Happiness is a great thing, and we naturally all seek to get as much of it as we can in life. But happiness isn’t exactly the same as fulfilment, and happiness also isn’t necessarily just a matter of having the right material comforts in our lives.
Sometimes, you will be in quite a good situation in your life, objectively speaking, but will still feel like your life is just lacking meaning, somehow.
“Meaning” is difficult to define, and a sense of meaning will vary from person to person. Generally speaking, though, living in a meaningful way means that you will feel as if the trials and tribulations of your life are all justified by the way you are conducting yourself.
If you feel like your life could use a bit more meaning, here are a few things you could try.
Explore your spirituality
“Spirituality” is a term that often makes people feel a bit nervous. Some people associate the term with strict dogmas that they don’t like, and others associate it with “feel-good” New Age ideas that don’t resonate with them.
Nonetheless, taking steps to explore your spirituality can definitely provide a deep sense of meaning in life – whether via attending Universal Church Kingdom of God meetings, or going on a Catholic pilgrimage.
In fact, you don’t even have to be a religious believer, exactly, to explore and connect with your spirituality. If you like, you could just consider “spirituality” a proxy for things like your ability to experience a sense of the transcendent, and to appreciate beauty and harmony.
Whether you’re going to a church service, or strolling through an art gallery filled with Renaissance masterpieces, a spiritual connection can definitely increase the net a sense of meaning you have in your life.
Adopt more responsibility
The opposite of living a life that is based around adopting responsibility for things, is living a life where you do your best to avoid responsibility and commitment, and seek out hedonistic pleasures instead.
The thing is – hedonistic pleasures are, by definition, shallow. They will satisfy your appetites in the here and now, but they’re not going to provide a sense of deeper and greater meaning. And it’s this kind of deeper and greater meaning that is associated with a “meaningful” life.
By adopting more responsibility in different areas of your life, your actions take on greater weight, and “meaning” is likely to be more present.
Check in with your own intuition – what feels “right” to you?
If something feels meaningful to you, you will generally know it without having to consult anyone else.
A sense of meaning is said to be something like a sense of contentment, purpose, and satisfaction that you are living your life in the best way possible, and are behaving according to principles that allow you to feel proud of yourself.
For this reason, checking in with your own intuition and asking yourself “what feels meaningful to me?” Might be one of the best ways of identifying a more meaningful path in life that you can walk down.