What is a meaningful life?
It is different for each one of us.
When I was about ten years old I loved learning about famous explorers in my history book. I wanted to become famous so that people could read about me and all the great discoveries I had made. As a child that was my way to live a meaningful life. I never became a famous explorer but I have traveled the world many times.
I have a strong set of beliefs and values that have helped me in decision making throughout my life.
My priorities changed, as my life changed, but the importance of those priorities stood firm.
To live in the moment we need to have a set goal to work towards.
The times in my life when I set a goal and wrote it down, were the times when my life had a real purpose.
We need to understand what is important to us, and the consequences that affect the situation that we are about to work towards. It gives us the confidence to follow our endeavours.
So what gives us meaning to our life?
Meaning is related more to being a giver than a taker. When we are given an opportunity to help others, we become dedicated to the task.
It seems that meaning is more related to activities such as developing a personal identity, having a passion and perseverance for setting long-term goals. I am the happiest when I am engaged in meaningful pursuits.
I have been a goal setter all of my life even as a teenager.
Goal setting gives me a reason to get up in the morning, something to look forward to.
There have been times when I haven’t set a goal, and I found that at that time I was more inclined to procrastinate about what I wanted or needed to do. It has been at these times when there was very little meaning to my existence.
The many times that I set goals, made up goal books or just wrote the goals down, I had something to look forward to. My life was filled with plans for the next step, it was exciting and I felt a sense of achievement.
I always give myself time frames to work towards leaving little or no room for procrastination. I liked to share my goals with family and friends this then made me feel accountable.
These times were my busiest times, also the happiest and most fulfilling.
Like many others, some of my goals never eventuated.
Now that I am older I look back on my life. I ask myself, have I lived a meaningful life?
I have achieved many things that I once thought impossible. I was successful in running my own business. I have started craft classes teaching others different skills. I have a close circle of family and friends.
I have no regrets so in answering the question; ‘has my life been a meaningful one?’
The answer is yes.
I still write down a ‘to do’ list every day, as I complete each task I tick it off. This gives me a feeling of both satisfaction and achievement.
I will continue to set goals, in fact writing these blogs is one of my long-term goals.
Has it all been worthwhile? Most definitely.