At some point in time, if not most of the time, each of us grapples with the question ‘What is the meaning of my life?’ Our problem is often the result of our inability to cope with either abundance of riches, ideas, options or because all these are in terrible short supply in our life. Some of us struggle with the chaos in our life brought about by our fear of the future, the ghost of the past and the challenges of the present. Each of us also suffer, in varying degrees, from the seven deadly vices of sloth, gluttony, pride, envy, wrath, lust and greed which makes our life miserable and reignites the question ‘What is the meaning of our life?
The answer to this philosophical question actually lies in answering another more meaningful question ‘How do I give meaning to my life?’ The key word is the emphasis on the word MY LIFE! Yes I am sure my of existing life; the previous life is immaterial now and the afterlife, if such a thing exists, is a long way away. Once you decide that you and only you can lead your life, giving meaning to it becomes relatively simple. You choose, you live, you make life happen!
To give meaning to your life focus on the following:
Your thoughts – Everything you do starts in your mind. You need to train your mind to think with purpose, think rationally, be imaginative and to think positive. Since our thoughts determine our words and actions, pay attention to those triggers that make us emotional, get us worked up, make us irrational and those that plant a seed of doubt in our mind. Once you become aware of such negative thoughts, it becomes possible albeit difficult to rein in such thoughts and counter them with more positive and energizing thoughts. Every day will bring with it, its share of joys, concerns, opportunities and challenges. We often tend to discount or ignore the joys and opportunities and instead focus on the concerns and challenges that we face. Slowly our mind begins to wither away since it is now trained only to look out for trouble. Instead, if you count your blessings each day, the wonders that you have been gifted with and the chances that you get to move ahead in life all other troubles will seem to be insignificant in comparison. Start each day with a grateful heart; end each day with thanks for another good day. Whatever happens in between will then be something you can cope with, for by overcoming it is what makes your day, something to cherish and feel happy about.
Your words – Your thoughts have a large influence in how your thoughts, feelings and emotions are articulated and expressed. If you see challenges as opportunities to prove your mettle, you will look forward to it and express yourself with confidence, eagerness and excitement. On the other hand if you view it as an unavoidable task, you will start expressing your doubts, your concerns, find excuses for failure that you anticipate. Ask yourself what type of person you would like to deal with. The tone, tenor, style and choice of words would also reflect your mindset and attitude towards a task and your belief system. Be aware that sarcasm, insinuations, blame game and negativity in your communication often indicate your insecurity, your weakness and your inability to cope with stress. Practice the art of expressing yourself in a positive way; consider the recipient of your communication as a partner in your work, an ally who wants you to succeed and someone who believes in your abilities. The same feelings will percolate into your mindset and before long you would succeed in seeing positive life changing meaning in your daily life.
Your deeds – It is said that the ‘proof of the pudding is in the eating’. Ultimately your thoughts and words must be reflected in the actions you perform. Giving platitudes and sermons is relatively easy; traversing that path is definitely much more difficult. A simple act of listening carefully could sometimes be extremely difficult because you have strong negative emotions about the other party and / or the situation. Your deeds are not merely what you do, but how you do it. Do you bang the door when you leaving your bosses cabin after a stormy meeting? Do you do an unpleasant task with grace? How do you deal with a cranky elder at home? Do you constantly nag your spouse and/ or children? Can you maintain a cheerful countenance even during a very stressful situation? Remember that Actions speak louder than words!
- Volunteer to baby sit a child who is between the ages of 3-5. If the child is hyperactive or challenged, you would learn a lot more from the experience about your own temperament, patience, creativity, attitude and self belief.
- Spend one evening every month in an orphanage / old age home / hospice / home for the challenged. What feelings did you experience? Ask yourself what can you do on your own to make life more comfortable there.
- List out the names of 5 people with whom you have difficulty in getting along. Now choose one of them and make a determined effort to be genuinely nice to them for an extended period of time. Did it bring about a positive change in you and the other person? Do you think you were being unfair to judge the other person wrongly? Do you think you can try this experiment with other people on your list?
- Make a list of all the negative words / phrases / excuses / tone / foul language that you often resort to, especially when annoyed/ irritated / confused/ frustrated. Can you make a determined effort to eliminate these and substitute them with some positive reinforcements? Can you feel a change in yourself after adopting a positive approach?
This post is courtesy www.actspot.com
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