I write a lot about happiness. Why? Because there are a lot of unhappy people out there and a lot of bad things going on in our nation and world right now. If we get too caught up in it we can find ourselves sad, angry, and depressed. When we are experiencing emotions like that we can’t be our true, thriving selves. And when you aren’t your true, thriving self, your ability to impact the world and others is diminished, if not completely absent. And the world desperately needs more people to impact others and the world in a positive, collaborative and compassionate way.
But happiness isn’t the only thing. There is also the meaning, or purpose of our lives. I spent five years with a life coach to discover and craft a life intention, a calling and a healing intention. It was a LOT of work, but I loved every minute of it. I recite my intentions every night before I fall asleep, thanking the universe for guiding me to live a life that serve those intentions. Those intentions guide me daily and when I need to make major decisions. The purpose to my life they bring help me to live a true, thriving life so I can impact others and the world. And that makes me very happy!
No life coach? Don’t have five years to find meaning? No problem! I came upon this incredible Ted talk by Emily Esfahani Smith entitled, “There’s more to life than being happy”. She relays her four pillars of meaning, and I have to say, they ALL resonated with me, and I was in 100% agreement. I believe this 12 minute talk will inspire you to spend some time reflecting on the four pillars and perhaps even lead to discovering your own purpose.
The benefits of having meaning are many, “Along with promoting a sense of well-being, having set goals can make it easier to cope with unexpected stress and develop new ways to cope with age-related changes. A sense of purpose also encourages us to handle the natural roadblocks that will arise with time and devise alternative approaches to achieving those goals which are most important to us.” Source: Psychology Today
You need to put in the time and effort, but having meaning in your life will not only enrich your life, it will ripple through your family, friends, community, nation and the world in the most amazing ways.