You might have success and happiness, but you might be looking for some ways to have meaning in your life to complete the picture. On the other hand, you might be in what feels like a constant struggle simply to make it through every day, not really seeing what is going on around you and just merely existing. Whether you want to move onward and upwards on your existing path or start a new journey, here are some ways to have meaning to your life.
1. Step out of Your Comfort Zone
One of the best ways to have meaning in your life is to step out of your comfort zone. As we get older, routine and responsibilities mean that we very easily and quickly get stuck in our ways, and before we know it, we are feeling like we are trapped on the hamster wheel of life. If you had meaning in your comfort zone, you wouldn’t have this nagging feeling that something was missing all the time. Live a little, take a chance, let your fear of being trapped outweigh your fear of failure and just do it.
2. Be Grateful
If you want to create meaning in your life, one of the most fulfilling ways is to be grateful for everything that you have and so far achieved. If you are constantly fixated on the things that you don’t have, or that everybody else has, you will never feel content with your lot in life. Wake up every day and be thankful for your health, your family and your ability to earn a living, and you will immediately feel content and much happier and fulfilled.
3. Trust Your Intuition
Our intuition is our inner voice, a soul connection that is there to guide and protect us throughout our life. Our only mistake we make is when we choose to ignore our intuition and follow a different path. If your gut feeling and instinct are screaming at you, your inner voice waving red flags and jumping up and down when you are about to make a bad decision, take the time to stop, reflect and listen to what it is saying. Your instinct is never wrong, will never let you down and will never allow you to live a life without meaning. Trust your intuition.
4. Health First
One of the things you can do to give your life meaning is to focus on what is essentially the spine supporting your life – your health. When you are following a healthy lifestyle, are choosing healthy foods and getting enough exercise, you are looking after your body, which in turn is going to look after you. When you feel strong, full of life and vitality, you are unbreakable in life, you can cope better, work harder and do more for longer. Bad choices like excessive drinking, smoking and fast food diets along with a sedentary lifestyle are going to work against you every day in achieving meaning and fulfillment in your life. Only you can make the changes.
5. Set Goals
Setting goals and achieving them will give your life more meaning and enjoyment than you will ever know. Being able to constantly challenge yourself to make a difference in your life, your education, your family’s life and to uplift and build the communities around you is essential, but you need a plan to get there. Set out to achieve something life changing, work hard every day to get there and bask in the reflection of your achievement. Everybody wants to sit in the shade, but nobody could be bothered to plant the tree.
6. Make Your Own Rules
Work commitments getting you down? An insufferable boss keeping you at the office away from your family? Long commuting hours making you depressed? A manipulative and dominating partner or spouse not allowing you to create any meaning in your life? Time for a new set of rules – yours. If you don’t ever ask for change, the answer is always no. Sometimes, only you can make the change. And sometimes, changing the rules may mean taking two steps backwards in order to move one step forward. But, if that one step forward is in the right direction, it is worth 10 steps in the wrong direction.
7. Spend Time in Nature
Spending time in Mother Nature’s soul restoring playground is one of the easiest ways to add meaning to your life. Walk the dog in the rain, make a leaf and stick boat and float it along the river, let the sand sink between your toes and the sun warm your skin, let the wind whip your hair around your face while you collect pine cones, sit by a waterfall and say nothing, look for four leafed clovers or head out on to a hiking path into the forest. Nature has a quietly powerful way of reminding you of the beauty and joy in the simple things in life, it’s free and it’s all around us, make use of its magical touch every day.
8. Learn Something New
No matter how small or how big, take the time to learn something new. Take up a hobby, learn how to bake bread, take singing lessons, learn how to read music, go for foreign language lessons, spend time with old people – portals to fountains of wisdom – learn how to work with wood, make something, create something, build something and never stop learning. It builds friendships, creates confidence and creates meaning in all of our lives.
9. Change Your Attitude
Embrace your pet hates, your chores and the difficult people in your life. Make a conscious decision in your life to change your attitude towards events and obligations instead of wasting time harbouring ill feelings towards them. Focus on how good you will feel when a laborious task is completed, rather than wallowing in the feelings of dread leading up to the task at hand. Create positive meaning in your life by embracing everything that comes your way with a positive, can do attitude – your life will change.
10. Ditch the TV
Nobody looks back on their life and thinks, ‘’Wow, I really wish I hadn’t missed that series on TV.’’ Spend time with your family and your friends, play board games with your kids, get your dog off the couch and outside with a ball, tell stories, read, paint, do puzzles, play cards, knit, have a romantic evening in, make a meal together as a family and just enjoy the power of human companionship. One day the kids will have moved out, the house will be quiet and tidy and you won’t have any memories of meaningful times spent together as a family.
It was Victor Frankl that said that “finding the meaning of life is essential to our ability to survive…” I have presented you with some simple, doable ways to add meaning to your life, but only you can make the choice and the changes you feel necessary. Life also has a funny way of giving you a helping hand if you open yourself up to its endless possibilities. Do you wish your life had more meaning?