Meaning is different for everyone. I was asked what I thought the meaning of life was when I was young. I said that it was to find your own meaning. I still hold this as my favored view on life now. Each to their own. We all have beliefs and interests that deepen into what we define as meaningful. We create our own meaning in this world, each with different interpretations true only to us. There is no single secret to finding meaning in life, only a hots of different subjective outlooks. Find the one that means the most for you.
Tips For Finding Meaning
- Think- There is a lot to learn about on this planet, too much to learn it all. As long as we are learning something I think we can always find meaning. We can philosophies endlessly about the world and how it works, or we can read about the latest advances in civilization, or about the theory of evolution. We can read the religious scriptures and classic novels. With so much to think about, and with easy access to information, we can find meaning at the click of a button, or the flick of a page.
- Do- Thinking gives us meaning but so does doing, and this is an important lesson that has recently helped me to find more meaning in my own life. When we do something with our thoughts, with our interests and ideas, we start to make an impact on the people around us, and on the physical world. Perhaps we only make very local impact but every time we do something our actions have a result. For this reason there is meaning in everything we do.
- Do What You Love- We find meaning in certain activities. For some it might be music, for others dancing, for me it is writing. Whatever it is that makes us tick, which means something to us, and which makes us happy, we should do often; every day if we can. If we do what we love as often as we can, we quickly find ourselves living a life full of meaning.
- Explore- There is so much to explore. We can travel and see other cultures, see how people on the other side of the world live. Even in our own country there is enough to see to keep us occupied for a lifetime. Some environments resonate well with some people. The places we spend our time should mean something to us, and we should explore a multitude of contexts and environments in order to find meaning.
- Explore Inner Space- As well as traveling the physical planet we can also explore ourselves, and this is perhaps one of the biggest mysteries, and one of the places where the most meaning can be found. When we start a process of inner exploration we activate a whole world of meaning. We begin to see the meaning behind our very existence, and to see the beauty of simply being human, alive, and conscious. Our own minds might truly be the most meaningful and interesting aspect of our existence. Meditation is a well known way to begin this process of self examination.
- Find Meaning In The Little Things- Meaning is right in front of us, all around us, all of the time. We can sometimes search so hard that we completely overlook what is in front of us every day. All of the little things in life that all together make up a collective meaning. We can examine trees and birds, insects, other humans, ourselves. We can stand in the rays of the sun and feel the warmth spread across our skin as a smile lights up our face. We see people chatting and hugging, and gestures of kindness all around us. We must learn to see meaning every where we look, for the world is full of it.
- Be Fascinated By Life Itself- When we learn to see the meaning in every thing around us, we become fascinated by life itself. Remember what I said about making our own meaning in life, about how each of us can choose what we consider meaningful? Well, if this is the case then I would rather choose to give meaning to as much as possible, to live in a reality that is oozing with meaning; in every footstep I take, and every breath I breathe. Life itself is fascinating, and the very fact that we are a part of it makes it all the more meaningful.
- Be Childlike- When we become adults, of course we are expected to behave in a certain way, not like a child. Some traits of childhood we have to leave behind; we cannot be so self centered or have so little responsibility. What we can do is remember to view the world through fresh eyes, with childlike wonder and awe. Children do not over analyze their experience too much, yet they see wonder everywhere they look. If we can tap into even a portion of the mystery and wonder of child-like eyes then we will see the deep meaning that life has to offer.
- Be Open Minded- Meaning can come from the strangest of places, and with the strangest of timings. In order to remain open to new meaning we should try to be open minded to everything that happens, and everything that comes our way. If we are stubborn and think we have found all that we can find, or we become set in our ways, then we risk missing a new avenue, a new opportunity for fascination and awe.
- Be Dynamic And Open To Change- Meaning changes over time. We can establish this by looking at how our own priorities have changed throughout our lives. What meant something to us as a child lost its meaning later on. What we thought would mean something forever in high school is probably different to what gives us meaning today. All through our life we should be prepared for meanings to come and go, wax and wane like the moon. Be dynamic and go with how you feel. Follow your own meaning, whatever it might be right now.
- It’s Your Meaning– Sometimes other people want to try to decide what should be meaningful for us. Sometimes we agree, and sometimes we do not. They are probably looking out for our best interests, but another person’s life meaning is not the same as yours. Go with what you think is important, and find and develop your own meanings in life.