The desire to live a meaningful life is amongst us all, and scientific findings demonstrate that intentionally crafting moments of meaning and purpose leads to greater wellbeing, life satisfaction, engagement, work satisfaction, and productivity outcomes.Globally, the secret as to why meaning matters is out. With disruption and change around every corner, the leaders of tomorrow know that while the 'how' and 'what' around them might change, their personal and professional 'why' will provide them with a northern to guide their individual and organisational compasses. With rapid change being driven by automation, developing human potential will be our greatest individual and organisational investment, provide our biggest competitive advantage, and offer the vehicle to ensure a flourishing future for our future generations and the world they'll live in. The case for meaning is clear: to reduce emotional suffering and enhance human potential.
So when it comes to building more meaning into our lives, where can we start today?
Our framework leans on leading theories of meaning, and suggests we can draw on three factors: matters of the heart, stories of the mind, and actions of impact. Here are three practices from each of those factors that you can try today!My Heart: What are the values that drive you at your best? Positive psychologists Seligman and Peterson have uncovered 24 universal Character Strengths that reflect our core values in action. Want to know your type five? Take the free scientific survey over at their site, www.via.character.org
My Story: What does your ideal future look like? Imagine you have the ability to project 20 years from now. How would you know that you had achieved all that you hoped for? Take a moment to jot down a couple of paragraphs of what might be different, and what might be the same. The people you'd be with, the places you might have visited, the projects you might have finished. Can you spot any patterns between your future self-story and your values and strengths?
My Impact: Take a look around you today. Think about the possibilities and causes that excite you, and, on the flip side, the circumstances, events or challenges that irritate you, or make you angry. What would you change to make our world a little better? Write down why this change matters to you, and how it would make a difference to others. For this one, you can go small and stay within your family, or go big in considering the world!
Author: Mariane Power, The Posify Group
In my years of clinical practice as a psychotherapist, I have had the privilege of working with people who have found themselves struggling with symptoms of grief and loss, and deep sadness. As a human, I too have experienced these feelings, that at the time, seemed to have the capacity to take a grip and hold. Amongst those whose perceived depths of despair have left them questioning the value of their own lives, the greatest protective factor I have observed time and time again is the awareness and commitment to the meaningful aspects of their lives, the people and the projects that matter to them.