The Search for Meaning

Monday, December 18, 2017

“For the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment.” ― Viktor Frankl

Find Your Happy

For the entire year, we have been highlighting simple practices that we can engage in to invite more peace, joy, and contentment into our lives. Why? Because our mission is to help people live richer lives, and we’ve found evidence to suggest we can all increase our happiness through simple skills that are easily learned and turned into habits. Our focus is on meaning.

stitch search for meaning

Meaning

Meaning is believing in, belonging to, or serving something beyond ourselves. Living a life of meaning creates a profound sense of fulfillment which increases our happiness and supports us during times of struggle. Typically, people find meaning in relationships, work, self-discovery, faith, and even suffering. Without meaning, the pursuit of happiness could lead us to live shallow, self-absorbed lives. Pursuing happiness alone can motivate selfish or “taking” behavior. Conversely, pursuing meaning motivates selfless or “giving” behavior. As Viktor said, “A human being is not [a being] in pursuit of happiness but rather in search of a reason to become happy.”

Practice: Know Your Values

We do not merely discover meaning in our lives, we create it. Some of the critical building blocks for a meaningful life are our values. Each day this month, take some quiet time to reflect on what is most important to you. Think about the areas of your life that you are unwilling to compromise, as well as the essential elements of your character that you prize the most. Record what you come up with and create a list of those values that you would characterize as enduring. Your values can serve as both an anchor and compass for you as you pursue meaning in your life.

Want More Inspiration? 

Watch this rare clip from 1972 in which legendary psychiatrist and Holocaust-survivor Viktor Frankl delivers a powerful message about the human search for meaning—and the most important gift we can give others.

In addition, we highly recommend Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, which at the time of Frankl’s death in 1997, had sold more than 10 million copies in twenty-four languages and in 1991 was named one of America’s ten most influential books in a Library of Congress survey.

2018 Find Your Happy Calendar

We’re excited to share our second annual “Find Your Happy” calendar featuring the one and only Stitch Jones (Brighton Jones’ Chief Compassion Officer). Request your calendar and find your happy during 2018!


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