Four Quadrants
Body Mind Spirit Emotion

Lacking purpose

People lack purpose when they do not have a clear sense of direction or overall meaning in life. They may also feel that they do not "fit in" or have a comfortably defined "place" in society.

When a person is lacking purpose common signs include: questioning, doubt, self-neglect, disconnection, isolation, pessimism, and withdrawal.

When an individual is confused about his/ her direction or role in life.  (S)he may feel out of place and disconnected from others in society.  The person may be asking questions about his/ her identity, culture, and spirituality without feeling (s)he arrives at a comforting answer.

Lacking purpose intellectually may cause a person to develop low self-esteem and think negative thoughts. It may also cause someone to experience sadness, stress, anger and paranoia. These thoughts and feelings may influence a lack of motivation.  The person may experience weight gain, loss of appetite, pain, sickness, and reduced energy. A spiritual lack of purpose can cause a "crisis" in beliefs which can lead to the questioning of culture, society, faith and way of life.

Davy, L. (2012, January 24) Why Do So Many People Lack a Sense of a Life Purpose? Retrieved from


n. a. (2010, April 23) Purpose — The only thing you are lacking in life. Retrieved from


Shelley A. Fahlman, Kimberley B. Mercer, Peter Gaskovski, Adrienne E. Eastwood, and John D. Eastwood (2009). Does a Lack of Life Meaning Cause Boredom? Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology: Vol. 28, No. 3, pp. 307-340.