For years now, I’ve been trying to find meaning in my life. And like, many of you, I’ve tried a lot of things (mostly wrong) hoping it would jump at me but it never did until a started doing the right things well. In this article, I’ll sharing with you some of these adorable things I did that gave my life meaning along with those of other fulfilled people who as well have discovered meaning in their lives. Here are 10 of them.
(1) Traveling Gives Your Life Meaning
“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted”
– Bill Bryson, travel writer.
Traveling brings meaning to your life not in the sense of helping you figure out your life purpose or finding out the answers to some of the biggest questions of your life but it’s the ideal therapy to help you break away from the unbearably habitual boredom of our predictable human existence. We are creatures of habit of after all, so it’s pretty much expected that as we repeat our activities daily, we’ll become set in our ways at some point and life would lose much of it’s excitement for us. And then we might start seeing the world around us like a frog in a well. But when you do travel, you’ll be taking your mind for a walk and giving it a whole new exciting experience in another environment. And if you have the heart for it, travelling can provide you moments of thrilling adventure, help you learn new cultures and make newer friends and ultimately create indelible memories you’ll relish when you look back on your life the years ahead. And science has proven over and over that buying experiences in this way is the surest way to long-lasting happiness. In exactly ten years from now, you might not remember your most expensive acquisitions, but you definitely won’t forget the fun you had jetting out to interesting places around the globe.
(2) Spending Time in Nature Guarantees Happiness
“In the presence of nature, a wild delight runs through the man, in spite of real sorrows. Nature says, he is my creature, and maugre all his impertinent griefs, he shall be glad with me”.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson.
“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery – air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy”.
– Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar.
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better”.
– Albert Einstein.
For all its dazzling achievements and mind-blowing advancements, living life in today’s information age and era of technological explosion has come at an agonizing price – the expense of nature. First, our cities are becoming increasingly urbanized and with it has come the need for massive expansion leading to the unprecedented felling of more trees. Second, the age has made us more tech-friendly and now we seem to be spending a staggering amount of time with our gadgets than we are with nature. Apparently, humanity is growing ever alienated from its natural roots with each wave of invention. No more are we enjoying the pleasurable walk along the greenery of the woods, or taking shelter under its restorative shades, or enjoying such simple pleasures as hearing the leaves rustle or the birds singing, things that in their remarkable simplicity all remind us of the beauty of life and bring us in rhythm with nature. And if our lives are becoming complicated and futile, it’s only on account of this loss of touch with our essence and a faltering sense of where we stand in the grand of scheme things.
But for anyone who cares to escape this prison of meaninglessness in life, spending more time with nature can be a good way to reunite with the universe and find meaning in life again. And recent research studies reveal that not only do people who expose themselves to natural environments experience less stress, they also experience feelings of wonder and improved well-being.
So now might be a good time to go from your desk to nature, enjoying the welcoming feel of the sunlight, and taking in the wonderful scenery.
(3) Become Someone’s Hero
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.
– Maya Angelou
“If the word is cold, make it your business to build fires”.
– Horace Traubel.
“If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody”
– Chinese Proverb.
“A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a young boy’s shoulders to let him know that the world hadn’t ended”
– Batman (The Dark Knight Rises)
The world may be a harsh and cruel place and hence the temptation might be there to more build walls than bridges to protect ourselves from hurt and betrayal. But we are all connected in some way and if one suffers, all suffer as well. So in spite of the gloom, the madness and darkness of the world, you can be the one shining lighthouse that keeps it from the brink. That’s making the world a better place. And it begins with you reaching out for another. It’s touching the lives of a few with your little deeds of kindness. And as you give meaning to the lives of others, that gives meaning to yours as well. And remember, the world never forgets it’s heroes.
Though we say we could change the world if only we had more money. Most times, helping others doesn’t always require that.
In fact, the world doesn’t need more billionaires to change it, it needs more Mother Theresa’s. Those who know they might not be able to change the world on their own, yet by touching one single person with their deeds of kindness, they go on to create a chain reaction that expands to touch us all. And like we say, “kindness begets kindness”. To quote the book of proverbs “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped”. Be altruistic and you’ll feel great.
(4) You’ll Discover Meaning Finding the One.
“Falling for him wasn’t falling at all. It was walking into a house and suddenly knowing you’re home.”
Marriages were meant for keeps and we were to regard our spouses as our life partners, “forever and always”. But at the moment, the rising stats on divorce seems to suggest this concept of long-lasting union between couples is proving rather unworkable. It’s such that couples are now breaking their vows on the very same day of marriage. But it’s hardly, if anything, it’s a reflection of our failure to observe the iron law of attraction in mating. People were supposed to be attracted to their likes, those with whom they were happiest and most compatible, but instead, many hook themselves up with their opposites resulting in this splitting-up.
People often say, that finding the One isn’t easy nowadays, and while I don’t disagree with that, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Of course, your chances of finding someone who’s your 90% match is quite unrealistic, but if you are optimistic enough and keep searching, you just might find someone who might be 70%. And when you do find that One, you’ll have found that final piece of the puzzle to give meaning to your life. In them, you’ll find someone with whom you could share your life with, stand by each other and likely age together. And not only will they bring you long-lasting Joy, they’ll inspire desire in you and give you something to live for.
(5) Making More Money Does It.
“Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping”.
– Bo Derek.
“I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor, and rich is better”.
– Mae West.
