Guidance to find your true value and purpose in life for more happiness and fulfillment
Do you sometimes wonder what the meaning of life is? Here, I’m trying to point you in the right direction to the path where you can find your own purpose in life.
The meaning of life
If you realize the true meaning in your life, then that makes you happy – fulfilled. The sense of meaninglessness, on the other hand, can be quite stressful and depressing.
But how do you find the meaning of life?
One possibility is to ask, “What is really important to me in this world?”
And when you then put yourself in the service of this essential thing, then you feel your life as worth and sensible. You then know what you need for your happiness, and you can follow this path steadily.
You can then also see yourself as a vital part of the Universe that creates value and has positive effects in other people’s lives. You can contribute something to your surrounding world.
Have you ever thought about what part you want to be in the world?
What should your life consist of?
What do you want to live for?
What could be your meaning of life and give you fulfillment?
Granted, these are really tough questions. However, don’t worry, I am also certain that most of us don’t have spontaneous answers to them. What stands behind these questions are your values.
And that is exactly what this article is about: values and what it means for your life to be aware and live.
What are values?
In his book “The 7 Ways to Effectiveness,” Stephen R. Covey gives the question of values a, I believe, very fitting description: “Have the end in mind right from the beginning on.”
What do values contribute to the meaning of life?
What your answers are, puts you in direct contact with your values, thus, a bit closer to your meaning of life.
Because your values are what you feel is fundamental to your life, and what you want to live and experience. Values are our deepest inner conviction of what is tremendously important and right for our lives and our world.
It’s what you must have embodied so that at the end of your life, you can say for yourself that you have lived a fulfilled and contented life. Because you give meaning to your life with your values.
These are not goals that you can pursue and eventually achieve. They are more the direction you pursue and will never be completed. It is your biggest goal in life that may end with your death. And perhaps it will become a legacy and continue through your children.
Here are some typical values to make the definition a little clearer:
Your values are what you constantly and always require to be satisfied
A value is what is vital to your life. What you would fight for if you did not have it anymore. It is what you absolutely need to be whole and complete. That, which brings you closer to your personal meaning of life.
This does not only apply for today and tomorrow. That would be more of a timely requirement, which can be met and then disappear from your life without you holding on to it. At least until the need for it arises again next time.
You also live your true values when you are unobserved
Sometimes there are things that you like, but you do not really live. Or you only live when others are watching. Because you think you should live it. You can do that as well, that’s certainly a good thing. But it is not your real value.
That’s a sham value that you may have adopted because others expect you to be a certain way, or because it is politically correct. These fake values do not help you find the meaning of life, and in the long term solely lead to frustration.
If someone hurts your values, it even pains your soul
We cannot just live with it when somebody violates our values. If someone hurts your values, it truly hurts you as if someone just rammed a knife into your heart. That goes to the center of your core, and you cannot just ignore it.
If you are not in tune with your values, you are deeply dissatisfied
If we have to postpone what we want out of deepest conviction again and again, then we feel at the mercy of life. This not only creates dissatisfaction and unhappiness, but it can also make you mentally ill and unstable.
What are values good for?
If you know exactly what is important to you in life, then you also know a direction in life. You could say that your values are like lighthouses that tell you where to go.
You make better decisions
Your values also help you to make basic decisions. Because if you make a choice that is consistent with your values, then that decision cannot really be wrong. After all, you then considered what is ultimately the most important thing in your life.
Your values are a measure by which you can align your life. And you do not need to justify any of it. It can be very healing to decide with the certainty of being unassailable. Especially when you tend not to be able to decide and are afraid of making mistakes.
If safety and security is an important value, then you probably will not give up your safe job to travel with your girlfriend half a year through Australia.
And if family comes first, then you will always consider your loved ones when choosing your job. And then, for example, do not volunteer to see someone in your company looking for a new branch in Russia for two years.
If you decide value-based, then you do not choose according to a mood, but you make a long-term decision. You will not cheat on a whim or a charm according to your partner. You simply know that the values of loyalty and partnership are more important to you than anything else.
You are happier
In Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), values are a big key element
Acceptance and commitment therapy is a form of therapy derived from classical behavioral therapy. It assumes that people’s suffering is often related to their feelings and thought patterns, and shows a path to a happier and more fulfilled life.
Be mindful and begin to lead a value-oriented life. Find out what you want to align your life with, and make sense of it. Then, follow that direction you want to give to your life – no matter what setbacks you experience.
For if we commit ourselves to this fixed goal with all our strength, we can fine-tune our behavior and give our life a self-determined direction.
Who knows his values, can actively control his life and does not feel powerless and at the mercy of others. These are the confident people who have personally found meaning in life.
And it has also been scientifically proven by psychology professor Todd Kashdan that it makes you more content to live in a value and meaning-oriented way, rather than based on the “pleasure principle”.
I think that’s reason enough to be clear about your own values.
What are your values?
I think I have already shown you many good reasons why it is good to know your values. So, maybe you would like to think about your personal values.
To track them down, you can ask yourself the following questions:
What is existentially important to me in my life?
What should be a guiding principle in my life?
What am I often upset about? (What value is disregarded here?)
Without what would I not want to live?
What would I really miss if I did not have it anymore? (And what value is behind it?)
What did I fight for or what do I fight for? (And what value did I defend?)
What am I burning for?
What does the world need more of?
If I could change 3 things in this country with a snap, what would that be? (And what are the values behind these wishes?)
What should other people do more often? (And what value is behind it?)