What are the things in our lives that give it meaning? Take a few moments to reflect and write down what is meaningful. When we can take time to reflect, it gives us an opportunity to appreciate what is already fueling meaning for us. It also reminds us that we may need to slow things down a bit so that we can enjoy the blur of meaning that is currently whizzing by us.
Over the last six weeks we’ve been practicing six of the seven happiness habits:
- Mindfulness – using a nonjudgmental awareness and being present as we move through our day.
- Gratitude – we’ve been counting our blessings and focusing our attention and thought on the positive aspects of our lives.
- Physical wellness – exercising and eating right to provide an instant boost to our happiness.
- Altruism – by practicing random acts of kindness, volunteering, and donating money to help others in need we are increasing endorphins which make us feel good.
- Authentic and vulnerable – we have the courage to be our true and authentic self so that we can open the door vulnerability and forgiveness – thereby deepening our relationships.
- Social connection – Connection is our ability to forge meaningful authentic relationships with others. It is the essences of human experience and it gives meaning to our lives; it is also the anchor to our relationships.
Through our practicing of these happiness habits, life’s meaning should already be increasing. When we find a greater sense of meaning and purpose, it allows us to experience and enjoy life more fully.
“Happiness is a set of skills that we need to learn and practice so that we can become fluent in happiness.” – Christine Carter.
We all have different interpretations of what creates, develops, and enhances meaning in our lives. Unfortunately, we sometimes loose sight of these and get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. Was your meaning list all that you wanted it to be? If you said “yes,” you are way ahead of the curve! If you said “a little bit” or “no,” keep reading.
There is a fairly simple step to finding more meaning in our lives. Are you sitting down? Here it goes…..meaning is a function of our own perception and reaction. We can increase meaning by observing the cause and effects of our feelings and behavior and then to use that knowledge to guide our future thoughts and actions. Hum….that sounds like self-awareness. Yup, it is! Meaning is created through our own interpretations and reactions.
The seventh happiness habit also includes a review of our natural strengths. We covered strengths in a previous post. As a reminder click here.
The final step of habit seven relates to success. As we discovered with meaning, success is also subjective. Rather than read about my take on success, take three minutes to watch the 8 components to success according to Richard St. John’s from his TED Talk. I promise, it is well worth it.