I think it’s fair to say that no matter who we are or where we are at in this journey, we can always find ways to create more meaning in our lives. You can be in your 20s just out of school, in your 40’s transitioning to a more mature phase, or you can even be about to retire. It applies to all of us. Meaning can be defined in so many ways, but under the umbrella of its definition, it involves purpose, passion, and feeding your spirit, with the bottom line being fulfillment and what makes you tick on a daily basis. Creating it requires a certain mindset in connecting with our hearts and souls. Life is a form of work (it doesn’t have to be a struggle) and we can either jump in and take it on or sit back and watch it go by. That is, you can be the driver of your life or the passenger.
What creates more meaning in our lives is very individual. What feeds our Spirit is different for each one of us- we all come in with different gifts. Some of us are athletes and thrive on keeping ourselves physically active; some of us are musicians and take our instrument of choice; others are painters, artists, mathematicians or science buffs. It’s magnificent that we all have different things that make us tick (and must be adjusted to meet our growth at different points of our journey).
Do you know what makes you tick? Do you know what brings you joy? If you do, then keep doing it. There are many of us who aren’t sure what it is that makes our heart sing, and perhaps discovering the answer might feel scary, and that’s okay. It might require major changes to make it happen. For those searching, these are the things I have learned from my own quest to find more meaning: Most importantly, be patient and kind to yourself. It requires an adjustment to your point of view. Become your own Sherlock Holmes: become interested in what grabs your attention or pulls on your heartstrings. Remind yourself that this is an individual process and is different for each one of us. Do what works for you in order to get yourself moving. Don’t worry about the end goal of meaning. If you feel frozen, take one step— just start moving and remember to trust yourself and the rest will surface. Finally, some of us need tough love and some of us need gentle pushes in the right direction and some of us need fear put in front of us in order to make us move, but no matter what it’s between you and you.
A fun way to look at your personal quest is that it’s a scavenger hunt, but for life. Once you begin the hunt and move towards your goal, you will run into more experiences and people who support it. Everything has meaning and be sure not to judge what others find meaningful. It might not resonate with you, but that’s what makes the world go round. Just remind yourself that when you do what pulls at your heart strings, you contribute and add love to the world.
If you aren’t sure where to begin, I suggest starting by asking yourself these questions:
- What do you like to spend your time doing? If you feel like you don’t know, take the pressure off. The answer is there. What was the last thing you did where you didn’t think about time? What did you enjoy spending your time doing as a kid?
- What do you think makes life meaningful? How can you bring this into your day-to-day? What can you do for 5 minutes today towards this?
- Is there something that you have avoided and might be interested in experiencing? Take one step toward it.
If you are hitting a roadblock:
- Too much in your head? Get physical. Go work out. Go run. Do something to move the energy and feel alive. Sometimes we become numb and stuck in our heads.
- If you are someone who requires a more gentle approach to things, go for a walk, do yoga, stretch yourself out of your head to a place of peace.
- If you are feeling like your worst critic, tell yourself two positive things in the morning when you wake up or before you go to bed that you appreciate or value about yourself. Know that optimism is a muscle in your personal development that you must strengthen.
Finally, know that the majority of us in life have experienced the same feeling of discontent and that it’s a part of the journey. You most definitely are not alone— we’re in it with you and we can’t wait to see your passions surface at whatever stage you are in life. I can tell you for sure, it’s the most rewarding hunt you’ll ever be on.