Making Your Life Meaningful
Many people today are highly successful by any definition of the word. They have a terrific job, are well respected in their field, have a wonderful family and perhaps all the material objects they could possibly ever need or desire. Yet, for some reason, they do not seem to be happy. They are constantly trying to find that one thing that will make all their efforts to create the perfect life actually have meaning.
Living a meaningful life seems impossible for these people. The more that they struggle, work and drive themselves to achieve what they may view as success, which is really what others around them view as success, the emptier their life becomes. It is like a vicious cycle as a person strives to achieve meaning in their life only to obtain the goal and feel unfulfilled. Over time this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy where meaning and contentment in life are always just one more project, one more charity event, or one more promotion away.
What Creates Meaning?
The key to leading a meaningful life is to be able to find value in what you are, what you do, and what you experience. If you are constantly using a societal value for being important and meaningful, the goal or your value is constantly changing. Everything is external and therefore independent of what you desire or what you believe.
There are several different ways to create meaning in life. One theory of meaningfulness stresses that value is created through three different avenues. This can include creative value, experimental value and attitudinal value. Creative value is obvious; it is what is produced or developed. Any type of artistic endeavour, building, having a child, or producing anything can create value and give meaning to life. Experimental value comes from sensing the world around you. This is meaning or value you get from tasting, smelling, touching, seeing and hearing. Attitudinal value comes from not a new experience but looking at a previous experience with a new sense of value or perspective.
Other researchers have proposed that meaningfulness comes from a sense of self-control that builds our self-esteem. As we learn to control our impulses we achieve our personal goals and feel better about our abilities and our value.
The last major theory of meaningfulness in life says that all people strive to create meaning by leaving something behind that is in keeping with the values of society. This could include having children to carry on your legacy, leaving your mark by winning an award or achieving a goal that is valued not only by you but by the people around you.
Feeling Personal Value In Life
Through counselling and therapy people that feel there is no meaning in their life can explore their thoughts and learn about their own skills, values and unique personal marks on the world. Learning to value your own talents, blessings, skills and abilities is the one sure way to see meaning in your life and feel good about yourself, now and in the future.