For some, the quest of living a meaningful life occupies them all the time: what is a meaningful life? How do you know what is meaningful? How can something be meaningful for me and not for you and vice versa?
I believe the art of living a meaningful life is to ask yourself the question of what is meaningful for you regularly and then act accordingly. It is a little like navigating with a map and compass. You figure out where you want to go and then you direct your compass toward your goal to walk in that direction. For any of you who have some experience navigating this way you also probably know that it is easier to reach your goal if you aim for landmarks that can act like checkpoints on your way there. Hence, make use of smaller goals or visions when navigating your life.
Just like navigating, you might not be completely sure that the way you have set out to walk is the ”best” one (fastest, smoothest, most adventurous, coolest, prettiest…), but at least you are trying, learning and gaining experience as you go by. And when you reach your planned destination it might not even be at all what you intended or thought it would be. That you can only know when you have made the journey. A journey not sailed is the worst of journeys. True dreams and visions for the future tend to linger and put you on a daydream journey instead. The daydream journey of ”what if…”, which in my experience actually takes a lot of mental energy.
The perhaps most important part when it comes to navigation both as orienteering and in life in general is to pay attention to the here and now. The journey is happening now, whether you want to or not. So while you are letting time go by you might as well look into: where do you want to go, really? What is important for you, really?
If these questions are hard, don’t worry. Maybe you are going too big. Find something or someone important for you, someplace where you want to spend time and attention and spread your love around. Maybe it is a relative, a friend, a pet, yourself. If you appreciate food, make a meal for them or yourself. Give and show them or yourself something, no matter how big or small, that makes your heart sing. Then, if you listen carefully, you will find the answer that puts you on your quest for a meaningful life.
Remember, the only one who has any say in what a meaningful life is for you is you, and you alone carry the responsibility for your life. It is a blessing and a curse. There are no set answers so you have to figure out what is right and wrong for you. Your creativity and confidence set the limits.
Best of luck on your journey. I’m happy to be a part of it, however big or small part I play.
Originally posted on the 2nd of August 2022.