The Meaning and Course of Your Life
How would you like to live your life? Would you like to feel energetic and lively when you are 90 years old? Would you like to feel that you have accomplished something? Would you like to have your loved ones by your side everyday when you are 90?
Recognize that your present activities directly impact your future. Well, it is now and today that you have to start planning and taking action for the future. Everything you do today will translate into what type of life you live, how you feel, how you feel about yourself, what you will be doing, how you will be enjoying your life, and a plethora of other ramifications in the future. This future does not even need to be the distant future as implied above. It can also be what type of lifestyle you will be living a couple of years later. In other words, every present action will affect your future. Working towards goals in a variety of activities in various areas such as health, relationships, career, and personal growth will hopefully ensure a more balanced lifestyle.
Just be aware that if you spend time cultivating any area, you will reap the rewards of that area proportional (perhaps not directly proportional though) to the amount of time you spend. For example, if you enjoy watching TV after work and find it extremely relaxing, then you are basically engaging in improved health (and perhaps learning about what you are watching). Other areas may suffer, but that is your choice.
Don't force situations. It is not easy to decide what path your life will follow. In fact, it often is not possible to decide yourself, as many times circumstances dictate it. You may really want to stay home to look after the kids, but financial situations may prevent you from doing that.
Be creative in molding your life. At the same time, though, it is actually often possible to turn your wishes into reality. For example, if you really wanted to stay home to look after the kids, maybe it would just mean eating out less and cooking at home more, which would mean that you would probably eat healthier anyways. Or, perhaps you could work part-time or work an earlier shift? If you really would like a certain outcome, try to think of possible ways to make them a reality.
Do decide on your course. One thing you must do, however, is to decide on your course even though external circumstances may prevent you from realizing your immediate dreams. You have to decide on the type of life that you envision to lead. Don't just go through life wandering here and there just for the pleasure of it (unless that is what you have decided your purpose to be). You must actively decide what will be your path in life. Everyone makes different decisions, which is fine, but you nonetheless have to decide for yourself what path to take. One of the goals of this website is to make your path less rockier with respect to many different areas of life.
Use your values to decide. How do you decide, though, what type of life to lead? This comes to the core of your inner self. Your values are what determines what you deem to be important in life. If you enjoy singing because you like the natural sound of the voice, and think that singing enhances your life as well as that of others, perhaps you should join a weekly choir. If you decide to become a professional singer, then you will need to make more sacrifices, but at least you will have made that decision based on your values in life. Perhaps you believe in serving the public as a professional singer. That is your choice. Everyone must decide. There is no right or wrong, but it should come from within your deepest values.
Follow the path of those you admire. Don't be afraid to emulate and improve upon the lives of those whom you admire. Look at some of the lives of similar people who have walked your path. Look at the lives of people in history that you admire, or those in your family, or your friends.
Engage in activities of which you will feel proud. As for leading a life that is meaningful, everyone's definition of "meaningful" varies. For you, it may be nothing more than sitting on a beach on a Saturday afternoon and enjoying the beautiful scenery. In general, though, leading a meaningful life should essentially be doing something that you would feel proud of later on. For example, several years later, you may feel proud that you put together a family album of past photos, organized by year. Or, you may feel proud that the chickens you barbeque almost always end up sweet and tasty. You may have more noble ambitions, and those are fine too. (See Making a Difference to Society.) Whatever you decide, those activities should make you proud.
The path individuals take to form meaningful and productive lives will be unique for all of us. It is never easy to decide on what course to take. Be assured, though, that if you are willing to invest time in personal growth, to listen to shrewd advice from others, and to have a caring heart, you will be able to steer yourself along a path that others may, in turn, want to emulate.
In summary, to lead a meaningful life,
A. Recognize your present activities directly impact your future.
B. Don't force situations.
C. Be creative in molding your life.
D. Do decide on your course.
E. Use your values to decide.
F. Follow the path of those you admire.
G. Engage in activities of which you will feel proud.
Life Skills > Common Sense Life Skills > The Meaning and Course of Your Life