October 24, 2022
The Best Things About the Meaning of Life
What is the meaning of life?
We as human beings have always contemplated the meaning of life. There are many literatures and studies about it. Psychologists, philosophers, even theologists have their own definitions of life’s meaning. Some even interpret it as something complex.
However, one good thing about the meaning of life or meaning in life is that it does not have to be as complicated as what many people perceive it to be. It is simply what you want to live for or better yet who you live for, who you want to be. It is to be better from who you were.
It is your purpose in life and as Viktor Frankl said, this can differ for every person and even at different moments or times in their lives. You have the power to choose your own goal in life and you do not need to base it on what others tell you or what society wants you to conform to.
Yes, determining your purpose can be a bit daunting, but if you stop and really think about who you want to be, what talents you have and the value you put in yourself then it would be much easier. I will further discuss this in the next section of this blog so be sure to read until the end.
The other best things about the meaning of life can be summed up in the three domains that most people want to improve on. These three aspects in life that we desire are better health, more wealth, and better relationships.
What are the best things about the meaning of life?
Meaning of life leads to better health
A high sense meaning in life positively affects both the mental and the physical well-being of a person. It can make you live longer, healthier, and happier. Numerous studies have been done to show the positive effects of knowing one’s meaning of life.
One of these studies was by Patricia Boyle. In one of her presentations, she mentioned that people with a high sense of purpose were substantially less likely to develop dementia, slower rate of cognitive decline, and reduced effect of Alzheimer’s disease. These mental health illnesses are what most people face as they age.
Other studies also showed that meaning of life reduces the risk of having depression, addiction, and suicide. It reduces emotional problems because it develops one’s resilience to challenges or stressors and likewise promotes a positive outlook in life.
Another study was published in the National Library of Medicine. This study was done to determine the relationship of ikigai (Japanese term for reason for being) and the mortality risk of middle-aged and elderly Japanese. Results showed that respondents with ikigai had lower risks of death and thus lived longer.
Several studies also showed that having a purpose in life lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, disability, and hospitalizations. Life’s meaning likewise improves a person’s quality of sleep. People become more open-minded to treatment when they have a goal in life.
Moreover, people with a purpose in life have better health habits. They have a greater tendency to exercise and eat better. This results in lower obesity which further contributes to a better physical well-being.
Meaning of life can increase wealth
Can having a purpose in life really increase your wealth?
A study done by Patrick Hill and his fellow researchers indicated that respondents with a higher sense of purpose also had higher levels of incomes and were more inclined to increase their income in a span of 9 years.
This can be explained by the fact that having a high purpose in life regulates one’s actions or behavior. If our life goal is to have more wealth, then we try to make better decisions to accomplish those financial aims.
Furthermore, the more we become financially secure the more we can help others. Our ability to help others makes our lives more meaningful.
Meaning of life helps form better relationships
How can you have better relationships through the meaning of life? Life’s meaning gives us directions and makes our lives worth living.
People with a greater sense of value and purpose in life have been found to be more socially engaging. We are more inspired to connect with other people and having that positive outlook in life draws people to us.
Having a purpose in life motivates you to participate in voluntary groups and gives you the confidence to help achieve social goals. The desire to live a more meaningful life drives us to help others and to be part of a greater good.
Some studies show that having a purpose in life is self- regulating. When we are oriented towards achieving our goal or purpose in life then we would generally control our own behavior to act or move toward the goal we want to achieve. We set standards to our actions.
In fact, another study showed that persons with a high sense of purpose valued their loved ones more and spent more time with them. These behaviors help us form stronger ties with the people around us, with our community. They lower the risk of divorce or of us living alone as we have more satisfying relationships.
How can we define our own meaning of life?
Stop and think
As I have previously mentioned, determining your life’s meaning is not complicated. The first thing you must do is to stop and think. Give yourself time to reflect on where you are and what or who you want to be.
Think and assess your present self without judgement. Where has life gotten you? Do you like the life that your actions or decisions have led you? Again, do not let your emotions rule over your thoughts because if you do, you will ruminate and be stuck.
Next thing you need to think about clearly is how you value yourself? Are you aware of your self-worth or do you value yourself so less that you cannot see your talents and capabilities? What have you accomplished?
List down all of them no matter how small you think they are. Drinking an extra glass of water every day, making someone smile are achievements that we often fail to recognise because we focus too much on the big tasks. Remember, you cannot achieve your big goals if you do not accomplish the small tasks that are part of them.
So, now that you are aware of your present state, your value and your talents and capabilities, the subsequent step you must do is to think and decide who you want to be. Who is your future self? Think beyond your present limitations. Choose among the endless possibilities.
Who is the person that you see yourself becoming? What is he doing? What kind of life does he have? Picture it in your mind. Do you like what you envision yourself to be? Or can that person be better than what you see?
That person is your goal. He is your life’s meaning. He is the one that will give your life purpose, a sense of meaning. The one that will make your life worth living so be sure to decide well.
Once you have chosen your life’s purpose, you must now identify with that person. Let him guide your every decision and action. Listen to him every day. Keep that image of your future self in your mind always.
To achieve your life goal, you need to change your habits. Stop your habits of procrastinating, ruminating, and getting distracted. These habits have led you nowhere. They have prevented you from becoming the person you want to be. They are the reasons why you are not living the life you want.
Replace your bad habits with good ones. Start those habits that will contribute to a better you, to your life’s purpose. A simple habit of walking, eating more fruits and lesser sweets, setting your phone down an hour or two before you sleep can greatly benefit your future self.
Changing habits can be difficult especially if the environment you are in is not supportive of the person you want to become, but there is a solution for that. You can try the Stop One Start One Challenge. It provides you with a community of likeminded persons that support your goals and tools to help you be your future self.
You can also download the Stop One Start One Habit Tracker. This can help you set your intentions, keep track of your progress, and be rewarded as you improve yourself. It also connects you with other people with the same intentions and provides you with loads of insights to help you live the life you want.
Meditation is a great way to keep you in touch with your goals in life. It clears your mind of all the negativities and connects you to your future self. Meditation can improve your mental as well as physical well-being.
There are many studies with regards to meditation and they all provide you with insights to the benefits of meditation. A meditation you can use to help you live a meaningful life is the Michelangelo meditation.
You can meditate upon waking up, or at night, or during your lunch. It does not really matter when you meditate. What is important is that you always practice meditation. Be consistent with it to help you focus on your life’s mission.
Never stop reinventing yourself
Life is never stagnant. It is always challenging, always changing. It is therefore important for you to adapt to these changes. Achieving a life goal is not the end of it all. You can form new goals once you have accomplished your initial goal.
You can also form new goals as your situation changes. Keep learning and never stop improving yourself. Equipping yourself with the necessary insights and skills not only allows you to be more resilient to challenges but provides you with better opportunities in life as well.
Helping others in whatever way helps make our life more meaningful. Guiding other people to achieve their own life goals is a worthwhile task that can make your life more satisfying and fulfilling. It adds value to your life while contributing to the betterment of others.
Define your life’s meaning now. Decide on who you want to become and make your life worth living.
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