Having meaning in life, and living a purposeful life seem very adult topics to discuss. They seem to be something we look to in the future, when we are ‘proper’ grown-ups.
However, meaning in life is something we are always making each day in every new moment and experience we gain. Purpose is something that we can have now, it is active. We can find purpose in lots of things and not just one.
‘Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of
meaning and purpose.’ Viktor Frankl
Meaning and purpose come from being authentic and honest with ourselves and what we desire without fear. So, in order to have meaning and purpose at any age we need to be true to ourselves and build a positive picture of our lives.
How can we do this with our children and students? Or how can you do this for yourself at any age?
Try this: We are constantly meaning making. Each experience we have helps us create more meaning. You can use strengths of character to build a confident and positive meaning of who they or you are. We covered strengths back in April. Or try this. Get your children or students to complete this sentence. ‘I matter because…’
When we have a reason to matter this gives us our meaning. It can be, I matter because I am reliable to my friends. I matter because I am determined to complete my schoolwork. There can also be reasons we matter outside of our relationships and school life. Having a strong and positive meaning can help us also realise our purpose.
Try this: Complete this sentence… ‘My purpose is to…’ And remember you do not have to just have one purpose. It is not based in the future it is now and it is active. For example, my purpose is to help others, or my purpose is to stand up for animals or the environment. Our purpose can grow and change with us as we change as people. Any positive purpose is great for our wellbeing.
Our values as a person play a great part in our meaning and purpose as they do in our goals from last month. If you want to know more about values look through our social media posts on the topic. Goals set that align with our values and lead us to greater meaning in life and toward our purpose are goals which will bring great joy indeed, and not just in the outcome but in the journey too.
As always give this a try and be patient. Wellbeing is a lifestyle not just an hour of thought once a month or sporadically when things feel wrong. What we practise grows stronger as we grow and change as people.