What makes for a meaningful life?
Is it the purposeful pairing of a loving family, supportive friends, and a fulfilling career? It may appear so, although, even if we have all of these elements in our life, something can still be missing, and that’s the fulfilling notion of purpose.
Finding a clear sense of purpose lends meaning to even the most balanced of lives and is closely linked to good health and positive coping skills.
The process requires deep introspection and reflection to discover where your passions lie.
These four practices can help you unearth your purpose so you can create a truly fulfilling life.
1. Cultivate Relationships With Positive People
Our environment and the people in it can have a positive or negative effect on us. What commonalities do you share with the people you choose to have in your life? Keep the people you are obligated to see such as family members and co-workers in a separate category. Surround yourself with people who are positive to feel more passionate and purposeful.
2. Inspect Your Interests
What do you talk about with your friends? What interests you? Is there a particular online group you belong to? When talking with others, what do you enjoy talking about the most? Are you a devoted parent or pet enthusiast? Or maybe you’re into games or history. Take a look at these interests that show up in your personal life, they may be tied closely to what gives your life meaning and purpose.
3. What Bothers You?
Think about what issues in the world honestly bother or disturb you. Maybe its corruption, inequality, or cruelty to others. What would you change about the world? Perhaps you’d like to change inequality in the workforce or instill better programs for foster children. Wherever your passion for injustice lies, there are people (and animals) out there who need your help. Think about how you can help whether it’s through time, devoting your career, or monetary donations. This can give your life more meaning.
4. What Lights You Up?
What do you genuinely love to do? What would you get excited to wake up and do every day? Are you passionate about animal welfare, singing, web design, or social media? Whatever it is, your more than likely skilled in that area and have something to offer the world. Take a few minutes to think about what skills and talents you have? Then, come up with a few ideas of how you might use your skills and passion to bring more meaning to your life while benefiting others.
Life can’t be lived backward and so finding true meaning and purpose will likely be a lifetime process where the journey is part of the experience.
It’s also likely that your purpose may be many things or may even change. No matter the situation, we each have many things that we can contribute to the world that makes life more meaningful.