Whenever we go through a slump — whether it is from boredom, failure, or depression — we’re forgetting how to live a meaningful life.
We are responsible for living meaningful lives. Nobody outside of ourselves can give our lives meaning. When we’re down in the dumps we often expect that something external will give our lives meaning. But it’s impossible for something external to supply meaning in life.
The faulty logic of looking to external things to spark a meaningful life often follows the trajectory one of these scenarios:
If I had enough money to do the things that I find meaningful, then I could lead a meaningful life. Since I don’t have enough money to do those things, my life has no meaning.
I’m single and I won’t have a meaningful life until I am in a long-term relationship. I have to find love before I can be happy.
My job is stopping me from leading a meaningful life because it is boring. I want a more glamorous job. It seems like I live to work.
I am stuck with my habits. I can’t change. I have to continue leading an unfulfilling life because I can’t change my ways.
I’m fat. I won’t have a meaningful life until I lose weight.
Those are limiting beliefs, aren’t they? Who would want to live with those kind of beliefs?
Each of us has our own limiting beliefs. We each have our “if only” scenario. “If only” we had more money; “If only” we would have a romantic partner; “If only” we had a more glamorous job; “If only” we could break our habits; “If only” we could lose weight…then we’d be able to live meaningful lives.
Look at your limiting beliefs now. If you’re not sure what they are, think of the goals you have that you are not reaching. What do you tell yourself about those goals? Do you tell yourself that you won’t be happy until you reach them, but simultaneously find them to be unreachable? Are these unmet goals really what holds you back from leading a meaningful life, or is the weight you give them holding you back? What if you would release yourself from their weight? How would that feel? Would you know intuitively how to lead a meaningful and happy life?
We forget how to live a meaningful life because we believe in the power of what we don’t have more than we believe in the power of our own resources. We tell ourselves the lie of “if only”. There will always be an “if only”. Nobody can ever achieve all of their goals — if someone could, he would be aiming too low. Goals are never ending. What matters is the present and the talents and gifts that we bring to it. What matters is where we can contribute and influence now. Focusing on our contributions and the use of our God-given talents is how to live a meaningful life. It is how we can unite heaven and earth; how we can achieve higher goals than we know are possible.
How can we transcend our “if only” beliefs?
It starts with acknowledging that you are a soul. You are a soul; you have a body. Your soul is the source of your power; the external world is not the source. At any moment a rich man can lose his material wealth; a beautiful woman can lose her physical beauty. The soul is eternal and is an actual part of the Divine. Your essence is Divine, and that’s the true source of your power as a person.
The next step is to tune in to and listen to your soul. There are two sure ways to hear the call of your soul: Listen to the “still small voice” that speaks inside you when you remove external distractions from yourself. Tune in to your passions: What brings you wholesome joy? Where do you feel “at home” and useful? What gives you a lasting sense of wholesome satisfaction? Take the call of your soul and pursue it. Shift your focus from your “if only” beliefs to the pursuit of the call of your soul. That is the foundation of how to live a meaningful life. Your external limitations can dissolve when you get busy fulfilling your purpose in life, which you will always be able to identify by listening to the call of your soul.
Photo Credit:The Success club