9 Steps to a Life More Meaningful
On Sunday mornings I eat, read and reflect. Today I finally got around to picking up Wild by Cheryl Strayed, which – so far – reads gorgeously. Later on, while devouring the most scrumptious (vegan) pancakes yet, I once again found myself browsing Huff Post, which I am pretty sure was the first website I had ever bookmarked years ago. Anyway, the article I was most struck by this week is by Tim Urban who runs Wait But Why. He managed to articulate what I have pondered on for weeks now. In his piece titled Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy, he describes the tendency of those born between the late 70’s and mid 90’s to be taunted, delusional, and wildly ambitious. In other words, GYPSY’s (Gen Y Protagonists & Special Yuppies) struggle to find a sense of happiness by creating an inflated version of their existence, setting themselves unrealistic expectations, always comparing themselves and needing to ‘keep up’ with everyone’ else’s success. It took me a while to understand what it is that I want to do with this precious life I have been given. And on my journey, I may have been that sort of GYPSY once or twice as well. A meaningful life to me means many things, but most importantly it stands for happiness without all of the said GYPSY qualities that keep many of us awake at night. This is why I carefully created the following nine steps which will make your path on finding that meaningful life smoother.
1. Let Go
First, take the step to cast away hang-ups from earlier chapters in your life. It’s been long enough that all these negative emotions, regrets, and grudges have been tugging our sole. Letting go is not about forgetting, but it rather asks you to remove any negative connotations and stop holding on to anything (or anyone, really) not allowing you to evolve. To let go is to forgive and to accept, to liberate and to free up your mind.
Seeking the new and the unknown and learning more about myself and others is what drives me always to go a little further. Going that bit further away from your comfort zone might just let you see what you want to do in your life; or it might just allow you to live a more meaningful life, a life that you create, shape, and control.
One of the things that makes a great friend is the ability to listen; to listen with more heart than judgment. It is incredible how much we can learn from others, so listen carefully the next time you meet someone interesting.
Listen to many, speak to few.
Learn how to trust your gut and you will soon trust your ambitions. Believing in our own voice, our own ability, and our own future is very powerful and one of the key features of successful people, so why not try it yourself?
5. Question yourself
Most of us are incredibly talented at questioning the success or the intent of others, while our energy and effort should be much rather invested into questioning our purpose. Ask yourself what the difference is that you want to make in this world. Have perspective, and ask yourself again.
Often, the only thing that hinders us from being successful is ourselves. I have come to learn if I have sought and found an opportunity, and I feel good about it, all I then have to do is seize it. Oh, and Marilyn Monroe said ‘Fear is stupid. So are regrets.’
7. Be Inspired
Letting go of negative energy and understanding what it is that you want to do in your life will make it so much easier to not compare yourself to others, but instead appreciate everyone else’s creativity, success, love or whatever it is that you used to get hung upon. Some of my favourite YouTube videos of all-time are from Ted Talks. It truly is inspiring to listen to people from all aspects of life doing what they love to do.
8. Open Your Heart
Be the kind person you would like to meet, smile a bit more, and start connecting. The more we share, the more we have. So, let’s be more open; open to new ideas, new people, new cultures, or new thoughts. Perspective answers many questions. To be mindful and aware requires you to see things from ‘the bigger picture’. Whether you are on the road, or you are out with your friends, showing compassion and opening your heart to the new and the different will allow you to understand and to relate.
Life is a journey. We will fall, and we will fly. If you fall, let go, listen, try and start believing in yourself. If you fly, open your heart, listen even better and continue believing in yourself.