“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, there are some tell-tale signs. Here’s 8 of them.
1. You’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.Advertising
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 you’re heading in the right direction, you always get the inside track. Everything flows. Life seems so easy.
But step off the path and even the little things will go wrong; you drop your cellphone in the ornamental fountain; stoplights always turn red; you get parking tickets.
Is it just one thing after another? Maybe life is not out to get you.
Perhaps life is trying to warn you.Advertising
3. You are always getting sick.
Our body is an extension of our thoughts, especially our subconscious ones. If you’re getting sick all the time, your innermost self is trying to tell you that you 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. Your 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?
Because you might not like the answers you come up with. Are you in the right job? Should you leave your current relationship, because it’s not really that fulfilling? If you habitually avoid such questions because they make you feel uncomfortable then you 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? That’s the sixth sign.
6. You are afraid of being afraid.
You’re afraid to end your current relationship because you think there might not be anything better—even though this one is pretty ordinary; you won’t leave your dead end job to chase down your dream because you’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? We don’t want to listen. 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.Advertising
7. You feel comfortable.
Comfort zones are not always pleasant places to be; they are just familiar. Your comfort zone may be a job that pays the bills to keep you in a life that you hate; it may be a relationship that is going nowhere but is too safe to leave; it may be physical place, a hometown that you won’t leave because of family and friends even though your dreams won’t ever happen if you stay.
The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth. If you never feel uncomfortable, that’s not a good sign. Life is a journey, not a destination.
8. You 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 you 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 you, not for them.
So if you’ve lost the way, how do you find your way back?Advertising
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.
As Steve Job says, time is limited. It’s the one thing that doesn’t appreciate over time, 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, it’s time to check in with yourself.
And if it means taking a path less traveled by, then do it. It’s perhaps what life has been trying to tell you to do after all.Advertising
Featured photo credit: Highways Agency via Wikipedia
Last Updated on November 18, 2021
10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character
We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.
A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.
So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:
- kind and compassionate
- capable of taking the blame
- able to persevere
- modest and humble
- pacific and can control anger.
The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.
1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?
All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.
But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.
2. Can you witness acts of kindness?
How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?
I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.
“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”
Abigail Van Buren
3. How does this person take the blame?
Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.
4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.
You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.
5. Read their emails.
Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:
- Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
- Frequent errors may indicate apathy
- Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
- Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
- Too many question marks can show anger
- Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of people still use them.
6. Watch out for the show offs.
Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity! Another person to avoid.
7. Look for evidence of perseverance.
A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.
Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.
8. Their empathy score is high.
Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.
People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.
9. Learn how to be socially interactive.
We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.
“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”
10. Avoid toxic people.
These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:
- Envy or jealousy
- Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
- Complaining about their own lack of success
- Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
- Obsession with themselves and their problems
Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.
Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?
Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com