In the crazy world that we live in it is sometimes easy to forget ourselves when we are shuttling between work and home and then possibly to an evening of socializing before heading to bed and preparing for another busy day. Checking our laptops for emails received, texting on our smart phone and commenting on social media websites even as we are about to sleep it is difficult to have time for introspection. However, if a number of us were to take a close look at our lives we would be forced to admit that we feel we have meaningless lives. This article will briefly examine some of the main reasons why our lives feel meaningless.
Goals are crucial: Every person should have a goal or a set of goals in life as this provides them with meaning and purpose. A life without (a) goal(s) is directionless and purposeless – which equates to having a meaningless life. This applies to any person irrespective of whether they are: male or female, young or old, black or white, rich or poor, educated or uneducated, living in a palace or hovel. Although everyone should have goals there are some people who may struggle to identify their goals and this can give them a troubled and at times pointless life. While excessive planning in life is never recommended having a broad set of goals to keep you focused is always welcome.
Mission possible: There are some people who do not have meaning in their life as they don’t really have a mission which they need to accomplish or perhaps the do have a mission they would like to accomplish but it is is out of their reach or not realistic or practical enough. Some people attempt to pursue their ultimate mission in one go, whereas in reality it takes numerous stages and steps to accomplish their mission. They fail to understand that their purpose of life is only possible if they have a clear idea about their goals or mission.
Keep the faith: People who struggle to lead a meaningful life lack are often found to lack faith in life, people, and sometimes in faith or religion . They are essentially not capable of mustering the strength, courage and willingness to face the challenges life throws towards at them. People lacking faith or belief by default accept defeat and failure in life. Furthermore, lack of faith leads to inertia which in turn leads to meaningless lives.
In pursuit of happiness: There’s a well known saying that never try too hard because you are bound to get disappointed since beyond a point you are just pushing the wall which leads to frustration. People who try too hard to attain happiness and satisfaction in life tend to falter because they are just pushing the wall. Sometimes when we are trying to attain that perfect state of happiness we miss the real and fleeting moments of happiness in our lives. At other times we don’t realize that living a life to its fullest is more important than what we think happiness or perfection might be.
Keeping up with the Jones’: Another reason why people may find their busy lives rather meaningless is because they are too busy trying to compare themselves to those around them- the keeping up with the Jones’ phenomena. Some people are so busy comparing and competing with others around them that they haven’t had time to figure out what exactly makes them feel happy and fulfilled. An important way of finding meaning in life is to count one’s blessings and enjoy what we already have and to live for the moment. Comparing and competing can only lead to dissatisfaction and an unfulfilled life.
Money, money, money: Some people feel that in today’s world material goods and wealth will give their life the meaning they are searching for. While the presence of money and material goods is certainly important in our day to day lives, they are not the reason for having a meaningful life. The truth it isn’t the designer clothes, fancy car, the big house or eating and being seen at the right restaurants, cafes or clubs that makes life meaningless. These people lack emotional, mental and spiritual nourishment which is required for a life with meaning. To add meaning to their life they require emotional maturity, time to meditate and the ability to think about someone other than themselves.
Start small, dream big: Another reason for having a meaningless life could be due to be being unable to follow your dreams. You might be in a job that you are unhappy with or doesn’t feel right. Perhaps you might be doing something in terms of work that you want to but feel that you are getting nowhere with it. One of the important things to leading a meaningful life is having a dream that you would be able to follow.
Breaking the barrier of fear: Fear is undoubtedly another important reason for leading a meaningless life. You may be unhappy, under-performing, bored and worried about the life you currently lead but you aren’t willing to do anything about it. You may dream of a better future, you may know what that future looks like , you can almost taste, touch, smell, see and hear that future but you suffer from inertia. Why? Fear of the unknown. At least in your current unhappy, under-performing, bored and worried life you know what the next day looks like.
Birds of a feather flock together: Another important reason why people are leading a meaningless life could be the company they keep. If you are friends with people who lead meaningless lives then there is a fair chance that you might be doing the same. Once in the company of such unproductive people it is difficult to get out of this cycle and do something useful and productive. In order to lead a happy and fulfilling life it is a good idea to surround yourself with happy, lively and productive people. Most importantly be the happy, lively and productive person – the type of person that you want to stick with.
Which one do you want to become? Jeffrey or Alex?