Most people live every day on autopilot. Working only to pay the bills. Fixated on wealth and celebrities such that success becomes an end in itself. But that sort of success eventually becomes hollow, leaving you feeling there’s something missing in your life.
Living meaningfully means starting every day with energy and passion. Feeling a deep, inner excitement in everything you do. Knowing that you’ve found your place in the world, and that what you’re doing is important. Living for your work, instead of working to live.
So if you want to make your life feel more meaningful, you first have to figure out what matters most to you.
That knowledge is what gives a meaningful life its direction. So spend a little time each day thinking deeply about yourself. Imagine the whole of your life, and even beyond. How you’d like to be remembered. Because money, possessions and social status lose their significance, compared to creating something that will still be there when you’re gone.
That includes your children of course. But also your contributions to society. The things you do that make a difference to other individuals - and live on in their memories. Money is important, of course, but wealth is meaningless in the long term compared to the way people remember you.
WHAT WOULD YOU LOVE TO DO EVERYDAY
Think about your values, experience, and especially what you’re passionate about. What you’d love to do every day, if money weren’t an issue. Think about what you’re really good at. What you’ve achieved that you’re proud of. Things you do that are so absorbing you lose all sense of time. Do you experience that in your current job? No? Then create a project for your spare time. Something you really look forward to every day.
Don’t look to others for approval. You need to be true to yourself, not to other people. Be willing to take risks, and commit to your ideas. Because people who deeply enjoy what they do are always very happy.
Use your knowledge and abilities to make a difference in the lives of others. Look for socially valuable work, and opportunities to guide the next generation. Knowing that you’re creating something that will outlast you will give you great satisfaction, as will helping make changes in society that benefit others.
Live in the moment, enjoy life’s simple pleasures, be committed to your goals, get up early, and learn to meditate or pray. Recognise that life’s bigger than any of us.
Be kind and forgiving. And remember that the happiest people are the ones with the deepest, most meaningful relationships. So build them in your life. Little else will matter if you end up all alone.
Live modestly, spending less and owning little.
Accept yourself just the way you are, and appreciate that life’s about much more than a career. Until one day, you’ll realise that your life truly has become meaningful.