Building A Meaningful Life
Are you getting tired of the same old routine? Going through a quarter life crisis? If you want to live a more meaningful life, fulfilling life, and happier life, here are some good tips on how to design a life you love.
I love planning things out. If you’re ever looking for me, I’m likely hiding in a cozy corner somewhere with a pack of brand new pens, a new notebook or a blank calendar, and all of the arm knit blankets in the universe, dreaming about big things.
I love making these detailed plans for life… but then I go and double back on my decision. As soon as it’s time to tell people what I’m really thinking, panic hits me.
- Am I doing what I’m meant to do with my life?
- What even is the purpose of it all?
- How do I know what I really truly want, versus what I think I want but will spend 10 years working toward only to discover I never really wanted it in the first place?
- Can I trust my gut and listen to my instinct?
- Who can give me a guarantee that it will all be worth it in the end?
These questions run around my mind on days that I haven’t been practicing gratitude and meditation.
They haunt me when I’m thinking way too far into the future and not appreciating the present moment.
They make it hard to do anything for fear of spending time on the wrong thing.
This need for certainty is something that I struggle with.
While I work to embrace things unplanned, I am also searching for meaning.
What makes a fulfilling and meaningful life?
Here are a few principles I’ve uncovered in my personal development journey
- In order to live a fulfilling life, it is essential to create meaning
- Meaning can come in various shapes and forms
When we don’t use our talents to cultivate meaningful work, we struggle. We feel disconnected and weighed down by feelings of emptiness, frustration, resentment, shame, disappointment, fear, and even grief.BRENE BROWN
I know this has been true for myself in the past.
If I can’t tie my days and weeks into a large goal in life, I start to wonder what the point of it all is. Finding meaning in my life was essential to stepping into the truest version of me.
Where this was once most prominent, and inconvenient, was in my old job.
I have always assumed that meaning had to come from my day job.
Isn’t that the most effective way to spend your days, working toward a goal that brings you a true sense of purpose?
Sure. That is ideal! But it’s also a lofty goal.
Using our gifts and talents to create meaningful work takes a tremendous amount of commitment, because in many cases the meaningful work is not what pays the bills … some folks have managed to align everything – they use their gifts and talents to do work that feeds their souls and their families; however, most people piece it together.BRENE BROWN
What you do for your work doesn’t define whether your life has meaning or not?
You can have a job that pays the bills and cultivate meaning through other areas!?
This was a new concept to me. A meaningful life can be created outside of your job.
In the past, I’ve made the mistake of letting my job define me. If I was working in the corporate world and not solving child poverty, my life essentially had no significance… at least in my mind.
In reading lots and lots of Brene Brown, I’ve come to understand that
I am worthy because I am me
I am slowly working toward letting go of the hustle for worthiness and cultivating self worth through positive self talk.
The truth is, no one can define what’s meaningful to us.
- Working outside the home or raising children.
- Solving child poverty or helping corporations make more money.
- Teaching history or recording music.
Meaning is unique to each and every one of us.
The first step to living a meaningful life is defining what is meaningful to you.
Make a list of work that inspires you.
No, really. Do it right now.
- Whose life do you envy?
- What activities motivate you?
- When do you feel most energized and alive?
Don’t think about making a living; think about doing something you love. There’s nothing that says you have to quit your day job to cultivate meaningful work. There’s also nothing that says your day job isn’t meaningful work – maybe you’ve just never thought of it that way. What do you want to be when you grow up? What brings meaning to you?BRENE BROWN
If you’d like more prompts to try and answer this question, check out these 10 questions to help you find your purpose.
Once you’ve got enough self awareness to grasp what brings you joy, meaning, and fulfillment…
The second step is to create space for things that bring you joy
By the way, if you want to receive ALL THE THINGS that will make you more successful, happy, and fulfilled in life, subscribe to our mailing list! We only send you the good stuff, like this free checklist for achieving every goal you set, and other exclusive content to help you build a better life.
Whether you need to make a complete switch in careers, or you start spending an hour a week on the things you’ve identified, simply working toward meaning can get us out of a rut.
As a life coach, I specialize in helping you set goals and overcome procrastination, indecision, and perfectionism so that you can build a life exploding with joy. There is nothing that would fill my heart more than working with you to create a life you love. Let’s work together.
I tend to gravitate toward the ‘all or nothing’ mindset, which is motivating at best, and debilitating at worst.
Don’t let yourself believe that you have to abandon everything you’ve worked for in moments of self doubt.
Just start to add in some time here and there that you can spend on things that matter to you.
- If it’s creating art with your children, make Thursdays after school art night.
- If it’s cooking delicious meals, host a dinner party, a pot luck, or a cooking party and donate the food to your local food bank while it’s still fresh and hot.
- If it’s helping people, make Saturday mornings a time for coaching calls, or mentoring, or coffee dates.
You can make the argument that you don’t have time, and I think that’s all too easy to do.
If you truly are lacking the skills to manage your time effectively, invest in yourself and learn the 25 time management principles that will help you get 7 hours back in your week, which you can use to fill your cup and build a life exploding with joy.
Related post: 5 Strategies For Better Time Management
So figure out your priorities, and then don’t apologize for them.
There may be a lot of things you do over the course of a week that contribute to your ‘supposed to‘ list: that list of things you feel you’re supposed to do and supposed to be in order to be loved and accepted.
Who’s telling you what you need to value?
What are you afraid of?
It helps to write down all your fears and demons, on a piece of paper. Contrary to our intuition, this doesn’t make them more powerful. This makes them visible, tangible, and thereby manageable.
Get all of your ‘supposed tos’ out on paper, and replace them with meaningful things that inspire you.
I got rid of ‘climbing the corporate ladder’ and replaced it with ‘creating memories with my family.’ This was a huge shift for me and has helped boost the joy I feel in my life, while giving me more meaning and purpose.
You can read more about my personal development journey here.
If you find value in this post, I would love for you to help me share it with the world by pinning this to Pinterest, or sharing on your favorite social media platform. Together we can help more people live their best lives.
It is time to let go of ‘supposed to’ and self doubt.
It’s time to get crystal clear on what matters to you and find ways to create a meaningful life.
Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.HOWARD THURMAN
- How To Be Happier With Mindfulness
- Are You Working On The Right Goals?
- How To Start A Gratitude Journal
What one thing can you do today to bring more joy and meaning to your life?