If you’re wondering how to live life with meaning, you’re likely at a very important transformational point.
Living life with meaning amounts to stepping outside of mindless routine to expand your mental capacity and embrace a sense of deeper awareness. This is essential because as a new study shows, a sense of purpose is strongly associated with health and lower mortality risk.
The study, completed in May of this year, examined about 7000 adults between the ages of 51 and 61. The adults were given questionnaires surrounding life purpose in 2006. Data was gathered between 2018 and 2019. The results showed a direct correlation between having purpose and lessened mortality.
Now that we’ve examined how powerful living a life of meaning actually is, let’s explore some ways to harness and implement meaning throughout life.
Discovering how to live life with meaning
A common trend is observable as we age. We seem to get comfortable and stuck— both in our work life and mindsets. Further, we tend to reject other viewpoints almost as a survival mechanism. We wish to protect our opinions at all costs so might we remain righteous into the afterlife and beyond.
If you’re reading this with interest and enthusiasm, congratulations. You’re investing yourself in questioning your life a bit while considering a change in direction to an even more meaningful life. Go ahead and continue onward with these effective steps.
1. Ask yourself what you’re currently unhappy about. This step is hard, yet essential for your awakening into a life of deeper meaning. Asking deep questions about your current position in life is about having an honest look at where to redirect your path. When discovering how to live life with meaning, it’s common to realize what’s bringing you down. For many, it’s a job, partner, friendship, or even a bad habit. That brings us to the next step.
2. Act on your discoveries. Acting on realizations amounts to taking action to reroute your life away from redundancy and toward a meaningful purpose. Even if you still aren’t positive about what you need, hold on to the feeling you have. Hold on to the feeling of wanting change, adventure, or purpose (or all three). Even if a path is not yet clear, aim to make some sort of change. Try traveling, exploring new hobbies, and meeting new people. These activities will serve as catalysts for discovering your new path of deeper meaning.
3. Be easy on yourself. Self-love is, after all, very meaningful. And yes, treating ourselves with kindness is actually necessary for cultivating meaning. Lacking a deeper sense of meaning in life is hard. Aim to practice self-love protocols during these transitional times, including exercise, eating well, and meditation. These will not only make you feel good, but will lend you clarity about your path.
These essential steps will undoubtedly unravel deeper awareness surrounding your path toward greater meaning. Yet although you’re wondering how to live life with meaning, you may also be wondering: “what does a meaningful life look like?”
What is “meaning”?
The word “meaning” is powerful. Words aren’t the only things that have meaning. We, as individuals, mean something, too, as does each of our lives.
So what is the meaning of life?
I recently watched a lecture given by Sadhguru, an Indian yogi, mystic, and author. Time was set aside for questions after his talk. An Indian boy raised his hand and asked if there’s any meaning or purpose of attending a university. “Is it all just a waste of time and funds?” Sadhguru’s response gave the audience great clarity. He said:
“When trying to discover what your path in this life is, you should ultimately ask yourself two questions: ‘what do I enjoy doing?’ and ‘what does the world need?’. When you find that out, you may also find that attending university is essential for fulfilling this path. But there’s an equal chance that it may not be essential.”
Yet what struck me about Sadhguru’s statements was the two questions he asked: “what do I enjoy doing?” and “what does the world need?”. When trying to define meaning, this is a great place to start.
Doing what you enjoy
If you’re seeking more meaning, it may be because you don’t enjoy what’s currently absorbing most of your time. Time has become a burden on this planet. But time is actually the sweet nectar of existence when used on pursuing meaning and livelihood.
If you’re wondering how to live life with meaning, aim to spend more time doing what you enjoy. Focus on the sports, subjects, instruments, or other activities that make you feel alive. You’ll eventually learn how you can use these joyful activities and subjects to make a larger impact. This brings us to another essential aspect of meaning.
Pursuing what the world needs
This is easily the most important aspect of how to live a life of meaning. I’d venture to say that the meaning of life is to leave the world better than when we came into it.
This point ties beautifully with the previous point about doing what you enjoy. Have you ever noticed that people impact the world most while pursuing what they love? For example, the world is often impacted most through the arts, technology, and humanitarianism. More often than not, people pursue these things because they feel passion for them.
Overall, involving the world’s needs with your path will lead to more satisfaction and meaning within your life.
Moving forward while knowing how to live life with meaning
Discovering how to live life with meaning is no easy feat, yet it’s worth it; living through purpose has been proven to increase well-being and even life-expectancy.
Discovering how to live life with meaning begins with a hard task; being honest with yourself about what is lacking in your life. It may be challenging because it will eventually entail making some big changes, yet it’s worth it because these changes will lead to fulfilling the meaning of your life.
The meaning of life can accurately be depicted as pursuing what you love and what will help the world simultaneously. Sadhguru, a renowned mystic, agrees that this path will bring the deepest possible sense of meaning into one’s life.
Hopefully this article found you at a point of transformation in your life. Experiencing transformation doesn’t always feel as magical as it sounds. It often entails hard truths and the sacrifice of our previous ambitions.
Be sure to practice all of the wellness protocols that you can during this time.
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