I’m currently reading a book called Resilience by Eric Greitens. The book is a series of letters that Greitens wrote to a friend who was going through a challenging time.
Last weekend, as I was sitting in a coffee shop reading the book and reflecting on the book’s message, it struck me that there are basically three questions that we need to answer if we want to create a meaningful life.
So let’s jump right into the questions! For each question, I’ll list a few alternatives and you can chose to work with the one that resonates best with you.
The Three Questions You Need To Answer To Create A Meaningful Life
1. What is your philosophy of life?
Alternatives: What are your most important beliefs? What do you believe the purpose of life is? What are you most important core values and beliefs?
This is a big overarching question and probably the most important of the three questions.
Most of us have a philosophy of life, we just don’t realize it or take the time to really think about it. And for the most part, we inherit our basic philosophies from our parents, our cultures, our religions, and other outside forces.
In my opinion, we absolutely need to question these hand me down philosophies and take the time to create a philosophy of our own, one that reflects who we are and what we believe to be true and essential.
And once we decide what our philosophy of life is, we need to take the next step and start LIVING it. After all, how can anyone create a meaningful life, if we’re living a life that’s not in tune with our most important values and beliefs?
2. Who do you want to be?
Alternatives: What type of energy do you want to put out into the world? What type of person do you want to be?
Most of the time, we focus on a different, but related question. We focus on “Who am I?”
And when we answer that question, we tend to take our answers as givens, as if we’re unable to change things about ourselves.
It is true that there are some characteristics that are difficult, if not impossible, to change. For example, I’m an introvert and changing that basic facet of my personality would be extremely difficult.
At the same time, there are other characteristics that we have the ability to cultivate. For example, all people have the ability to learn how to be compassionate.
So think about who you want to be. Look at people that you admire and figure out what you admire about them.
And once you’re figured out what type of person you want to be, start taking small daily steps to become that type of person.
3. What are you willing to struggle to achieve?
Alternatives: What do you want to live for? What will be the great work of your life? What do you want o dedicate your life to?
In order for our lives to feel meaningful, we all need something to focus our energy on, something that’s worthy of our one precious life.
What you decide to focus on might be related to your career. Or it may be related to a role such as being a parent or being a husband, wife or partner. Or it might be something else entirely.
Regardless of where you decide to focus your energy, regardless of what you decide to dedicate your life to, make sure you do your absolute best. Learn to be excellent in whatever you do! Part of living a meaningful life is actually being good at what your life focus is.
So there you have it…three questions you need to answer to create a meaningful life. Of course, you need to do more than just answer the questions…you need to LIVE your answers!
One final note…remember that these aren’t questions that you answer just once in your life. They’re questions that you’ll want to periodically revisit to see how your answer(s) have changed.
Hope this post adds value to your life!
P.S. By the way, last week I had a guest post published on another site. If you’re interested, you can read it here: 7 Ways To Take Care Of Yourself When Life Knocks You Down.