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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 July 8, 2020

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you realize you aren’t really happy about this, wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while but I learned the art of saying no. Saying ‘no’ meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. I started to manage my time more around my own needs and interests. When that happened, I became a lot happier. And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying ‘no,’ you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey considered one of the most successful women in the world confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything. It was only when she realized that after years of struggling with saying no, I finally got to this question: “What do I want?”

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

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Warren Buffett views no as essential to his success. He said,

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made ‘no’ a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say ‘no.’

From an early age, we are conditioned to say ‘yes.’ We said yes probably hundreds of time in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work. We said yes get a promotion. We said yes to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because it feels better to help someone. We say yes because it can seem like the right thing to do. We say yes because we think that is key to success. And we say yes because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist like the boss.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we feel guilty we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message no matter where we turn is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

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How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty

Deciding to add the word ‘no’ to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say ‘no’ but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of ‘no’ that you could finally create more time for things you care about. But let’s be honest, using the word ‘no’ doesn’t come easily for many people.

The 3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time especially you haven’t done it much in the past will feel awkward.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it, who else knows about all of the demands on your time? No one. Only you are at the center of all of these requests. are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying ‘No’ Means Saying ‘Yes’ to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word ‘no’ into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying ‘no’ is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because FOMO even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

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Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say ‘No’

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say ‘yes’ because we worry about how others will respond or the consequences of saying no or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose respect from others. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way. You might disappoint someone initially but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to.

4. When the Request Comes In, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time, or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say ‘no.’ There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your ‘No’ with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

A clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

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6. Consider How to Use a Modified ‘No’

If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” giving you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

Final Thoughts

Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

Use the request as a fresh request to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself. If you are the one placing the demand on yourself, try to evaluate the demand as if it were coming from somewhere else.

Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project but not by working all weekend. Or, tell someone in your family you can’t loan them money again because they never paid you back the last time. You’ll find yourself much happier.

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Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

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