8 Powerful & Simple Ways To Live a Meaningful Life
How To Live a Meaningful Life
When we start talking about ways to live a meaningful life, there’s one thing I think we can all agree on.
Living a meaningful life is something we all want. It’s a universal aspiration.
The path to leading a meaningful life will be different for everyone, of course. The definition of what a meaningful life is will vary greatly from person to person.
There are, however, some common principles and strategies that can give some guidance across the board. Some actionable steps we can all put into play.
They can provide a sort of framework and then can be implemented by people in whatever way works for them.
Cheers to unlocking the secrets to making every day count. (just kidding.. no secrets in here but definitely all about making every day count)
Let’s dive right in!
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Here Are 8 Practical Ways To Live a Meaningful Life
This might seem like a strange place to start.
This tip is not groundbreaking. It might seem like a small fish on this list.
But I think it deserves its time in the spotlight.
So much of our lives will be made up of ordinary days. You might even say mundane.
Life will not always be oozing with excitement.
This is why finding joy in the ordinary is crucial. Joy in the small moments. Drinking coffee from your favorite mug. Wrapping up in the coziest blanket. The way it smells outside after it rains. Listening to music that makes you feel something.
There are so many missed opportunities to inject some magic into our seemingly “same old, same old” days.
Create moments of joy. Seek them out. Give them their glory.
This is near and dear to my heart. I will die on this hill.
That might have something to do with the fact that I spent so much of my life thinking that doing it all was the only way. My worth came from how much I was accomplishing.
I was the queen of checklists and adding more to my plate because that’s what I was supposed to do. That was my purpose. (spoiler alert… that was not my purpose)
We only have so much time in the day. Facts, right? Now, I know that we all have responsibilities. And we can’t just throw caution to the wind and get YOLO tattooed on our arms.
Here’s the lens through which I choose to view this idea. My goal is not to be able to reflect on my life years from now and be proud that my house was clean and laundry was never overflowing but I didn’t spend quality time with my kids (or husband or friends).
Empty laundry baskets are not the end all be all to building a meaningful life.
Prioritizing allows you to focus on what truly matters to you. There are no wrong or right answers here.
Sit down and write down what matters to you. This can help you start to piece together how your priorities align with your life.
Building and living a meaningful life requires prioritization on some level.
3) Slow Down
OK, hear me out.
This may sound like one of those things that sounds good in theory but it can all fall apart when it comes to execution.
Living life at warp speed might look fun in the movies but in real life it is exhausting.
How will life look if we spend the majority of our time and energy on things that give us nothing in return?
A big part of slowing down can also be about saying no. You are allowed to say no to things, It doesn’t always feel like it but you are. (This book on setting boundaries in your life is stellar.)
Also, focusing on the here and now is a total MVP here. Again, this is not an easy one-and-done choice we make one day and never look back.
It takes a pretty hefty amount of intentionality. But it is so worth it.
4) Less is More
In today’s world, there is so much pressure to have more. This can apply to every single category of our lives.
Go on social media for less than a minute and you will be bombarded with suggestions of items you just absolutely need. Now, this is not to talk trash on social media or any person suggesting products or services.
(I have been happily influenced many times and have no regrets)
The key is to practice not acquiring something just for the sake of acquiring it. This takes some serious practice. It takes loads of being intentional.
But the payoff is huge.
The concept of having less might be scary. It sounds, much more appealing to be on the side of abundance. However, abundance in areas where it doesn’t truly matter won’t serve us as well as we think.
If you want to start a decluttering journey in your home, read this.
Often when we think of goals, they might fall more on the side of being career-related.
Look at all the other areas of your life and see if there are any goals you could put in place.
In my home, we came up with a family goal of going on more “small adventures” this year. Don’t get fooled by the word adventure. We keep it pretty simple here.
We sat down as a family and came up with some simple outings no further than an hour from our house. (and we just moved to Tennessee so this was easy to do)
I also had a personal goal of putting in some real effort to try and make friends. (moving to a new place where you don’t know anyone is hard) I recently started going to a book club once a week and when I say it has been life-changing, I am not exaggerating.
Our goals don’t need to make us more money or move us further work-wise to be important.
Goals that feed our souls and add enjoyment to our lives should not be underestimated.
Make sure your goals excite you. And feel good. I know firsthand that having a goal just for the sake of having one will most likely not pan out the way you envisioned.
6) Work on Yourself
Some good old personal growth never hurt anyone.
I used to think personal growth was about fixing something inside of me. (it’s not that at all by the way)
I may have been fully convinced that just taking in more and more information would help me create the life I wanted. (it doesn’t quite work that way)
One massive way to implement personal growth in your life is through learning.
Seeking out and embracing learning has changed so much in my life.
It has impacted my mindset. (for the better, of course)
It has impacted my relationships.
The way I view my life on a grand scale has drastically changed.
Personal growth is so much more than just a term that gets thrown around.
Learning in any capacity opens your eyes to how cool the world is. How interesting people are.
Something we may lose a little as we grow up is our curiosity. I look at my daughters (ages 10 & 2) and their curiosity and hunger to just discover more is off the charts. (kids can teach us so much)
Learning makes life an adventure. (a never-ending adventure since learning opportunities are endless…we will never know it all)
This is related very closely to the first thing we talked about. Joy.
There’s no secret to life that you haven’t been told. But gratitude could be considered a secret sauce of sorts.
The daily grind of life can be a lot. Some seasons are more of a challenge than others.
Gratitude is not ignoring any issues or seemingly negative aspects of life. How well does brushing things under the rug work anyway? (not too well)
Instead, what gratitude does is leave space for the good stuff. The stuff that doesn’t always get recognition. The things that are easily passed over without a second thought.
Noticing where we are lacking or our lives seem to be lacking takes no effort at all. Those things stand out.
Gratitude is a tool that can help in redirecting our focus. It can shift our perspective.
It can be a pillar of strength to lean on when life feels heavy.
Developing a daily gratitude practice can come in handy. I think having a physical gratitude journal can be great for accountability. It’s also fun to look back on things you have written.
8) Tech Timeout
How much time do you spend on some type of device?
Technology and devices are not the enemy. Not at all.
They also should not be the main characters in our lives.
Doing a digital detox is good for the soul. It’s good for your mind. OK, it’s just good.
Too much time spent living in the digital space can have a not-so-awesome impact on our actual lives. The way we view our lives can become skewed.
*Side note: Building and fostering connections in the real world will enhance your life in so many ways. Life is better shared with people. I truly believe that we are not meant to do any of this alone. Now, I like my alone time as much as the next person. But having people in your life who get you is so invaluable.
Creating and living a meaningful life is not about reaching a final destination. It sounds so cliche to say it’s all about enjoying the ride.
But it’s true.
Life is never going to be perfect or stress-free. There will be highs and lows and ups and downs. There will be mundane days and magical days.
These ideas are just friendly reminders that you get a say in how your life goes. Use these little nudges to build a meaningful life that is uniquely yours.
Which one of these ways to live a meaningful life speaks to you?
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