Repeatedly, I have noticed that those patients who experience a deep sense of meaning in their lives appear to live more fully and face death with less despair than those who are devoid of meaning
Having meaning is a core to happiness and direction in life. Meaningless allows other symptoms to rush in – alcoholism, depression, obsessionism, delinquency, sexual deviancy, and other deviance (Yalom). It is a key point to understand the meaning, beliefs, rules, and values we have lived by, and where they come from – so we can change. Having the beliefs is one thing – but are you consistent. Integrity is the reality that you treat everyone by the same set of principles (Covey)
Our Meaning comes from 7 drivers (Yalom)
- Altruism – Serving others and giving to charity
- Dedication to a cause – “it must, if it is to give life meaning, lift the individual out of himself and make him co-operate as part of a master scheme” (Will Durant)
- Self-Actualisation – “Imitation of Christ” (Kempis) or Maslow’s progress toward Good values, Serenity, Kindness, Courage, Honest, Love, Unselfishness, and Goodness
- Self-transcendence of the lifecycle – Living for and through your offspring / business / cause
- Creativity – Through art, science, teaching, drama, study etc.
- Hedonism – Pleasure for the self
- Transcendence – To enjoy yourself via helping others
Where do you get your meaning in life?