What does it mean to be living a meaningful life?
Ask anyone what they most want in life and they will almost surely tell you that they simply want to be happy and live a meaningful life.
We all want this. We all want happiness in our lives.
Yet, true happiness seems to be somewhat elusive to most people. Why is that?
Perhaps because there is no general recipe for happiness: in order to be truly happy, each and every one of us must find our own definition of happiness.
I believe that the ultimate secret to happiness is our ability to be living a meaningful life.
And in order to be living a meaningful life, we have to decide what is truly meaningful to us.
In order to be happy, you have to decide what happiness means to you. You have to find what a meaningful life looks like, for you.
Forget what society wants you to be. Forget what you thought you should be. These expectations, often determined by social and cultural background or unconsciously passed on through generations only bring frustration and a constant feeling of not being, having or doing enough. But what is enough?
What is enough for you?
Who would you like to be?
How would you like to live your life?
Only your own honest answers and decisions will bring the happiness you deserve and desire. Nothing else will do. Because there is no general recipe for happiness and fulfillment: you will have to discover what works for you. But don’t be afraid. It is in your power to define what makes you happy and to design your life accordingly. And I promise: It is a wonderfully rewarding journey.
I believe that we all have the right to be happy, to lead meaningful, fulfilling lives. And I also believe that we all have the ability to do so.
You have the power to define your own meaning – and to design your own happy life.
3 Important Steps to Living a Meaningful Life
Ready to get started?
Here are three important and simple steps to living a meaningful life.
1. Ask Yourself: What Does Life Mean to You?
Is it a gift? An adventure? A journey? A challenge? A story? A riddle? An opportunity?
Spend some time to think about it and let your intuition decide the answer. You are a co-creator. Your perspective matters. Go beyond generalities.
If you think that life is a journey, what does that mean to you?
Where would you like your journey to take you?
Is it a journey on which you allow yourself to learn, discover and explore?
Is it a journey with a specific destination? How would you define a successful journey?
And if life for you is an opportunity, what would you like to do with it? Is it an opportunity to grow, to expand, to constantly better yourself? Is it an opportunity to help others? Is it an opportunity to contribute in a certain way?
Go on and decide the type of adventure you want to live; the type of challenge you want to take on; the story that you want to write. Or the type of service you want to give.
Spend time to define what life means to you. What you want it to mean. It is important.
2. How Do You Want Your Life to Be?
Use your vision, your definition of meaningful, to guide the way you see your life, the way you live your life, every day.
You now have your own, personal definition of a truly meaningful life. It is time to bring that vision into reality. How does a day lived meaningfully look like for you? What do you do? How do you feel? How do you interact with others?
See yourself leading the meaningful life you have envisaged, feeling the happiness that comes with knowing that your life is meaningful. That what you do matters and that you are living your life on purpose.
Allow this vision to permeate everything you think, say and do. Allow the meaning that you chose for your life to inform and transform your daily routines.
If you believe that life is an adventure, then remind yourself of that when you wake up and brush your teeth in the morning. You are getting ready for another day in the big adventure of your life! If you believe that life is a challenge, identify your main targets for the day. Play with this, make it fun.
The very fact that you are co creating your life, rather than just being at the receiving end of whatever happens to come your way…should make you feel better, more engaged, more…powerful! Be honest with yourself: are there any radical changes that you need to make? What do you need to adjust? What is already going well? How does your newly found vision help you respond to some of the challenges you may face?
Smile, you are writing the story of your life – and it feels wonderful.
3. Step Into This Meaningful Life.
When you wake up in the morning spend a couple of minutes to remind yourself of the meaning you have chosen for your life and to decide how you are going to bring that awareness into this new day.
Be creative. Make posters and place them around the house to remind yourself of this meaning. Or paint something that symbolizes meaning to you. Or carry an object – like a bracelet or a ring or a pendant that you associate with your meaningful life and that will work as a constant reminder for you. Or just set a notification on your phone to periodically remind you to put things into perspective.
When you go to sleep at night think back at your day. Put it into perspective. See it as part of the big adventure, story or challenge that you envisage. Give yourself credit for doing so.
Be kind and patient with yourself. There will be moments of doubt and moments when you forget about it all. But nothing is lost. Once you have identified what a meaningful life is for you, you can always bring back that meaning, with a smile. Let that meaning be your perspective in all circumstances.
You will start to notice that looking at things from this perspective changes the way you interact with reality. Your reality becomes meaningful. Slowly, but surely. Your life is taking the shape that you want it to take. You give meaning to your life and life responds to you.
Play with it. You are allowed to change your mind too. Sometimes life can look more like a challenge than an adventure. But aren’t challenges part of the big adventure?
The most beautiful thing about this process is realizing that you are in control. Your life takes the meaning that you choose to give it. No matter what challenges you encounter on your way, you now have a philosophy, a frame that allows you to embrace every experience and feel grateful, feel inspired.
You deserve to be happy. Happiness comes from embracing your life and giving it meaning. When you give meaning to your life and start living your life meaningfully, everything falls into place.
Trust yourself. Give yourself the gift of happiness, the gift of living a meaningful life. Inspire others to do the same. And see the world transform!
To your happiness and fulfillment.