Pathways to Wellness

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Living with purpose

Whether it's advocating for change or protecting what is precious, creating something useful or beautiful, or helping those less fortunate and making a difference in someone's life, finding meaning and living with purpose is an important part of flourishing.  Why?

  • Meaning helps us to connect what we are doing today with a better future.  It helps us get satisfaction from the small steps we take today in order to achieve a bigger goal.
  • It connects what we do to the values we hold dear, and what's really important - things like fairness, justice, compassion.
  • Living with meaning helps us see that we can make a difference.  As Gandhi said, "be the change you want to see."
  • Living with meaning adds to our sense of self-worth; it helps us see ourselves as good and worthy, and strive to overcome our personal limitations.
  • Finally, serving a purpose greater than ourselves can help offset the frustrating, boring, and sometimes petty day-to-day experiences.

Meaning can come from many sources:  our job, volunteer work, belonging to a faith community, or getting involved in politics to name a few.

It's common and healthy to ask questions about what gives life meaning and how to live life more meaningfully.  Here are a couple of exercises that can help if you are searching for meaning in your life.

  1. At the end of each day, write about the 3 things that were most meaningful.  This can help you to find meaning, and to do more of the things that are most meaningful.
  2. Another exercise is to imagine what a better future world would look like, and then imagine telling your children, or grandchildren, what you did to help make that future a reality. 

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