Finding a sense of meaning in life, and holding onto it, come good or bad, can be difficult. At times we all get hit disasters and personal setbacks which can rattle our faith in ourselves and the world around us, and throw us into melancholy moods.
But when it comes to living a fulfilling life, and weathering the storms that fate can throw our way, and feeling happy to boot, there’s nothing more important than finding that sense of meaning.
Here are a few things that can help us to rediscover ourselves and our purpose in difficult times, and keep reminding ourselves that between every dark cloud is a bright blue sky.
Be an active part of a community
As human beings, we are naturally social creatures, and studies conducted on people on their death beds show that the most common regrets at the end of life are those that relate to other people.
Not spending enough time with family. Not keeping in touch with friends as the years rolled on.
One of the core parts of developing a sense of purpose and finding meaning in life is to nurture connections with those around us, and this is true at any age. A family network, hobby group, or retirement community can all be great ways of making that connection with other people.
The key is that we make the time to regularly get out and meet up with those close to us, seeking out our loved ones as often as possible, and working to build new connections, even if they’re simple ones, whenever the chance arises.
Find a cause or project that makes you feel alive
Having a project or cause that you can devote yourself to is one of the most powerful ways of creating a feeling of centredness and meaning in life, whether that cause is spiritual, or simply a trade or hobby that awakens our deepest passions and makes us excited to wake up each morning.
Not only does having something bigger than ourselves to focus on help us to put our setbacks into the proper perspective, the process of pouring our effort and energy into nurturing something that we care deeply about also teaches us many important lessons about who we are as people, and how we relate to the world around us.
You should do something every day that makes you smile, that makes you feel excited, and that makes you feel that you’re spending your time well, on something that you can look back and be proud of.
Take the time to connect with the simple things
Much of the meaning in life can be found not in grand gestures, or big, high-octane events, but in the small, simple pleasures that are hidden away in everyday life. Often, rushed off our feet by deadlines and expectations, we end up being too busy to pause and enjoy those small blessings.
Whenever you have the chance, take a moment to really savour a conversation with a friend, the warm aroma of a freshly brewed cup of coffee, or the beauty of a sunrise.