What makes something meaningful to you, and why is important to know the answer to that question? Some of the worst experiences I’ve ever had in my working life came in jobs where I could not find the meaning in what I was doing. I saw no greater purpose or benefit to what I was involved in – I couldn’t see how my job mattered, on any level. And those jobs were sheer and utter hell. They paid well, but I was utterly miserable.
Why meaning is important
The thing about meaning is that it’s what gets us out of bed every morning. It’s what gives us the energy and ambition to succeed in our endeavors and become the very best version of ourselves that we can be. Learning to understand what is meaningful to us is crucial to being able to build our dreams, because without knowing what truly matters to us, how will we know what to do with our lives?Without knowing what truly matters to us, how can we know what to do with our lives? Click To Tweet
This is why I tell my clients that the most important exercise that they will ever do is to connect with their “why” – the real core of what it is that they want to achieve in life.
Meaning not only gives us a reason – a why –for what we’re doing, it’s a sign post telling us what we’re supposed to be doing, too. It’s inseparably intertwined with that whole concept of passion and purpose; you can’t know what your purpose in life is if you don’t know what makes life meaningful for you.
What makes something meaningful?
Meaning, however, is a completely subjective thing. What is meaningful to me is not necessarily what is meaningful to you. This is why we’re all on our own paths, and why all paths are different.
This is why it’s important to keep our eyes and ears open every day and to pay attention to all the avenues and channels through which the Universe and our internal wisdom speak to us. When something is meaningful to you, it will resonate with you on a deep level. It will just “feel right” to you.
How to find your meaning in life
To find what is meaningful to you, gather the words that speak to you, wherever you may find them. These are your treasures. They are the puzzle pieces to your truth.
Remember that the Universe rarely communicates in flashing neon signs, marching bands and obvious stuff, but rather in subtle ways designed to be noticed just by you. This means the things that help you to understand what is most meaningful to you will be found all around you, and sometimes in the strangest ways.
I find nuggets of truth in television shows and movie scripts, in books of all genres, in random posts on Twitter and Facebook, and in overheard conversations while sitting in coffee shops. I find great wisdom in urban graffiti, in song lyrics, and in the words of toddlers.
Whenever I find things that speak to me, I listen. Because I’ve learned that this is one of the channels through which the Universe communicates best with me.To find what is meaningful to you, gather the words that speak to you, wherever you may find them. Click To Tweet
Pay attention to what resonates
I don’t care if people think the words that matter to me are clichéd. I don’t care if they scoff because it’s “just a dumb pop song”, or because it’s “just a kid” who said it. When something resonates with me, I pay attention and add those puzzle pieces to my personal treasure chest because they’re important in helping me to figure out how this whole crazy thing called Life actually works; they help me to find my meaning.
Because the thing is it doesn’t matter what other people think or say – if something resonates with you, it was meant for you to find. The things that speak to you, whether those words or concepts come to you in the form of greeting cards or scripture, are the things that are trying to draw your attention to what is meaningful to you.
And those are the things that will keep you on track to achieving your goals and building your dreams. They are your compass, your guardians, your guide posts, your direction and your path.
photo credit: pixabay.com cc (modified by me)
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My new job is pretty good. It pays decent, has a nice schedule that doesn’t clash too much with my family life, and it’s pleasant. But admittedly, like most paying jobs I’ve had, I still feel like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole like the rest of the people there.
The gig I was completely immersed in prior to this was something I enjoyed so much that I’d do it for free–and I did! No pay, but it gave me the opportunity to help others shine and maybe a little shine for myself too. Hubby never took it seriously and called it a hobby–and that hurt me to the core, because it was something I always, always wanted to do, and this was the furthest I’d ever gotten with it in my life. But it didn’t pay the bills. I haven’t quit doing it entirely, but with the new job, I’m not left with much free time or energy to devote to it. Makes me sad.
These are the things in life that suck the most. I’m still thinking on a way to juggle it all.
I completely understand this. Both the loving what you’re doing and finally having the chance to really get into it, even if it’s not paying the bills (yet) and the part about having someone close to you shutting you down over it. It really hurts when the one you most expect to support you in your dreams does not. Also, I never felt like I really fit in with “working for other people” paying jobs, either. Not because I wasn’t good at them (I was), but I just never felt like a truly belonged in any of them… I could never understand what the greater purpose of what I was doing in any of those jobs was — I couldn’t see how my work helped people or made the world a better place in any way.
Don’t give up on what lights you up, Ayla. Whatever time you can scrape together, let yourself enjoy the work that you love to do, even if it’s only for fifteen minutes a day. At some point, things will shift around you so that you can spend more time doing it, and in the meantime, having that light in your day will help you get through your “have to”s until you are able to do your “want to”s.