Living a Fulfilling and Meaningful Life
Despite all our differences, everyone on Earth is also similar in that we all want to live a happy and meaningful life. Everything we do is motivated by our pursuit of joy and fulfillment, and everyone ultimately wants to live in peace and free from suffering. But if that’s the case, then why does it sometimes seem like we’re so far off where we want to be? While we all have the same desire to be happy, our methods, habits, and lifestyle choices sometimes create obstacles and obstructions that lead to more pain and anxiety. In this article, I’d like to highlight three qualities that are pivotal to living a happy and meaningful life.
A Meaningful Life of Service
A life of service means focusing on the benefit and well being of others as much as we do ourselves. This means finding the motivation and inspiration from within our heart to open ourselves up to others and connect with the world, sharing our time, experience, and energy with those who can benefit from it. Examples of this include doing volunteer work at homeless shelters, schools, or with charity programs in your spare time, helping your friends and colleagues with their projects and assignments, assisting your family with household duties or special tasks, or creating a service or club to benefit the local community. Helping is not about how big or small, but about the intention to benefit others.
The attitude that we maintain when helping others is crucial. We must not overthink our own personal gain, we need to remain humble and respectful, and we should appreciate others for accepting our assistance. With such a mindset, we won’t feel resentful if we get nothing back, we won’t allow pride and arrogance to get in the way, and we won’t be over calculative about gain and loss. Instead, we can just focus on enjoying helping others and doing something beautiful while establishing wholesome friendships and relationships along the way. If we were able to incorporate serving and helping others into our lives in such a way, we would feel great joy from seeing the people around us smile and be happy, while also finding meaning in a life that extends beyond ourselves.
A Meaningful Life of Giving
A life of giving means to view our possessions as a means for sharing and connecting with others. It’s not to say we must give everything away until we’re left with nothing, but it is more about a change in attitude towards how we perceive our material and immaterial belongings. When we think deeply about all that we have, it’s easy to see just how much we can share with others. Giving is not limited to mere material possessions like money and objects, but also includes sharing our smile, a warm greeting, some words of encouragement, or a friendly hug, which may sometimes have an even more significant effect when offered at the right time.
When we view our things with a generous heart and an open mind, our life becomes bigger and more embracing. Again, giving is not about getting something in return, but more about the pure intention to share and connect. When giving is internalized into our very being, we will give off friendly, warm, and loving energy that makes those around feel relaxed, comfortable, and happy. A mind of giving is vast, open, and kind, and has the power to cleanse and purify negative energies such as greed, anger, and ill will. When living with a giving mind, we experience much joy by seeing the happiness of others, while everything we have has higher value because they serve a purpose greater than ourselves, by benefiting the lives of many others.
A Meaningful Life of Learning
A life of learning means to continually improve and develop oneself by utilizing all of life’s events and challenges as a tool for growth. When we are motivated to learn, everything is more interesting, exciting, and enjoyable, and life becomes more joyful and meaningful. Learning is very healthy and useful because it not only keeps our mind younger and sharper, it also increases our capacity to help others and give back to the world that has given us so much. Whatever goals and dreams we have, we have a higher chance of achieving them when we are continually progressing upwards towards greater knowledge and insight.
The best way to practice learning in everyday life and is to maintain a mind of curiosity, openness, and respect. When we are curious, we ask questions and seek answers. When we are open, we listen to others and learn new things. And when we are respectful, others will help us learn much more. Learning is less about the final goal as it is about the journey, and by developing a healthy learning attitude, we can begin our practice immediately and experience all it’s benefits now. A life of learning is full of joy and happiness because a real sense of accomplishment arises from learning new things that help us grow and mature into a more experienced and capable person. Then when we can apply the things we learn to benefit our family, friends, and society, we feel a deep sense of fulfillment. And because learning is not about comparing with others but more about an inward journey of personal growth, we learn at our own pace and on our own individual level.
A joyful and meaningful life is rooted in serving, giving, and learning. When one is motivated by these intentions, then one experiences deep and profound fulfillment in everything one does. One does not need to go anywhere or do anything special to live a happy and meaningful life. One just needs to continue doing everyday tasks and normal activities with an open, generous, and curious attitude, with a mind of helping, giving, and learning. Consequently, one will experience a life full of love, friends, and meaningful experiences.
May we all live a harmonious, enriching, and fulfilling life and touch the lives of all we meet along the way.
Thanks for reading 😊