I laugh at myself most days, I need to otherwise I take myself too seriously. I find myself looking for meaning in almost everything. I have been on summer break staying in a holiday house on the beach. Each day my husband and I (and the new puppy Jackford) walk the beach, morning and night. Every time the beach is just a bit different.
We ask ourselves regularly “why?” and in fact, according to my mother, my most regular question growing up was “but why”? Often I am searching for meaning when there is none. The shells are on the beach one day and gone the next. Was there a change in ‘current’ or wind I ask? Perhaps their presence just ‘is’ and I really don’t need to know the answer.
I just like to know how things work and sometimes, I get to the bigger questions such as the meaning of life. Or perhaps just the meaning of my own life — this can keep me caught up for hours.
It’s now three years since I wrote Live What You Love — exploring passion, persistence, positivity and purpose. The question people sometimes ask me is “what if I cannot find my purpose?” I have responded saying “stay curious, ask questions, take note of when you are in flow and enjoying how you contribute to others…”.
I wrote a post about pausing in our pursuit of happiness in order to be happy, so when I came across Emily Esfahani Smith on TED.com in her talk ‘There’s more to life than being happy’… I wondered if we were aligned.

Emily Esfahani Smith says that it is not happiness that we should be pursuing, but ‘meaning’. I concur that happiness is but one of the many human emotions and not a constant state of being. It is not the endpoint. Throughout life, we toil and struggle and sometimes feel a great sense of accomplishment… pride in what we do, but this is different from happiness.
Emily outlined that those with a sense of ‘meaning’ know why they are here and what they are about, that is:

  1. They feel like they belong, they feel connected and a part of something bigger than themselves.
  2. They are purposeful — they know that what they do is for others, purpose is about contribution.
  3. She uses the words ‘transcendence’… perhaps spirituality, however, I interpreted this to be ‘beliefs’. What is it that I believe and who do I believe in?
  4. The story we tell ourselves about our selves. And perhaps if we shift this internal dialogue we can have a different outlook and sense of meaning. (I catch myself all too often saying I can’t, I shouldn’t, I won’t — when in fact, as I talked about in Live What You Love, using positive language even with self-dialogue is materially important for your own wellbeing).

Emily Esfahani Smith says that having ‘meaning’ is bigger than living with purpose. It is about finding a really worthwhile contribution to make — whether this is in your work, in your community or in other ways.
I think many of us rush from one thing to the next, or do what we think we should be doing… busy watching other people’s lives on social media. I encourage you to take a little time to explore the above notion of ‘meaning’ as it applies to you. It may well provide you with a mantra to really ensure that 2018 is a ‘Happy’ new year after all!

How to find meaning in your life?

I have created a simple exercise to help you kick-start your thinking about meaning and how to find more of it in your own life — you can download the exercise here.

Image: Ted.com

Grow & Scale Your Business by Naomi Simson

Tell Naomi a little bit about your business by completing the questions below. (It will take less than 60 seconds)

Answering your #1 Biggest Business Challenge question tip: 

Go beyond just saying "Poor Cashflow" or "Unreliable Team". 

Instead, give Naomi details & specifics on how this is currently your #1 Biggest Business Challenge. 

I.e. "Every month I'm struggling to pay my bills on time because there just isn't consistent cash flow coming into the business. I've tried sticking to budgets in the past & pay myself less to keep some extra funds aside for emergencies, but still every month there seems to be another financial fire to be put out. I don't know what to do about it, so I'm just grinding it out."


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