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Where should I look to find meaning in my life?

Ronald Siegel
Psychology
An exercise in evaluating your legacy may help you recognize where you find the most value and meaning in your own life.

If you died tomorrow, how might you be remembered? Write an obituary for yourself that honestly encapsulates your best qualities and accomplishments as well as those things you might have done better. When you describe how you spent your life, what aspects give you most satisfaction? What effect have you had on the world around you and the people you came in contact with? Has your life mattered? Use your obituary as a vehicle for thinking about your goals for the rest of your life, and taking active steps to reach them.
Arianna Huffington
Health Education
Our life's pattern is not built on a few grand metaphysical themes but on the day-to-day, real-life decisions that we make.  And that is also where our life's meaning will be found. We scramble around looking for bits of meaning in our lives. We dash from museums to churches, from the analyst's couch to dream workshops, but we often forget that it is the way we choose to lead our everyday lives that gives them purpose and meaning. The Fourth Instinct urges us to treasure peace and compassion and oneness so deeply that we don't just wish for them, or wish others would search for them.  In our everyday actions and routine decisions, we consciously choose them for ourselves.

I have heard speakers who describe the search for meaning in ways that leave me exhausted. They advocate a kind of ferociousness in the search that would be terrifying at the breakfast table, as if we must launch each day by tightening our fists, gritting our teeth, tensing our muscles and telling ourselves through clenched jaws, "Now search!" Such an approach seems less like a spiritual exploration and more like an existential spin class. My hope -- based on my own experience -- is for a more natural seeking, perhaps at times intense, but always prodded by the voice of our Fourth Instinct, which encourages us to choose, at every moment, our own path to meaning.

Truth may break into our lives in electric moments of high drama, but we are more likely to hear truth whispered in a quiet voice than in a thunderclap from heaven. With a bit of practice, we discover that listening does not require a forced intensity. This is a difficult proposition for many high-powered, high-performance, high-octane individuals to accept. Yet when it comes to increasing our inner awareness, we cannot push that door down; the moment comes when we realize that the door is opening toward us.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.