We all want to feel like our lives count for something. We want to know that all this was not just a cosmic accident.
The good news is that finding a sense of purpose is possible at any age. But, first, we need to reword the question.
“What Is the Meaning of My Life?” is Really 3 Questions
For many people, this question is the most difficult of the three. For most of our lives, we look to others to tell us what is important. When we are children, our parents provide structure and guidance. When we are adults, we are influenced by our friends, partners and colleagues, not to mention the media. But, how many of us have stopped to think— really think—about our values?
Force yourself to ask this question on multiple levels. What are the biggest problems you see in the world? What are their causes? Who are the most important people in your life? What are your dreams and aspirations for them? What are your values? How well is your current lifestyle aligned with these values?
These questions will not be resolved in a day. They may not even be resolved in a lifetime. So, return to them again and again. Make the search for meaning the story of your life.
Finding meaning in our lives requires us to look beyond our values and assess our talents. In doing so, we will find ways to make the world a better place, while enriching our own lives.
We all have unique talents and traits. How would you describe what you are really good at? Are you a strong communicator? Do you love to teach others? Are you creative, analytical, caring or disciplined? Are there specific sports or activities that feel natural to you?
Don’t let society’s value judgements prevent you from following your dreams. The more unique your talents are, the more likely they are to lead you to the meaning of your life.
The first two questions ask you who you are. The last question focuses on what you can become. Each of us has the potential to achieve greatness, in our own way.
Life is full of choices. Do you want to follow the path that you have always known? Or will you chart a new course? Will you accept your life “as it is?” Or, will you chase your potential, knowing that you will never reach it? Will the search for your own potential lead you to find perfection in the journey?