Wouldn’t it be awesome if you had no self-doubt? If you knew what your purpose in life is? Wouldn’t it be great waking up in the morning knowing you have a meaningful life, knowing what your WHY is?
Human beings are more rational than other beings on Earth. We need reasons for everything we do. Nobody likes doing something without knowing why he is doing so. That’s why purpose behind the life is something we are searching for. However, knowing the meaning itself doesn’t suffice to implement it in everyday life.
Meaning (the Bigger Why Behind Everything You Do)
There’s a reason why you get up in the morning, right? Perhaps you have to go to work or you have to prepare breakfast for your kids. Or maybe you have to visit your doctor. For everything you do in life, you need a reason.
I am the same. Even at work. For every task I’m supposed to do, I need to know why is it essential to do this task and why is it me who has to do it. I hate the tasks that seem meaningless to me.
At work, they pay you for the what you do no matter if it looks meaningful or meaningless to you. In life, it is a bit different. You are responsible for your own life and you make it meaningful or meaningless. Nobody else is here to blame or praise, but you. You better do something meaningful with your life.
Scientifically put, by finding the meaning of your life you will avoid existential neurosis. Existential neurosis is by Dr. Maddi defined as chronic aimlessness, apathy, and meaninglessness when a person considers his Self to be only a set of biological needs and social roles.
Other symptoms of existential neurosis may be disbelieving in the truth, lack of activities of different kinds in one’s life, lack of selectivity, boredom, depression and avoiding decision making.
Do you find any of these familiar?
Mr. Maddi further explains that existential neurosis can break out at any time during life depending on exposure to stress. Each of us has different vulnerabilities and we react differently to a variety of stressful situations. While in some person the loss of significant other can break out an existential neurosis, in other it can break out after a stressful day at work.
There are at least three reasons why you need to find the meaning of your life:
- You are killing yourself, your potential and energy, if you don’t know what your WHY is
- You are at risk of undergoing existential neurosis at some point of your life
- You can’t get the world your best if you don’t know what is it
Here’s a great article by Mark Manson 7 strange questions that help you find your life purpose. Go through them and answer yourself. Do it right now. Not later, not tomorrow.
Courage is something not very natural to us. From childhood, we are taught to avoid adventure and risk. To stick to known, secure, realistic and safe. And we do it. We don’t risk. We suppress our curiosity. We don’t dream. In those rare moments we are supposed to show the courage it’s to protect our family. Or to protect ourselves. But never to follow our dreams or pursue new opportunities.
It’s much easier to be courageous to protect someone. If you think that someone is going to hurt your child, you get angry and you will go and challenge that person face-to-face manos-a-manos.
Yet, if it is about our dreams we rarely do something brave. And whether we realize it or not, it can make us very unhappy. We are quiet when we should speak out loud. We do nothing when we should take action.
I challenge you to change this kind of behavior. If you have already found the meaning of your life – the thing that lightens you up from the inside – you can’t let it go. You can’t let yourself down for the sake of being realistic or reasonable or “normal”.
If you are willing to be more courageous, here is 8 step formula how you can become more courageous today by Shannon Ables.
But, it’s not only courage you need, but also willingness to undertake some discomfort as Leo Babauta explains in his piece on how to find your life purpose.
If we already have the meaning of our life and we are courageous enough to go for it, another breaking point is faith. If we start something and it’s not going quite well or as we planned we are very fast to quit. Is it not working? BYE!
The controversy is that if someone would tell us to do the exact same thing we would keep on much longer. We would persist, try different options etc. But if it is us, who “placed the order” we are not faithful enough to persist and continue.
That’s the number one reason why a person who already know what’s the meaning of his life fail. Just to confirm others that it is not worth trying to look for the meaning, go for it and fight for it.
But I hear you. It’s incredibly hard to have faith in something that doesn’t exist yet. You have to resist negative thoughts, self-doubt, criticism of others and small failures down the road. Yet, you are not alone in this.
You can find a community of people that are trying to achieve the same goal as you are. Self-expression. Meaningfulness. Surround yourself with people with the same mindset. Silence your inner critic and go for it. Have faith. Because you can do it and deeply in your heart, you know that.
Read Melissa’s piece on how to face overwhelming self doubt to help you out with believing in yourself.
There are two typical scenarios that usually happen to people.
We either don’t find our meaning, courage, and faith and we think we are the victims. The victims of the circumstances, consequences, other people. We are hurt and we are losing our empathy towards other people. Because we think those other people have everything and still complain. Or we think they don’t have such a bad situation as we do. They have never been in our shoes. Etc. That makes us extremely self-centered with little interest in the feelings of others.
The other scenario is when we have found the reason, the courage, and the faith and we even manage to accomplish something worthwhile. But we think that nobody works as hard as we do and nobody understands us. The result is quite similar.
Yet, it’s us who don’t understand them. Because it’s us who don’t listen.
The thing is, we can’t and we never will live here alone. We need people around us. We need social interaction, help and understanding. As Ellen Hendriksen said in her 6 ways to improve empathy guide treat others not as you would like to be treated but as they would like to be treated.
Be bold. Find your meaning. Create a better world. Have faith. Listen to the other people.
Be the best version of yourself.