Making money is easily one of the most underrated pleasures of life. And whenever I hear someone put up that hollow hogwash for an argument that money doesn’t buy happiness I tend to suggest that they try poverty. Because I can’t seem to understand why anyone who hasn’t been thoroughly brainwashed by material neglect would have the temerity to mouth such a horrible argument. Often, they’ll cite studies to back up their position but these same studies don’t support them on this. The latest research studies now shows that income has a positive relationship with happiness. We all desire the good life, but could we honestly imagine one without the dough? Definitely not! Money matters 100% people, and having it won’t only get you the good life but will buy you life itself, giving you access to quality health care and a longer life span. Money gives you absolute freedom to live your life however you want and guarantees you a secure future. It therefore stands to reason that an abundance of wealth improves your well-being by giving you a real shot at happiness.
(6) Having Kids Will Bring Joy to Your Life.
Having kids is hard work and a big responsibility for any parent and even expensive by current standards. From day one, parents have to make so many adjustments and sacrifices for their children. At times, they might have to give up their personal lives or careers to look after their kids, spend less on themselves to save for the kid’s education, work even harder to provide for their needs, and probably get headaches from their constant tantrums. Given this, I can understand why some would dismiss the idea. But for those of us who do want to have kids, it could turn out to be quite a life-changing decision.
“Children can give you more joy in life than anything else you have experienced, even more than love of your spouse” Says Richard Muller, Professor of Physics, UC Berkeley, writing on Quora.
“It’s programmed into our psyche. It is the most natural joy you can experience. If you let yourself go, you will love your children in such an intense way that you won’t be able to believe it” he adds.
“At some point, you’ll begin to sense that the welfare of your children is more important than your own. You’ll recognize that in your children you’ll find a kind of immortality that you once thought you could only find in a belief of the afterlife. With children, and grandchildren, and more, you’ll sense that part of you will live on forever”.
So notwithstanding the inconvenience, having kids will unravel your life in ways you never dreamed. Your kids will give you something to live for even when all others fail.
(7) Finding Your Flow Is a Drug For Happiness
“Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life”.
– John Wooden
“I like work; it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours. I love to keep it by me: the idea of getting rid of it nearly breaks my heart”.
– Jerome Klapka.
No day every goes by, when I don’t run into someone complaining about the aimlessness of life and how hard it is to find one’s life purpose. For some, it’s a mystery that remains unresolved till after death. But the fault is always ours, since we habitually fail to recognize the nexus between purpose and what is popularly regarded as The Flow. Finding The Flow is synonymous with finding one’s passion, and in that moment life becomes a real joy. To quote Maxim Gorky “when work is a pleasure, life is a joy. When work is a duty, life is slavery”. A passion is like a drug, it’s something, that though intense and exhausting, you get so obsessed doing, that you lose track of time. You might put insane hours into it, but once you’re finished, you have this heady replenishing sense of wholeness and untold satisfaction . And it never seems like really “work”. It could be playing an instrument, pursuing a hobby or even work-related. For me, it’s getting home after work each day, and dashing off to write my blog articles. Nothing compares to that feeling of giving expressive form to my jumbled thoughts. For this reason, you could say writing is my passion. It’s something I love so much, I’d do for two pins, or even free. The world of today is tending towards individualism, and that means you could make a living, if not a fortune, doing what you love. There’s not a single person who isn’t been bestowed with that “sweet spot”. It’s just that many don’t know how to find it. If you’re one of those, spend at least a week observing your activities and the ones you love doing the most. That’s your passion, and it’s your Flow.
(8) Hang Out With Friends
The relationships you keep can have a quite a stupendous influence on your life, success and overall attitude, especially when they are healthy. According to the Mayo Clinic, good friends can help you;
- Increase your sense of belonging and purpose
- Boost your happiness and reduce your stress
- Improve your self-confidence and self-worth
However, you’ll enjoy your relationships more if you strive to keep them always in constant repair and maintenance. But since life has a way of keeping us apart from our friends plus the fact that we have our own personal schedules to keep can all too often weaken the bond of friendship. Even so, you can still stay in touch with your friends by giving them a call every once in a while. Likewise, from time to time, you can schedule time to get together and catch up with events on each other’s life. Do this often, and you’ll see your happiness double.
(9) Tell Us Your Life Story With a Daily Journal
There are many reasons why I’d say journaling is one of the adorable things that gives your life meaning. For one thing, it helps you reflect and become more conscious of your life and the events that happen. Next, it helps you keep track of your life and personal progress and development. More so, keeping a journal can be a good way of taking control of your life and find relief from negative experiences and feelings lurking deep inside you as you “mind-vomit” through writing. And if you are worried about not being remembered a century from now, journaling lets you turn those unconnected events in your daily life into a magical story that’d become a memory of you for generations ahead, just as we remember Anne Frank today.
From now on, at the end of each, reflect on the day, and write just a page about it. And it will give your life a surprising meaning.
(10) Spending Time with Family
No matter how hard you work, how much you make, and how strongly you desire success in your career, never forget the place of family. Because it matters to your overall happiness. Your real friends, as supportive as they can be, all do have their limits to how much help they can give you. And if you do ask for their help far too often, they might see you as an “inconvenience” and stop taking your calls. At times, your friends, can get so preoccupied with their own lives and careers that they may actually forget you or even stop caring. But with family, it’s the opposite. You can count on them any time to always be there for you rain or shine. With them, your smallest of victories will always have significance and they’ll be there to cheer you on every step of the way. Your family is a reliable support system in life and they can help find meaning whenever life blows up on you. But you’ve got to strengthen the bond, by investing your time and resource in them. You could such simple things relaxing with them, sharing a meal or spending the weekend together doing absolutely fun family activities. Isn’t it just adorable to get to spend quality time with those you love? You bet!
The tips shared here are intended to help you find meaning in your life even when you are lost in life. But know that they are a collection of tips shared by different people who have tried them and found happiness. That means you don’t have to settle with doing all of them. Pick only those of them that truly resonate with you.
And if you’ve got tips of your own to share, leave us comments below.