Want more meaning in life? It all starts with you. Check out these 5 Vertellis questions for a happier and more meaningful life.
Self-help gurus toss out terms like ‘purpose' and 'calling'… telling us we need these to live happy and meaningful lives. I’m not sure that exerting that kind of pressure on us is the right way to help! Do we really need to pinpoint a single purpose or calling in life to be happy?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for people having purpose in their lives. But instead of saying you MUST figure out your purpose before you can be happy and feel meaning, I believe these things can become available to you in a much easier way!
Simply ask yourself any one (or all)of the 5 questions below. Each one will bring you one step closer to having more meaning in your life.
"What were you passionate about as a small child?"
Young children live their lives with open-minds, without self-imposed restrictions. As we grow older, society influences us. The media and people around us encourage us (or shame us) into leading our lives a certain way. Many offer good advice and they probably all mean well...but "one-size-fits-all" doesn’t apply to living a happy life.
Uninhibited children live their lives in the moment. They live by emotions and not by reason so they take opportunities to follow their passions naturally.
Can you resurrect the one thing you were most passionate about when you were younger, and fit it into the things that you would like to do (and could do) now? In other words, give permission to the child within you and allow yourself to follow some genuine passions.
As of tomorrow, we’ve granted you a billion dollars. The only string we’ve attached is that you cannot donate any of it to yourself, your family, or your friends. You must spend it on a project to better ______.
“What project would you spend this on?”
Thinking BIG like this can be hampered by our self-imposed restrictions or restrictions imposed by others. When we ‘don’t have enough money,’ we don’t dare let ourselves think in terms of ‘infinite possibilities.’ We think in the ‘possibilities’ we have or think we have. What we are actually doing is putting restrictions on our thoughts, which is counterproductive to having a more meaningful life.
Try to answer this question as a thought experiment. Write down what project you’d spend the money on as if the money was already there. Once your creative juices start flowing, ask yourself what your first step might be to get a little closer to your financial goal.
"How would you help other people if money was no object?"
In the last question, we didn’t let you spend any money on yourself, your friends, or your family because we wanted to encourage you to think deeply and not settle for easy answers. Now let’s continue with the money theme.
People are social animals. Helping others helps you become happy and experience more meaning in your life. Even doing small things daily can make us happier, and everyone can do it.
Now, let’s remove the limited thinking of ‘small things daily’… What if money were no object? How would you help as many people as possible? What would you like to do for them?
Is there anything you could start doing today, no matter how small?
"What advice do people tend to ask you for?"
We often overlook or minimize things we are good at, and it can be uncomfortable directly asking others directly what they think our strengths are. So do the next best thing:
Ask yourself what your friends and acquaintances tend to ask your advice about… You’ll naturally uncover where one (or more) of your strengths lie. Often, what you are good at lies at the core of your passion!
"Whom do you find inspiring…and why?”
For me, I’m inspired by Leonardo da Vinci. He was a creative person who dared to develop several things ‘before his time.’ He was not only an artist but an inventor, writer, and much more.
When I thought about my inspiring person, I realized that I also want multiple goals in my life. Society, and especially the education system, send us a different message. They tell us to become ‘good at one thing.’ For some people this advice fits perfectly. They already know from an early age that they want to become a vet, a teacher, or a fireman and they go for it.
If that’s you - great! For most people though, it's not so straightforward. (I wanted to type: "Unfortunately, for most people, it's not so straightforward" but, I changed that. There is nothing unfortunate about it.)
Give yourself permission! Be self-aware and allow yourself to have multiple skills and interests. You can pursue multiple goals for an optimal sense of meaning in your life! Always be open to fulfill your true potential and help other people in the process.
Ask yourself who inspires you, living or dead, and why. Figure out what it is (or was) that he or she does (or did) that fascinates and motivates you. Can you apply any of their principles to your own life?
Here are the 5 questions for finding more meaning in your life:
1) "What were you passionate about as a small child?"
2) Tomorrow you’ll have a billion dollars. “What project would you spend this on?”
3) "How would you like to help other people if money were no object?”
4) "What do people tend to ask your advice about?"
5) "Whom do you find inspiring?"
All of these questions came from Vertellis Chapters. Want to dive even deeper into self-reflection for more meaning and happiness? Check out Chapters - our unique mindfulness journal!