going to take some time for you to realize it because you can easily live a good life on the outside and still lack purpose. You can have a good job and a great family.

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This might make you feel bad about feeling unsatisfied, but you shouldn’t. Purpose is about you and it’s okay to want something that you maybe forgot about along the way.

You can always change direction and find it.

7. You Feel Distant

A lot of people can be present without really being present. If you’ve been feeling distant from your own life, then you get the idea. You can go to work, events and meet friends while your mind is not really there at all.

It can come from something deeper like a lack of purpose, but it might also be as simple as remembering why you do the stuff you do on a daily basis.

Peter H. Diamandis uses a self-talk technique when he feels out of funk:[2]

“It’s going back to ‘Why do I believe this is important?‘ It’s, ‘Look how far I’ve taken it so far.'”

Use this self-talk to ask yourself the same questions about your life in general. Look at your job, your habits, and your social life etc. Take a good look at your life overall and ask yourself these questions.

This might be a wake-up call or help you find what you once saw and lost sight of.

In the end, an unfulfilled life comes down to asking yourself some tough questions and react to what you find out. Find out why you’re not satisfied with and change it.

Featured photo credit: Mark Alexandrovich via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Maria Jensen

Specializes in personal and professional development.

Your Life Is a Mess? How to Fix It and Turn Things Around How to Know Yourself and Seek Self Improvement 7 Signs You’re Ready to Change Your Life (And What to Do Next) Do You Have an Unfulfilled Life? 7 Reasons Why You’re Not Satisfied Start Living a Positive Life by Following These 4 Simple Steps

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Last Updated on April 23, 2019

The Key to Happiness and Leading a Fulfilling Life

The Key to Happiness and Leading a Fulfilling Life

If I ask you “what is happiness?”, then what would your answer be? It’s probably difficult to come up with a simple answer. Yet, here you are, looking for a key to happiness and how to lead a fulfilling life.

The truth is that a universal key to happiness is a myth.

That doesn’t mean that you should stop looking for yours right now, it only means that you need to be careful when reading articles about “a key to happiness”. The universal key to happiness is non-existent because happiness is one of the most difficult things in life to define.

How Do You Define Happiness?

Now, let’s go back to that difficult question: “what is happiness?”

Have you thought about it already? Let me give you an example of how hard it is to define happiness.

Right now, I’m drinking a cup of coffee while writing the outline of this article about how to define happiness. Am I happy right now? Yes, I’m feeling pretty happy:

  • I’ve got nothing to worry about.
  • All my basic needs are met.
  • My family, friends, and girlfriend are all happy as well.
  • The weather is nice.
  • I’m going outside in a couple of minutes to go for a walk.

These things are all making me feel pretty happy right now.

By that logic, let’s define my happiness as follows:

“Happiness is when I’m in a worry-free state, the weather is nice, everybody I know is alright and I can enjoy a hot cup of coffee.”

Voila. There it is. My definition of happiness.

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The keys to my happiness are obvious now, and I know enough in order to lead the happiest life I can. I just need to focus on the things I listed above.

Your Definition of Happiness Changes over Time

Wait a second… If it were this simple, then why have I ever been unhappy?

You might have guessed it already, but I made a very simple error. I assumed that what makes me happy today will make me happy for the rest of my life. And that’s just wrong.

Happiness is something that not only changes from person to person, but it’s also constantly evolving from day to day. This is why happiness is such a difficult concept, and why there’s not a single “key to happiness”.

Whoever tells you otherwise is likely not aware that people change, and that people don’t always share the same values, goals, and purposes.

How to Find the Key to Happiness

Define What Happiness Means to You!

For a minute, I want you to do consider your own happiness. I want you to think back of last week, and consider what things you did that had a positive effect on your happiness.

What things had a significant influence on your mood? What comes to your mind?

Was it spending time with your friends? Was it a great movie you watched? Did you attend an exciting sports event? Or did you enjoy sipping hot coffee on a sunny Wednesday morning? It could obviously be just about anything!

It’s important to realize that all these things were part of your “key to happiness”. Your happiness was defined by these things, and you just measured a small part of that.

Does that mean you now know all the answers? Do you now know how to live the rest of your life? No. But you do know what things made you happy last week, and that’s very useful information when determining your own definition of happiness to build on.

