Grounds To Thrive:
I keep looking around at those who are on their way to understanding their calling and their true potential in life. It is easy to understand that the pursuit of self-actualization is not possible without the basics in life – safety and comfort.
Safety, here is, stability, certainty, coherence, continuity and the trust in our immediate environment that enables us to take risks. Comfort is the availability of all the resources necessary for our basic survival and some more.
When there is no adequate measures of these for our survival, we tend to start relying on others for our protection, affection and to fill any gaps in our self-esteem. Of course, that also in a way, might lead to growth, development and meaning in life.
This reason to strive for meaning is what is common to all of us. More than death itself, we fear the scary idea of living a life of anonymity. We want to make an impact and want ourselves to be visible.
Which Path To Choose?
Imagine your life can be lived two ways. The first path is of pure satisfaction. You wake up to do what you are good at, what brings joy to you and you create your own definition of success.
The second path is where you are one among the herd of humanity. You have a great lifestyle, your status in the society is recognized, and you meet all definitions of success. But there’s a persistent dissatisfaction in your heart. You feel like your life lacks meaning.
Of course the first path will work only if it is sustainable. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, you would not even venture out this far for long.
Psychology Talks About 3 Different Meanings:
According to psychology, there can be three different types of meanings in life. Coherence, purpose and mattering.
Coherence is our need to anchor our values especially when our lives feel incomprehensible and chaotic. Finding the things that make our lives worth living is hard but it is not impossible.
Purpose involves a motivation to realize our dreams. It can be a future oriented mission, and it can be the working manifestation of our personal values in all walks of life.
Mattering is the extent to which people feel their actions and their existence in the world is relevant and important. This is especially meaningful in the context of our social status.
“Current consensus suggests that MIL is experienced when people are able to make sense of their lives (coherence), believe they are pursuing important goals (purpose), and feel that their lives matter to both themselves and the outside world (mattering).” ~ Meaning in Life and Pain: The Differential Effects of Coherence, Purpose, and Mattering on Pain Severity, Frequency, and the Development of Chronic Pain By Boring BL , Maffly-Kipp J, Mathur VA , Hicks JA
“A meaningful life is characterized by three dimensions: coherence, purpose, and mattering.” ~ King et al., 2006; Steger, Frazier, Oishi, & Kaler, 2006; see also Reker & Wong, 1988
Focus On Timeless Goals:
Having a goal that is inexhaustible like self-improvement for the benefit of others. That’s a goal that can never be “complete”. Self-realization and self-actualization are perennial goals that must be worked at diligently each and every day.
Start by letting go of the pursuit of the transitory. Come up with ideas to chase the eternal. Seek that knowledge that is authentic and timeless. Ask this to yourself: What solution can you bring to the world? What if the solution would outlive you?
Starting One Step At A Time:
The first step on this journey is to identify our strengths. What are we good at? What makes us forget time and everything else while we are at it? When we are playing to our strengths, we are in our true purpose.
To identify potential goals, understand your strengths and anticipate others’ needs. The answer might come naturally.
Look at the things that we use every day. They are things that people have designed for everyone else to alleviate our minor or major inconveniences. Surely, there’s something you could also produce with your ingenious imagination and creativity.
A few of us are in specialized fields. Think of a robot in an assembly line. It does one thing, all day every day, and is very good at it. It is known for that work and can be dependable when it comes to finishing that tasks. There are a few of us who are generalists, who try different things with good amount of success.
Whatever you’re doing, start small. Think impact. You never know what impact even a single sentence or a small act can have on others.
In this journey, we must remember that progress is not perfection, we simply cannot wait for everything in our lives to be perfect so that we can begin. We should just start considering things are bound to change, and impediments are likely to occur. The only thing that matters is our intent to get on with our journey.
Remember Me By Joey Beighley: An Excerpt:
Fill not your heart with pain and sorrow,
but remember me in every tomorrow.
Remember the joy, the laughter, the smiles,
I’ve only gone to rest a little while.
As long as I have the love of each of you,
I can live my life in the hearts of all of you.
The Meaning Of Life:
The meaning of life can be summarized in the context of three things. What we attribute the value of our personal contributions to life. How we see what happens to us and those around us. And how well we try to reverse the effects of entropy around us. Society accelerates entropy, but only we can individually try to mitigate and reverse the effects of the chaos that’s called life.
There will be pitfalls, like you might want to spend a lot of time perfecting the present and fixing the past. Just remember that only we know are flaws, so just enjoy and grow each day.
Making A Case For Finding Our Purpose:
Whether we are at work or just scrolling through our social media feeds, we are constantly seeking to be inspired. But are we really ready to do anything with all the motivation??
Swami Vivekananda said something on the lines of “You work for yourself, people will remember you as long as you are alive. But if you work for others, people will remember you long after you’re gone. Do you want to be remembered today or for the end of time?” It is a valid question that we must constantly ask ourselves. After all, it’s not fair for those who’re not blessed with the luxury of a full life.
We all know mothers who have outlived their children, just imagine if they can find the will to continue to live and contribute, surely, we too can find the courage to pursue what matters to us.
In the end, ask yourself, the inevitable cannot be changed. Tomorrow we might not walk this earth. So, how much are we using the gifts and the time we have got? At the end of life, no one wants to be left with the thought, “Did I live?”
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About The Article Author:
I see myself as an advocate for bringing social, emotional and character development to families, schools and communities. I never want to let this idea out of my sight – Our children are not just GPAs. I’m a Writer and a Certified Master Coach in NLP and CBT. Until 2017, I was also a Big Data Scientist. In December of 2044, I hope to win the Nobel. Namasté.
Write to me or call me. Tell me what support from me looks like.
Program Director & Essential Life Skills Coach for Kids and Busy Parents
The Ultimate Guide To Personal And Professional Goal Setting
And How To Do It Well
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