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Skimming the Surface of Life or Digging Deep

By Karen Vally on 14 Oct 2020

If I were to ask you, "What is your reason for living?" I wonder what your reponse would be. Some people feel uncomfortable "digging deep" and are quite content with waking each morning to follow the same routine. Others need variety and constantly push themselves to greater heights.

" Feeling that what you're doing has real purpose and meaning that matters to you, can make a huge difference in your life." But how does one discover this meaning, this sense of purpose, that what we 're doing is making a difference in our lives and in the lives of those around us? The first step, is to know what is really important to you. Pause for a moment and list your top priorities and the values or principles that are most important to you.

What is your passion? " Each time you work on something you love, it creates joy inside you like nothing else." The source of your passion might be your career, or it could be a sport or a leisure activity. The ultimate source of a life of meaning and purpose for most people, is when we're able to earn an income doing something about which we're passionate and that makes a difference in the lives of others, or in the world. If we're not yet at that stage, we can enrich our daily experience of life by spending time participating in an activity that brings us joy. Whatever it is that we do during our waking hours, it would be worthwhile asking ourselves, " Is what I am doing right now, the most useful thing I could be doing?"

It is absolutely vital to form meaningful relationships along the way, not only to create a sense of belonging, but also as a support structure during our quest to find meaning in our lives.

There is no short cut or secret formula to finding meaning in life and it needn't be complicated. People who have a reason to live, usually feel good about themselves and what they are doing. When we feel competent, we feel motivated and it is this motivation that keeps us moving forwards, despite any challenges, towards our goals and aspirations. Without this motivation, this driving force, we give up. " Your purpose is what differentiates the motivated from the unmotivated, the achievers from the underachievers, the happy from the unhappy."

Leon Ho from Lifehack explains. " ...motivation is not a switch. It is a flow. If you can create a self-sustaining motivation engine, you'll be able to find more meaning in your life and enjoy every minute of what you're doing." He says that our surroundings have a direct impact on this process. We find meaning in life when we create a compatible environment in which to do so. To do that, we need to have a good knowledge and understanding of ourselves. 

" Living a life with meaning and value can make you happier, more content, more resilient through hard times and more likely to influence the lives of others." It takes courage to live. It takes even more courage to connect with others and to help them along life's road. It's much easier to get into a rut or stay in one's comfort zone, reluctant to reach out or to explore other possibilities.

But living meaningfully does not mean that we're immune from life's "bumps and bruises." However, when we practise living in the moment by putting the past, present and future into perspective, we can create for ourselves a more comfortable experience. Finding meaning in life is an ever evolving process that requires patience.

We feel so alive when we live with a sense of meaning and purpose.  Viktor Frankl, in his book, "Man's Search For Meaning," says we need to go within to find it. I think he's right.



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