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Last Updated on December 4, 2020

How to Live a Meaningful Life: 10 Inspiring Ideas to Find Meaning

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How to Live a Meaningful Life: 10 Inspiring Ideas to Find Meaning

It can be easy to run through the maze of life without pausing to think of its meaning…

How to live a meaningful life?

Does what I’m doing matter? More importantly, does it matter to me?

Feeling that what you’re doing has a real purpose and meaning that matters to you can make a huge difference in your life. It makes getting up each day the most exciting thing in the world.

You can’t wait to get started. Forget trying to force yourself to work hard, it becomes more important to remind yourself to take breaks to eat!

But how can we cultivate a more meaningful life?

The answer is usually complicated. It can depend on many factors.

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I’ve written down 10 ideas that I believe will help you find meaning in your life every day, so that you can’t wait to get up in the morning and see what the day will bring.

1. Know What’s Important

Know what’s important for you.

Write down your top 5 things that you believe are the essence of how you want to live life. This can include things like “family time,” or “sing every day.” It could also include more complex ideas, like “honesty” and “simplicity.”

2. Pursue Your Passion

I believe everyone should pursue their passion in life. It’s what makes life worth living, and gives our lives true meaning and purpose.

Each time you work on something you love, it creates joy inside you like nothing else. Finding a way to use your passions to give back to the world will give your life ultimate meaning.

If you can’t manage (or aren’t ready) to work on your passion for a living, be sure and make time for it every day. By working on your passion and becoming an expert in it, you will eventually have the opportunity to make money from it. Be ready to seize that opportunity!

3. Discover Your Life’s Purpose

If you had to give yourself a reason to live, what would it be? What would you stand for? What principles do you hold highest? Is your life’s purpose to help others? Is it to inspire others with great works of art, or you words?

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Finding your life’s purpose is a daunting task, and when I first heard the idea, I had no idea where to start. For methods on discovering your life’s purpose, I recommend reading the article What Makes Life Worth Living and How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up.

4. Be Self-Aware

Be aware of yourself and your actions. Remain mindful of what you do at all times, and make sure you are living life according to your principles, your life’s purpose, and what you are passionate about.

Review your actions each day, taking stock of those that strayed from your path. Work towards correcting any incidents in the future.

Meditation is a great tool for accomplishing this task. It helps us increase our self-awareness throughout the day.

5. Focus

Rather than chasing 3 or 4 goals and making very little progress on them, place all of your energy on one thing. Focus. Not only will you alleviate some of the stress associated with trying to juggle so many tasks, you will be much more successful.

Learn How to Stay Focused on Your Goals in a Distracting World. Try and align your goal with something you are passionate about, so that there will be an intrinsic drive to work hard and do well.

6. Spend Money on People More Than Things

Often, we are faced with wanting to buy material goods.

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I recommend you consider carefully what you purchase, and think more about spending your money on experiences with friends and family. Not only will this give deeper meaning to your life by focusing on your relationships rather than material wealth, but you will be a happier person as a result.

7. Live With Compassion

Both for yourself, and others. Keep in mind the following quote:

"One must be compassionate to one's self before external compassion" - Dalai Lama

    For some, compassion is the purpose of life, what gives it meaning, and what leads to ultimate happiness.

    8. Find a Way to Give Back

    Do something that both honors your beliefs and passions, while giving something back to the world.

    By giving something back, we inevitably find purpose in the act. By cultivating more of these activities, you will find your life has more meaning and purpose behind it.

    9. Simplify Your Life

    By simplifying your life, you’ll have more time to do what fulfills you and gives your life meaning. It can also help reduce stress and make your overall life easier to manage. It can also greatly improve your productivity.

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    If you’ve never tried to simplify things before, it really is a great feeling. Here’re some tips from Leo Babauta: 72 Ideas to Simplify Your Life Today

    10. Set Daily Goals

    In the morning, before you start your day, create a list of 3 goals that you find fulfilling and meaningful. Make sure they adhere to your set of principles and beliefs.

    Tackle the hardest things first! Don’t make this list too long. By placing too many things on the list, you’ll feel the urge to multi-task, which is not good, or you’ll feel overwhelmed, which isn’t good either.

    By trying to do less, you’ll end up doing more.

    The Bottom Line

    Doing all of these things at once may seem daunting, but you can pick one thing at a time and slowly incorporate the ideas into your life.

    Life is about the journey, not the destination. Living a life of purpose gives both fulfillment and meaning to your journey.

    More About Finding Meaning of Life

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      Featured photo credit: Candice Picard via unsplash.com

      More by this author

      David Loker

      David is making a living from his passion and helps people to do the same.

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      Last Updated on September 16, 2021

      Feel That Life Is Meaningless? Here’s How to Find Meaning

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      Feel That Life Is Meaningless? Here’s How to Find Meaning

      Have you ever felt like you’re unable to feel anything? You know exactly what this feeling is if you’ve been through it. The feeling of a meaningless life is unexplainable.

      A meaningless life may not look bad. In fact, there’s likely nothing obviously wrong. You may be living in your dream house with the love of your life. Your well-paid job in the company that you dreamt of is doing great, too. However, you feel like a part of your heart and soul are missing.

      If you feel like nothing is right, you may be living a meaningless life. But don’t you worry, because you’re in the right place to find the perfect solution for you and your unique life.

      What Is a Meaningless Life?

      Let’s start by helping you put a finger on your issue. Is it actually a meaningless life or just a rough slump?

      Be clear on one thing: no human’s life is ever truly meaningless. Basically, your life can never lose its meaning and purpose. If you’re living in this world, there is some reason deep down. The only issue is that you have lost the vision to identify it. Your perspective is too blurred to figure out what you are in this world for.

