Humans are thirsty for meaning, for purpose, for the feeling that our life is worth more than the sum of its parts. We are very resourceful – we can find endless methods to find meaning and countless sources of meaning. In each situation, each event, each occurrence, each context, we can discover meaning. In the surreal, the absurd, the gloomy and bleak, and the completely miserable in life, we can discover meaning.
We understand intuitively that in our life we want meaning, and that meaning helps us flourish, but we seldom stop asking: “Why do we need meaning? How does meaning affect us? What even is meaning?”
You’re in the right place if you’ve ever asked these questions yourself! We’re going to go over what meaning is in this article and how it can be discovered.
Definition of Meaning
Defining meaning has so many ways that it’s almost impossible to narrow it down. Nonetheless, “meaning” can have a different meaning for everyone. Yet, we can start with the most basic definition.
Merriam-Webster has the following definitions of meaning:
- Something meant or intended;
- Significant quality
When we combine those definitions, the word meaning is something that makes a person significant.
In other words, when we find meaning to our lives, we are searching for ways that make us significant. We begin to look for our purpose and discover a higher a sense of our being, which leads us to the next section: how do we get meaning?
Ways to get meaning in life
Most of the time placing the focus on ourselves allows us the chance to answer the question, “What is the meaning of life?” We have to dig below the surface and search ourselves even more so that we can find our purpose in life. We need to consider a few ideas so we can understand our values, talents, and potential. Here they go:
- Focus on what’s important to you. We look to others for most of our life to tell us what’s significant. Our parents provide guidance when we were kids. When we are adults, we are also affected, not to mention the media, by our friends, associates and peers. But how many of us have stopped thinking about our values — really thinking about them? What are the biggest problems you encounter in this world? Who are the most significant people in your life? What your dreams and aspirations for them? In a day, these questions won’t be solved. In a lifetime, they may not even be solved. So come back to them over and over again. Make the search for meaning in your life’s tale.
- Prioritize the things that you are really good at. We need to look beyond our values and evaluate our skills to find meaning in our life. In doing so, we will discover methods to improve the world while enriching our own life. We all have distinctive talents and characteristics. How would you portray what really good you are at? Are you a powerful communicator? Are you fond of teaching others? Do you think you are creative, analytical, caring or disciplined? Is there a particular sport or activity that makes you feel natural? Do not allow the judgments of society stop you from pursuing your dreams. The more distinctive your skills are, the more apparent they will lead you to your life’s meaning.
- Find your potential. The last item focuses on what you can become. Each of us has the potential to accomplish prominence in our own way. Life is filled with decisions. Would you like to follow the route you always knew? Or are you going to plot a fresh course? Will you acknowledge life “as it is?” Or are you going to pursue your potential, knowing you’re never going to achieve it? Will you discover perfection in the trip by searching for your own potential? The answers won’t come as an inspirational lightning bolt. The response will be the gentle thunder rumble that resonates with a well-lived life tale.