What Makes Life Worth Living?
When it comes to our search for happiness and fulfillment, we can go down many different paths. Some of the paths will end with empty and trivial outcomes, where others will have more memorable experiences full of immense satisfaction and meaning.
One thing that makes life more fulfilling and worth living is really connecting with the world around us. If you consider your most precious memories they are probably with other people, when you were doing something beyond your personal satisfaction.
It is those remarkable and significant moments in life, the ones that fill us with inspiration and liveliness that are truly meaningful.
Sometimes life can get us down and it can be tough to notice all the amazing things that life has to offer, but when we remember to stay connected whether it be through work, family, friends, or the community at large we can more readily be an active participate.
Here are 6 ways to make deeper connections in life.
1. Love and intimacy – Giving and receiving love is a powerful source of well-being. This comes from meaningful relationships, including friendships or family. For many people their children or other loved ones are the center of their life purpose. Deepening and expanding your relationships is certainly a way to make life more meaningful and worth living.
2. Satisfying work/occupation – What would you consider the best job in the world to be? Many people spend the majority of their time working, so doing something that is meaningful and satisfying is a clear path to happiness. Find a vocation you can be committed to, one where you feel rewarded and valued for what you do. When you greatly enjoy your work, more opportunities will present themselves to you in the long-run.
3. Helping others (altruism) – It’s easy to focus on our personal well-being as a separate source of happiness. If we just take care of ourselves we’ll get everything we need, right? Unfortunately, this leads to a sense of entitlement and competition where feelings of envy, resentment and distrust emerge. When we help others or offer kindness and compassion it actually gives the helper the real benefit. When you give to others you reap the emotional rewards. Make efforts to help and support others, and be willing to receive help as well.
4. Good citizenship – How do you contribute and give back to the community around you? Participating in activities that have public benefit and being respected in the public arena are aspirations that can offer a sense of purpose and meaning. Maybe you can clean up a local park, volunteer your time at a local shelter, or use your talent to organize and rally a service project you feel passionate about.
5. Spirituality – We are all here for a purpose and have a greater calling. This awareness can come from connecting to a deeper meaning or reality beyond yourself. When you do this it helps you become more compassionate and caring, and really connects you to others through empathy and understanding. Grow spiritually by spending time on a daily basis reading religious texts, praying and meditating, or making time to visit inspiring and uplifting places.
6. Leadership – Regardless of your age, industry, or role in life, it is more important than ever to be a leader. Supporting the growth of those who are younger and will be the future leaders is the ultimate gift we can give back. How can you be a leader in your family, the workplace, and community around you? Work to develop a vision for how you want life to be and lead others in the accomplishment of this ideal.
Living a full, meaningful and thriving life comes down to being engaged in the world around us. This relates to the people we meet on a daily basis to the most intimate relationship in our life. It includes following our passions, and finding ways to have greater satisfaction with work we don’t enjoy.
Living a good life happens through the influence we can build while serving the world and leaving our legacy.
Wilner, J. (2012). What Makes Life Worth Living?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 3, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/positive-psychology/2012/04/what-makes-life-worth-living/