This Quick Test Can Help You Know If You're Actually On The Right Path In Life
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen, covering beauty and wellness. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.
Unless you have the uncanny ability to see into the future, you've probably asked yourself at least one of the following: Am I in the right relationship? Am I in the right job? Do I live in the right city? Of course, all of these pressing questions funnel into the general: How do I know if I'm on the right path?
Admittedly, it's difficult for us to provide a straightforward answer—you know, without a time traveler in the bunch. However, spiritual icon and New York Times bestselling author of Seat of the Soul Gary Zukav does have some insights to share: On the mindbodygreen podcast, he explains how to know if you're aligned with your true purpose.
How to know if you're on the right path in life.
Simple: "Use meaning as your compass," says Zukav. "As you move in the direction that your soul wants you to be, meaning comes into your life." Essentially: If you feel fulfilled, positive, and warm, know that you are on the right path. Sure, you may not be exactly where you want to be at that moment, but at the risk of sounding cliché, try to trust the process as best you can.
According to Zukav, the opposite can tell you when you've strayed from your path: "As you move in the opposite direction [of your soul], your life drains of meaning." Whether you call it a gut feeling or intuition—if you're acting against your true purpose, Zukav says you will inherently know it. "If it weren't meaningful to you, you would do something else," he adds.
The bottom line? Your body's physical sensations can tell you a lot about your spiritual path in life (in fact, it's those physical sensations that help you decipher your emotional awareness). So try to become attuned to what you're feeling in the moment: "I would suggest that you consult intuition," Zukav adds. "Intuition is the voice of the nonphysical world."
A quick exercise to test your intuition.
You're probably wondering: How can you consult your intuition like Zukav? After all, not all of us are spiritual icons who can tap into our emotions at the drop of a hat. That's why Zukav offers a quick exercise to test your intuition and determine whether you are attracting meaning into your life.
"Before you speak, ask yourself: 'What is my intention?'" he says. "So if you're thinking of changing jobs and you say, 'Why do I want to change jobs?' your first answer might be: 'I want to make more money.' Ask yourself 'Why?' and it might be: 'Well, I want to get a bigger house.' Why? 'Because I want people to admire me.' Why? And you keep going down, and down, and down."
He continues, "If you find out that what you're doing benefits you, that's an intention of fear. And if you find that it gives you joy, meaning, fulfillment, and other people are involved in a good way, then you know the intention is love." Simple, right? He's not saying one path is better than the other (we all act out of fear sometimes, and that's OK), but when you act with love, you "create constructive and blissful consequences for yourself."
Your body intuitively knows whether you're on the right path in life; all you have to do is stop and listen to it. At the end of the day, though, the stakes are lower than you think: "There is learning in every choice. All roads lead to home," Zukav says. "Some are more direct and joyful, and others are longer and more difficult, but you cannot make a wrong choice."
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.