      A meaningless life may mean you’re going through an existential crisis. You could be borderline depressed. The feeling of emptiness may prevail all other emotions. However, you can be sure that, despite all of this, there’s still meaning to your existence.

      All you have to do is push through to find it.

      If you feel that you’re living a meaningless life, negativity will surround you like wildfire. However, you’ve got to keep your head high so that you can look ahead and find an answer. You have to strive to find your life’s meaning to continue to live a life of high motivation.

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      Before you move on with the rest of the process, make sure to first imprint this in your mind. Only then will you be able to guide your thought process in the right direction.

      Is There Any Meaning to Life?

      Life, in its literal term, means to exist and reproduce. The reproduction not only includes the creation of humans like yourself, but also of thoughts, ideologies, and philosophies.

      A person who is living a meaningless life has a very different view of what life is supposed to be. That is where the issue arises. To understand the meaning of life without any misconceptions, one should look at the philosophy behind this concept.

      Like most branches of research, philosophy has numerous diverging answers to answer what the meaning of life is[1]. Here’s a quick summary of what I consider the most suitable understanding.

      It all starts from a human’s expectations and, ultimately, reactions. Every individual expects something from the world and, in return, has to react to the expectations of others. Generally, this idea is surrounded by wanting goodness. To achieve that, a person has to do good deeds as well.

      This cycle continues. But, of course, it is very complex. A lot of factors contribute to this cycle, such as selfishness, a different point of view of what’s good, emotions, likes and dislikes, etc.

      The point of this entire concept in philosophy is that, ultimately, the process of growth and reproduction comes to an end for every human. There’s no escaping that. Therefore, the goal is to live life in a way that, when the individual’s growth comes to an end, something good is still left behind for the cycle to continue.

      Where Does the Good Come From?

      This is the point where the differences come in. People with different beliefs opt for varying methods to reach the same goal.

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      There are four main schools of thought in philosophy in this regard, and they all offer different advice on how to move past living a meaningless life[2].

      1. God

      One school believes that God is the center of everything we do. Hence, goodness is anything that goes in line with the religion that you believe in.

      2. The Soul

      The other school of thought centers their actions on the soul. For them, anything that satisfies and calms your inner self is the path you should follow, regardless of what the rest of the world thinks.

      3. Objectivists

      The objectivists say that everything in the world is defined; the good and bad are certain, so no one should go beyond the set boundaries.

      4. Subjectivists

      The subjectivists, on the other hand, believe that since every individual’s cognition varies, the meaning of every single thing in the world is different. No two individuals can have a similar thought process.

      All in all, life comes down to one thing only: goodness. That is what life should be, and that is what you should leave behind. How you achieve it depends on which school of thought you agree with. Whatever you believe in is ultimately what the meaning of your life is.

      How to Stop Living a Meaningless Life

      Now you know that there is a meaning to your life, without question. You also have an idea of what this meaning is. You’ve got to figure out what you consider “good” and build your life around it.

      Regardless of which school of thought you agree with or what you have decided your life’s meaning to be, the process to implement will be a bit hard. To make it easier, here are some universal tips.

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      1. Unlearn What You’ve Been Told All Your Life

      Do not be distracted by what you’ve learned in your life until now. The truth is, you could have been told something for 30 years of your life only to find out that it was all baseless.

      The only thing in life that is definite is that there are no rules. We didn’t come into this world with a rule book or defined meaning. Every individual was given the ability to make choices in their life. So, take hold of yours, learn your right and wrong from scratch, and make sure nothing is detracting you from the real meaning of your life. Don’t be afraid if you learn something that goes against your lifelong motto if it gets you away from living a meaningless life.

      2. Know That You Matter

      This has been said a couple of times by now but, honestly, the more you emphasize this fact, the easier it will be for you.

      The fact that you’re alive, living in this world, and taking another breath to take means that you matter. Your life purpose is yet to be fulfilled, so you’ve still got to make some impact in this world.

      You are the one person that has to change the world, even if it is something as small as changing the life of one tiny creature. Keep this in mind at all times.

      3. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

      If your life’s meaning was somewhere inside the circle that you stay in, you would’ve found it by now. Isn’t it obvious that what you’re looking for is out of your comfort zone? Then, what’s keeping you from stepping out?

      Don’t hesitate to step out. The short-term discomfort will help you find the long-term purpose of life, which will give you a lifetime of relaxation and a constant way out of a meaningless life.

      4. Follow Your Heart

      Whether you’re choosing which school of thought to follow or opting between what good to go after, never ignore your heart. Your intuition is your heart’s way of guiding you. Don’t let it take over, but also don’t forget to take it into consideration.

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      5. Do Not Let Go of Your Passion

      You know that one thing in life that you just cannot give up no matter hard you try? Stop trying to get rid of it. You’re passionate about something for a reason. It is a step for you to reach your life’s meaning.

      6. Be More Mindful

      The big things in life tend to take over the tiny details. These little things are signs to help you decode and find answers. Meditate if you have a hard time focusing, but always try your best to pay attention to the little experiences that you usually don’t notice.

      Conclusion

      If you’re a person who is going through the dilemma of living a meaningless life, try to use these tips to help you seek out your unique meaning. Although your life seems meaningless, rest assured that it’s not.

      The ball is now in your court. You’re the one who has to do the rest of the work. Use the tips to help you find the true meaning of your life, and then stick to it. Get on with step 1 from today without losing any motivation at all.

      All the work that you’ll put in the process now will help you achieve a life of happiness and peace worth living.

      More Tips on Living With Meaning

      Featured photo credit: Frida Aguilar Estrada via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Philosophy Now: What is Life?
      [2] Philosophy Now: What is The Meaning Of Life?

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