In Martin Seligman’s most recent model of happiness, ‘meaning’ features as one of the five components of well-being, alongside positive emotion, accomplishment, relationships and engagement.
So, why is meaning so important?
Positive psychology research suggests that meaning performs two central functions in our lives.
Firstly, it provides the necessary bedrock foundation which enables us to be more resilient and to bounce back from adversity.
Secondly it gives us a sense of direction, enabling us to set goals and targets to aim for.
Purpose is a word often used synonymously with meaning.
There are several activities you can do to help uncover your purpose in life.
Now imagine fast-forwarding to the end of your life and answer the following questions:
- How, and for what, do I want to be remembered?
- By whom do I want to be remembered?
- Which of my accomplishments and personal strengths would I want others to talk about?
- When I look back, am I satisfied with the life I have lived?
- Am I living my life in such a way now that this will be achieved?