Finding Meaning in 2019 and Beyond:
Responding to Calls of the Heart
One of the illuminating lights for well-being and happiness is finding meaning in life – responding to the calls of the heart. In 2019, how will you wake up to your meaningful callings?
There is a crisis of meaning in the U.S. today – a lot of noise and perhaps not enough observing and listening.
Many of us are searching for happiness in ways that bring only momentary satisfactions. Seeking happiness without meaning is like watching the Superbowl with no understanding of the football game itself – it’s a good party, but we don’t know much about why we are there.
Three conditions contribute to our perceptions of meaning – we sense that our lives are worthwhile and part of a larger picture; we evaluate our lives as being logical and significant; and we experience a feeling of purpose (Smith, 2017).
A 2013 study by positive psychologist Roy Baumeister, PhD and colleagues surveyed almost 400 people. Their findings suggested that meaningfulness was connected to expressing personal identity. Meaning involved doing things for others – giving rather than taking – and linking past, present, and future even though feelings of stress or worry might be involved.
Consider this. Engaging in meaningful pursuits may not bring you happiness in the present, but can lead to well-being in the future (Huta & Ryan, 2009). For example, getting up to go to work may be a challenge each day, but long term meaningful outcomes may include providing for loved ones, accruing security, and building professional relationships.