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If you consciously keep track of what factors determine your happiness, then you are more likely to find out just how much your definition of happiness can vary from time to time. This knowledge can help you find your key to happiness.

A Personal Example

You see, even though happiness is claimed to be the factor of life that’s the most difficult to measure, you can still measure how you define your own happiness each day. It’s simple.

For me personally, when I think back of last weekend, I remember that I really enjoyed spending time with my girlfriend, walking through the woods on a sunny day and just relaxing (a.k.a. doing nothing!)

These are happiness factors that were a vital part of my happiness definition this weekend. I had just survived a long and busy week at work, so I was really trying to find some easy enjoyment. The things that I did this weekend were perfect for the occasion, as it was a very happy day for me.

If you were to ask me what the key to my happiness was that weekend, I’d give you the following answer:

To spend quality time with my girlfriend, being able to enjoy the good weather while being carefree and relaxed.

While this is unlikely to be the key to your happiness for the rest of your life, it is a pretty good start.

You can do exactly the same. All you need to do is to define your own happiness from day to day.

Find Your Purpose in Life

The next step to determining your key to happiness is to determine the things that give you purpose. You will live a fulfilling life when you’re happily tracking towards a purpose. Something that you’re passionate about.

Let’s use the previous example of my key to happiness. Will I be happy for the rest of my life when I focus exclusively on a relaxed and carefree feeling? Probably not, because it will not lead to a very fulfilling life. Not for me, at least.

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There are some things that drive my actions in a much bigger sense than only my daily, short-term happiness. For some people, that purpose could be:

  • To take care of a loving family
  • To build a successful company
  • To climb the highest mountains
  • To be rich and famous

You have to find out what your purpose in life is in order to truly determine your key to happiness. Only then will you be able to define a sustainable plan that will make you both happy and fulfilled.

It’s important to know that you can find your purpose only when trying out new things. This is a crucial part of finding your key to happiness. You can’t read an article online (like this one) and suddenly learn about what your key to happiness is!

The same thing goes for finding your purpose. You can’t expect to find your purpose without trying new things. People stumble upon their purpose in life in lots of different ways.[1]

Combine Your Purpose in Life with the Keys to Your Happiness in Order to Lead a Fulfilling Life

Now, this might sound like a mouthful.

A purpose in life x keys to your happiness = fulfilling life?

It’s actually really simple. Let’s take the following example:

I’ve found that my purpose in life is to become the CEO of a great and powerful charity (I know, I know…)

I feel a purpose and sense of accomplishment when working towards these goals. However, should I therefore sacrifice everything in my life in order to reach that purpose? Should I work 100 hours a week, disregard any relationships and use sleep medication just to fall asleep under the stress?

Nope. If I do that, I might reach my purpose, but I won’t still be happy.

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However, if I spend the rest of my life similar to how I spent my last weekend (enjoying the sun and walking through the forest) I will also miss long-term happiness. That’s because I won’t feel like my life has a purpose.

Your key to happiness and the purpose of your life need to compliment each other. They need to be in balance.

Destination = Happiness = Journey

You’ve probably heard the saying:

“Happiness is a journey, not a destination”.

Think of the destination as your purpose, and think of the journey as the things you do that make you happy (the keys to your happiness).

You can’t spend your life running (or sprinting) towards your destination, because you’ll forget to enjoy the journey.

At the same time, you can’t head out on your journey without having a destination in mind.

That’s why I believe your happiness is a product of both the journey and the destination.

Or in other words, you need to combine your purpose in life with the keys to your happiness in order to lead a fulfilling life. This will allow you to create a road map – a specific and concise plan – that will help you determine how to best lead your life. If you’ve done that, you’re ready to steer your life in the best direction possible!

Final Thoughts

The most important thing to remember when trying to define your keys to a happy and fulfilling life is simple:

There is no universal key that leads to your happiness. That’s because your happiness is unique in each and every single way. What you can do is:

  • Realize that you can define the factors that make you happy.
  • Know that your happiness – and the factors that influence it – change over time, and so will your “key to happiness”.
  • Find out what your purpose in life is. You can only do this by trying out many things. You can’t learn this from simple reading an article!
  • Combine your purpose and the things that make you happy in order to get the best idea of how to steer your life in the best direction possible!

Featured photo credit: Sam Manns via unsplash.com

Reference

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