5 Ways to Live a Meaningful Life
Wanting to live a meaningful life is just part of human nature. No one likes the feeling of being stuck in a rut without any progress. We’re sure that at some point in time, you must have experienced something similar. The almost robotic feeling of waking up, going to work, coming home to maybe watch some Netflix and then falling asleep – only to do the exact same thing the next day. These tedious periods of time have only increased due to the ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns and movement restrictions.
And the effects?
- Increase Anxiety
- Lack of Motivation & Focus
- Negative Impact on Physical Wellbeing
As you can see, if you don’t have a purpose in life, it could lead to a rather chaotic lifestyle. We’re sure that nobody would want to live like that. As human beings, we need to remember that our time on this earth is limited. So instead of wasting it by living a life without purpose, we should do our best to take small steps in order to improve it. In this blog, we’ll be discussing some ways on how you can live a meaningful life every day.
“To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.” This famous quote is often attributed to the famed Greek philosopher, Socrates.
One of the first steps of living a purposeful and meaningful life is to know what’s important for you. A quick google search can give you some examples; like ‘family’, ‘success’, ‘career’. But they’re just that – examples. As each person is unique and may be at different points in their lives from others, these examples can serve as a guide that you can use to focus on the real things, people and activities that you believe makes your life worthwhile.
Some other ways to ‘get to know yourself’ is by learning to be honest with yourself. How often do you say you like something, simply because it’s a fad or because you want to fit in? (Girls, remember having a phase of not liking the colour ‘pink’ because it was a ‘girly’ colour and you were ‘different. Or what about boy’s being told that they shouldn’t like ‘playing house’ and instead should focus on playing with cars and action figures?)
You’ll need to learn to separate what you really like from what society has dictated that you should like, to be able to pinpoint the things that you really find important.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help you to get to know yourself:
What do you love doing?
What are your dreams in life?
What do you want your legacy to be?
What is your biggest criticism of yourself?
What are some mistakes you’ve made?
How do others perceive you?
How would you like them to perceive you?
Who is your role model?
Pro-Tip: Jot down the answers to these questions on a personalised photo notebook and keep the list close to you as a reminder and to help you recognize your motivations, emotions, and beliefs so that you can make thoughtful adjustments in your life.
Discover Your Purpose
Another way to live a meaningful life is to discover your life’s purpose. This is definitely a daunting task as most people don’t even know where to start. Finding your life’s purpose seems to be such a broad statement and people often get pigeonholed into thinking they only have a singular purpose in life (though that’s not the case!)
One sure-fire method to help you identify what your purpose in life is; is by asking yourself questions like:
- If you have to give yourself a reason to live, what would it be?
- What are the things/causes that you are willing to advocate for? (exp: feminism, anti-bullying, anti-racism)
- What principles do you hold close to your heart and that you will never compromise on?
- Are you seeking to help or inspire people?
- What channels are you going to use to spread your message? (Exp: Through artwork, the written word, through speech?)
Pursue Your Passion
As mentioned before, we are given a limited time on this earth. Not only is life short, but it is also fragile and delicate. Here one moment, and gone the next. Therefore, we should make the most of the time we have and pursue our passions – whatever they may be, instead of settling for the ‘next best thing’.
Not only will pursuing your passion make you feel happier, but it also gives you a purpose to exist in this world. Should you be lucky enough to work in an industry that you’re passionate about, the workload won’t even feel like a burden to you. Instead, you’ll wake up with energy and enthusiasm to start another day pursuing something you’d love to do.
Pro-Tip: Even if you can’t pursue your passion as a full-time job, always try to take some time during the day or weekend to indulge in your passion projects.
From photography to drawing, working out to baking. Anytime you’re doing something that you love, you’ll inadvertently end up delivering far more value to yourself and those around you – for example, bringing joy to your friends and family with baked goods, entertaining your fans online with your artwork or even inspiring people with your writing.
You know how people tend to set up tons of new year’s resolutions that they never end up completing? Well, there are several reasons for that. One of them is that they set too many goals with little thought on how to realistically achieve them. So instead of setting out 4 or 5 big goals (and making very little progress on them), what you need to do is focus all your energy on achieving one thing.
Not only does this relieve you of the burden and stress that comes with trying to achieve multiple tasks at once; but by focusing your energy on one thing at a time, you’ll increase the likelihood of actually succeeding.
Pro Tip: To better your chances, try to align your goal with something that you’re passionate about so that you’ll endeavour to work hard, do well and achieve your goal.
Spend Money on Experiences
A lot of consideration goes into deciding on what to spend your hard-earned money on. Aside from necessary material goods, we suggest that you consider spending your money on experiences with family and friends. Previously we wrote a post that explained 7 Reasons Why Spending Money on Experiences Makes Us Happier and we still stand by them.
Aside from making you feel happier and helping you build social relationships, by spending your money on experiences, you’ll gain a deeper meaning in your life and can discover whole new perspectives that can teach you valuable life lessons.
In conclusion, living a meaningful life that is full of purpose is a fundamental part of achieving long-term happiness. Without a purpose, our lives will seem very dull and it makes it difficult to continue existing happily.
Just as happiness is something unique to each individual, you’ll have to define your own purpose in life in order to live a meaningful life that’s true to you. A great way to see if you’ve succeeded is to keep a record of your life through photography or journals.