The meaning of life question (“Why are we all here?”) is philosophical, and hasn’t been answered with consensus scientifically.
But the meaning in life question (“How can I find meaning and significance within my life?”) is one that has.
- Align your everyday behaviours and choices with the person that you want to become. Our everyday actions bring meaning when they move us towards our longer-term goals and values.
- Use your unique strengths to contribute to something greater than yourself. This may be through charity work, pursuing a greater sense of spirituality, undertaking a new and fulfilling career, or often just engaging with your current work in a new and more purposeful way.
- Know that you are worthy and capable. Believe and trust that you are enough, and that you can indeed make a difference.
- Accept and embrace the setbacks, pain and adversity in life. After all, it is these events that can provide a greater sense of meaning than a constant state of peace and happiness ever can.
- Finally, prioritise connection with others. Our life is most meaningful when it is shared.
Having greater meaning in our lives predicts not just our mental health, but also our physical health.
And whilst science hasn’t answered the meaning of life question, I like to think the answer is partly about living a life that is full of meaning.