Have you ever wondered about your life and the direction it’s headed? Do you find yourself wondering how to make your life less mundane and more meaningful? Do you find the popular notion that ‘meaning’ is mysterious and hard, and it feels big and scary? Yeah, right?
So what does this ‘meaningful life’ look like to you?
Do you picture wise sages cloistered in remote caves meditating on the deepest questions of the universe, or larger than life crusaders changing the world with their heroic acts of will.
It’s no wonder that so many of us worry that perhaps our smaller scale lives don’t measure up to a ‘meaningful life’. And to top it off it seems like every self-help blog harps on the idea of finding ones purpose. Without it, life seems pretty meaningless.
When you were younger you enjoyed the freedom to have a lot more fun. You enjoyed your work life and found time to enjoy with your friends. Agreed, that fewer responsibilities earlier allowed you to make the most of your time and your life. Nobody in their youth ever gave much thought to this pertinent question on the meaningfulness of life.
But as you matured, the responsibilities also took on a whole new level; not only are you looking after your children but some of you are also faced with the additional responsibility of taking care of your aged parents who are now unable to take care of themselves. This makes it rather impossible for you to take time off at will and enjoy your life to the fullest, like you did when you were younger.
But come to think of it rationally, isn’t whatever you are doing everyday valuable to someone? Whether it is for your children or for your parents? Don’t you feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction at the end of the day when you retire for bed, as you see your family completely at ease and contented?
It is the values that you have imbibed from the previous generation, the values of Authenticity, Dependability, Integrity, Selflessness and Reliability that make your life exceptionally priceless and meaningful.
Don’t forget to recognize the fact that your life is already way more meaningful than you give yourself credit for. Rather than focus on the questions to live a more meaningful life, you should stop and reflect to recognize the many moments that already give you a sense of direction and accomplishment.
Simply having a lot to do around the home while you are a stay-at-home parent such as indulging in some hobby to tap on your creativity can keep you and your mind busy. Occasionally, meeting old friends or even chatting with neighbours can cause people to feel their lives are much more meaningful.
Sitting in nature and enjoying the beauty of the trees changing colour, watching flowers of different hues or even people-watching can relieve the stress of the day to day life and boosts peoples’ sense of meaning.
Stop trying to find yourself. Life itself is trying to teach you something.
The meaning of life is to find the moments of awe.
What is awe, you ask?
It’s the pauses you take between sentences. It’s the moments of silence when you’re watching the rain outside. It’s the moments where you breathe. It’s the moments where you can be human.
When life get too overpowering and you feel lost, all you have to do is stand still, watch and listen to the world around you. There is awe everywhere.
Awe is the spark you feel when you meet a lover.
Awe is the conversation between long lost friends.
Awe is holding your newborn baby.
Awe is the piping hot food on your table after a hard days’ work.
Awe is the feeling of restfulness after a good nights’ sleep.
Awe is your dog wagging his tail when you return from work.
Awe is the exhilaration of screaming “Yes!!” after you’ve completed a challenging task.
Awe is looking out at nature and cherishing its raw beauty.
Awe is being grateful.
Awe is whatever you want it to be.
So if you frequently fret about the meaning of your life, rather than worry about finding a grand purpose, spend some time to look for the moments of ‘awe’ that already exist all around you. Simply noticing them is all you need for a much greater sense of meaning.
Life does give you many moments to be and more importantly feel beautiful.