- Why am I on earth?
- What is the meaning of life?
- What should I be doing with my life?
- What is my purpose?
These complex and sometimes esoteric thoughts leave us feeling unsatisfied and confused. We may try the route of “escapism” and get lost in immediate pleasures and desires. However, this doesn’t achieve our long-term need for fulfillment and satisfaction and causes us to feel more confused than where we started.
Living Our Best Reality
Truthfully, no one really has the answers to the questions above. However, this uncertainty shouldn’t derail us from finding meaning. The ultimate goal in life is not to speculate about questions that we may never know the answers to, rather it is to focus on what will provide us with a mechanism for achieving our own meaning and purpose. It is okay to question who we are and to think about the “what ifs” in life, but we need to remember not to let those questions overtake us. Aligned with the ideals of Positive Psychology, we need to strive to find something that will help us get in touch with our inner drives in order to cultivate long-lasting happiness and help us situate ourselves into our role in the world. This may seem like a lofty goal, but there are many steps we can take to get in touch with this part of ourselves. It can be a long process that changes throughout our lifetimes, but a simple way to start is by:
- Identifying something that we believe has allowed us to achieve some sort of long-term happiness or passion. We should try to find something that involves either community work, religion, family, culture, occupation, or political causes. Essentially, it is about finding something that exists beyond us as individuals.
- Thinking deeply about how engaging in this activity makes us feel and how it allows us to achieve post-setback growth from the negative experiences in our lives.
- Pinpointing aspects of our life that were stumbling blocks to our happiness or appeared as though they would provide happiness, but did not. We must accept that it is okay to make mistakes and identify the mechanisms that allow us to remain resilient during these times.
This is the roadmap to beginning the journey to finding long-term satisfaction and happiness. It is not always easy, but it is worth the exploration. Remember, it is okay to have existential questions and to wonder about how we fit into the world. The important thing is to fit these answers into our current reality and search for a way to put our energy into something we find personally meaningful.
To learn more about achieving meaning in your life please visit Long Island Psychology today.