Finding meaning & joy in your life is extremeley important for optimal phsyical and mental well-being. It's somewhat alarming then, how many do NOT have a strong sense of personal meaning. So many professionals, even high performers, are going through the daily motions just to get things done. They may have status, money, and a 'good career' but there is something fundamentally missing from their day-to-day experience. There is a definite lack of emotional fulfillment, groundedness and intrinsic joy. Maybe, this is you!
Many accomplished people are reaching a point of crisis. Not the kind that demands immediate attention but one that slowly erodes your physical and mental health over time which can lead to burnout, depression, low optimism and reduced self-confidence. this is why I developed my AAA coaching program. Let's see if any of these sound familiar to you:
❌You have always gone through the motions (school --> career)
❌Although your finances are good, your life feels 'poor'
❌You are wondering why you keep doing what you're doing
❌There isn't a clear light at the end of the tunnel
❌You no longer know what you're working/living for
❌The feeling of joy that you want, simply isn't there
❌You're beginning to question your purpose
❌It feels like something needs to change
If any or all of these 'ring a bell' then read on to learn the WHY and HOW of creating more meaning in your life.
Why Feeling a Sense of Meaning in Your Life Helps You
Let me preface this section by saying, that when someone says they "don't have a strong sense of meanign in their life" usually, it is code for, "I don't feel as good as I would like. This feeling I want in my life, is missing!". During my live workshops on this topic, I get attendees to write down the words which descrive not having a clear sense of meaning in their lives. They write words like:
This is not an exhaustive list, but you get the message. The next part of the workshop, I lead attendees through a guided meditation/visualization. I call it the Heart Energy Alignment Technique and it can be found below:
I encourage you to go through the exercise and take note of which words can describe the feeling you are going through. Often, participants find that their internal feeling has changed substantially and realize that 'meaning' can be found right here, right now. As Joseph Campbell beautifully articulated, "People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture and joy existing.” To this end, I could not agree more.
So, in summary having a sense of meanign greatly improves feelings of "positive affect" which refers to the extent to which an individual subjectively experiences positive moods such as joy, interest, and alertness. This has scientifically proven physical and psychological health benefits such as;
Great sense of fulfillment
In addition to physical health benefits such as:
Greater life span
Increase in memory & cognitive function
Lesss chronic pain
In summary, meaning is a feeling that can be 'found' right here. With that in mind, we can indeed create a sense of meaning from the inside out by changing the way we feel about ourselves and the world at any given moment. Of course, other great ways to feel better moment-to-moment are breathwork and meditation. Both are excellent ways to improve physical and mental well-being. There are several more concepts which should be explored in order to better equip you to create these feelings and begin living a better life.
The Three Components of Meaning
Meaning in life is actually defined by three things:
✅Significance - What we do matters to others AND matters to us!
✅Coherence - The feeling that life makes sense. Both our inner world and our outer world.
✅ Purpose - The capacity to invest in goals bigger than ourselves. Applying your skills toward contributing to the greater good in a way that matters to you, which can also improve your feeling of significance.
Here is the thing:
It is in our control to give the things we do significance. Being fully present with our activities, practicing gratitude and cultivating a positive and abundance mindset help us feel like our lives matter. If we can engage in what we are doing with the right attitude, then there is inherent meaning in it because the feeling we are creating, imbues us with joy, peace, and groundedness.
The stories you are telling yourself and the way you are making sense of your experience is what will create coherence. If you are coming from your intuition, listening to your heart and trust your decisions, then life will come together. I wrote about mindsets needed to turn challenges into opportunities and it is indeed worth a read to help you better understand and apply ways in which you can do this.
Purpose, emerges out of the process of putting your time and energy into things that yield positive results for you and others, while using the talents that you love to use. I write a lot more about purpose and it's benefits here and again, it is worth a read.
Steps Moving Forward
I didn't want to make this article too dense. The idea was to present the key pillars of a meaningful life and some ways in which you can start to adapt certain strategies into your daily experience. As a breathwork and somatics coach, I am obsessed with how people transform their lives from the inside-out. Ultimately, our experience of life starts from the inside and the "Big" existential questions we are faced with can always be addressed if we learn to orient our lives using our body's, inner voice and intution. We have been to just "DO" h=that we have never (if ever) really taken the time to BE.
To this end, many professionals (even very successful ones) are missing the feeling of really being alive. They are caught in the moment of life and not living in a way the is holisitcally true to who they really are. There is FAR more in this topic in my course, "Finding Meaning & Purpose in Life" which can be found below be clicking in the image.
So, curious to know, what gives your life meaning? 🙏😃