Finding a larger meaning or purpose in life is critical for building happiness and wellbeing. Purpose unleashes internal energy and direction that is particularly valuable at the beginning of our wellbeing journey when we often feel depleted. A larger sense of purpose also provides an organizing principle to our lives that guides our decisions at critical life junctions in life.
This larger sense of life purpose is important for building happiness as we reflect on your life in its entirety. Research demonstrates that having an impact on the larger world, above and beyond oneself, is what matters most if we are to capture that deep sense of satisfaction with our life. It requires identifying what we value most – whether it be community, kindness, security or creativity, for example – and finding ways of bringing or creating it for others.
It is also important to find a sense of purpose in the many mundane activities that fill our day, such as folding laundry, driving to work, or raking leaves. Even the small things matter because their impact on our psyche adds up throughout the day. We can ask ourselves “how can I approach this task as an opportunity to foster additional skills and knowledge, develop closer bonds with others, or gain a sense of mastery and accomplishment?” Washing dishes can become an opportunity to have a meaningful conversation with our spouse or child. Driving to work provides an opportunity to listen to a Podcast where we can learn more about a special interest. Cleaning our office can provide a sense of mastery. With a change in mindset, we can transform mundane tasks that deplete our energy into opportunities to enrich our lives. Adjusting our mindset begins by asking ourselves, “How might I use this time to develop, connect, or master?” When we reflect on this question, we open our minds to possibility, and in doing so, our ability to create meaning in our life.