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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How To Find Meaning in Life: 9 Simple Ways

How To Find Meaning in Life: 9 Simple Ways

Do you ever wonder why on earth you are here? You know, like how to find meaning in life, or your purpose in life? Why you actually exist on this planet?

These are probably the most subtle, yet profound, questions people ask themselves every day and I can bet you there’s probably as many different answers to these questions as there are people asking them, too.

This is why instead of asking yourself why you are here and what exactly it is you should be doing, let us begin to make your experiences the answer to your questions and put some meaning and oomph back in your life, where they belong.

1. Learn the Lesson on Happiness

Yes, I know, you’ve heard it before: happiness is a choice. Yes, it is, and luckily it can be practiced by anyone because the truth is you can actually override what you were originally taught, which is to play along with the rest of the world and become upset or unhappy because things are not perfect.

Alright, I’m not saying always have a deluded smile on your face (people will think you’re crazy) but instead stay calm and stay happy, whilst dealing with situations that need your attention.

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2. Follow Your Gifts and Talents

Discovering your gifts and talents will give meaning to your life and can lead to finding your purpose. Here are a few questions that will help you discover what underlying gifts and talents you have:

  • What comes naturally to you?
  • When do you feel the best?
  • What are you doing or experiencing then?
  • In what way do you love to help other people?

3. Make Great Connections

Spend time with the people that add to your life and lift you up. This could be anyone from friends to work colleagues.

Spend less time with people that drain your energy or constantly give negative vibes. Jim Rohn puts it this way,

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

Begin to notice how you feel around others. (Hint: you should feel good.)

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4. Goal Setting

If you want meaning in life, this means having a plan. You don’t have to sit down for five hours every Monday setting goals for the rest of the week that you probably won’t complete anyway—please, don’t do this to yourself!

But do have goals and a plan for achieving them. It shouldn’t be one of those things you hate to do, but instead have an idea of accomplishments you would like to see happen in you life and make a plan for working towards them by writing them down. Then, most importantly, take action.

Get some inspirations about goals setting: 14 Personal Goals for a Better You Next Year

5. Help Others

Helping other people helps you feel good, definitely makes you feel worthy, and gives you some sense of purpose. Giving to others in time, money or helping them out in any way you can is a sure way to give yourself meaning in life.

So, the question is this: Do you know anyone you can help this week?

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6. Do Something Different

How about going to a museum, having lunch at an exclusive hotel in you hometown, or pampering yourself at home for the day? You are probably so stuck in a routine you think you don’t have the time for it.

Doing something different breaks the cycle of ‘doing’ life, and gives you an opportunity to experience a break from the norm and realize you’re missing out on some of life’s experiences that really matter. Trust me, you will thank me for this!

7. Quit Watching TV

Seriously. I challenge you to no TV for a week, especially if you find it painstakingly impossible do without the news. You will see how this makes a difference in your life, and you may realize how addictive the box and all the negativity it portrays really is.

Want to put meaning back in your life? Then turn off the TV and spend some time doing something meaningful. Simple!

8. Do Something You’ve Always Wanted To Do

What’s that thing you always think about doing someday? Well, guess what? Your time has come, my friend, because you’re going to do it.

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Step 1. Identify your ‘thing’.

Step 2. Go do it.

If this is an impossible two-step process for you right now, then start working towards, saving, learning or doing whatever it will take to make it happen. But make your first step!

9. Find Your Purpose

One of the most liberating things you can do in life, in my opinion, is find your purpose. This will give you all the meaning you require for your life. It’s what life is about: finding your purpose and following through by living it.

Your purpose is what drives you, what wakes you up in the morning, what gives you energy. If you do nothing else with your life, seek your purpose with all your heart so you can reap the benefits of a meaningful life!

This article will help you figure out your purpose: How to Find Purpose in Life and Make Yourself a Better Person

More About Meaning of Life

Featured photo credit: Elijah Hail via unsplash.com

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Diana Reid

CEO - Moxie House Ltd

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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