Adding More Meaning to Life

March 27, 2009

Pictured Rocks, Munising, Michigan

Pictured Rocks, Munising, Michigan

Here’s a post from Leo Babauta  at Zen Habits that I wanted to share.  In difficult times, it’s easy for my focus to narrow and for discontent to set in.  Leo lays out some great ideas to widen our vision and improve the quality of our lives.

 

Do Something That Gives You Meaning

Often we feel dissatisfied with life because while we might have a good life — at least, all the comfort and leisure we need — we might not be doing anything that feels worthwhile. It might feel meaningless.

The cure: find meaning, do something meaningful. Just a few ways:

1. Spend time with loved ones. I love spending time with my wife and kids, with my sisters and parents, and other loved ones. It gives me joy. It feels more meaningful than most other things I do (besides writing). I recommend you take the time to do something with a loved one — just go for a walk, play a game together, have a conversation, it doesn’t matter what. Really be there — don’t be thinking of other things you need to do. Really listen. Really try to help the person if possible. It will make a difference in both your lives.

2. Volunteer. This is a common suggestion, but that’s because it’s so awesome. There is nothing like giving yourself — your time, you love — to something you feel is worthwhile. Make a call today to find out how to volunteer for an organization you like, and make an appointment on your calendar.

3. Create something meaningful. As I said above, writing is something that is very meaningful to me. Any kind of creating — whether it be writing, drawing, playing music, designing, building something — can bring meaning to your life. You’re creating something new, expressing yourself, sharing it with others so that it may enrich their lives and the world in general.

4. Make the lives of others better. Volunteering is just one way to accomplish this. But you could also think about your loved ones, your neighbors, others in the world around you, and think about how you can help them, make their lives better, even in a small way. That might mean baking them cookies, listening to them, cleaning for them, writing a kind letter, buying a nice gift, anything.

These are just a few ways, of course — there are lots of ways to do something meaningful. These have worked for me, but I’m sure you’ve found your own ways.

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