It’s not uncommon for me to work with women who are in search for their life’s purpose and meaning. They may have found a tremendous amount of success in their professional life but are still searching for the reason they are here on this planet. They begin looking at career transition but find themselves not able to make their next move because they aren’t sure what will create the most meaning in their life.
They feel they must understand the meaning of their life before they can move to their next thing. So, that’s the million-dollar question, right? The meaning of life is______. The answer: the meaning of life is up to you.
Most of the time my clients have a sincere desire to connect their career to a higher calling. Something that leaves them fulfilled and feeds their soul. But sometimes, I find that people like to use these words as excuses for not moving forward and instead staying stuck in the same position year after year. Usually because it’s easier to stay stuck than it is to do something about it.
If tension exists between who you are today and who you want to be, yet you find yourself using lack of clarity around your life’s purpose and meaning as an excuse for staying where you are, here are three ways to begin creating the meaning you are searching for.
1. Create and/or Do
Have you ever noticed that when you have ownership of something, when you are able to create something from scratch, or you voluntarily spend your time on something, you are usually very passionate and excited about what you are doing? It kind of happens by default. There is no way you would spend the time to create something or volunteer if you weren’t passionate about it. You wouldn’t give up your time for something that doesn’t light you up. Now, I’m not talking about volunteering to drive car pool. I’m talking about volunteering over a long period of time for a single cause or bringing something to life.
What’s something you can create or a deed you can do where you can take complete ownership and pour your heart and soul into? It becomes your mental child that you care for and breathe life into. Nurturing something gives life meaning.
Experiences are meaningful. Research shows that life experiences make you happier than things. Whether you experience something or someone, being present and truly appreciating the experience gives life meaning.
3. Monitor Your Attitude
The attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering and hardship leads to finding meaning in life – if used appropriately. When you take the time to learn, grow, and build a deeper insight of who you are when things don’t go as planned, new meaning emerges for your life.
All three of these techniques enable you to create a meaningful life because all three are completely in your control. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the only way to ensure that your life has meaning is to give it meaning. Don’t search for life’s meaning – create it for yourself!