Recently I was chatting with a friend when she asked, “How can I create more meaningfulness in my life? What can I do to make life feel like it matters just a little bit more? To be honest, every day feels the same and, frankly, not all that important.”

It’s not uncommon for women to find themselves searching for meaning in their lives. I think we all feel at a loss sometimes when it comes to meaningfulness and purpose –  even if meaning seems evident from the outside looking in.   

And, it’s so very important to recognize and acknowledge the meaningfulness we have, because personal goals, purpose, self-worth, and integrity are wellsprings of a positive life.

Creating a meaningful life can ….

  • Elevate your overall health and wellbeing
  • Fill you with energy and vitality
  • Enable you to manage adversity better
  • Increase your productivity
  • Grow your general feeling of life satisfaction 
  • Level up your self-image
  • Increase your ability to achieve a flow state – that state in which you feel “at one” with what you’re doing

According to a fascinating article published by the New Yorker, there was a study done in 2016 which found that a meaningful life has three significant aspects:

  • A feeling of purpose – having and working to achieve life goals that you consider essential and of significance.
  • Understanding – making sense of the events in your life and seeing how they weave into the whole.
  • Significance – the belief that your existence is valuable.

In a nutshell - a meaningful life has value, coherence, and significance. 

So, How Is Meaningfulness a “Wellspring?” 

And what is meant by that anyway? 

I looked up the definition of the word wellspring, and I loved what it said - Merriam Webster defines wellspring as an “original and bountiful source of something.”

Imagine having meaningfulness as a wellspring in your life and what a significant impact that could make. 

To start with - a wellspring of meaningfulness could lead to an abundance of fulfillment, happiness, and joy, not to mention the plethora of other life benefits previously mentioned. 

So how is a woman to tap into that? 

How can we get access to the wellspring that could upgrade our lives on every level? 

What Is Meaningful To You?

Start by asking yourself a few questions about meaning and where it fits into your life. 

  • What lights you up?
  • What gives you a sense of purpose?
  • What is your why for wanting what you want in life – for doing the things you do? 

For some of us, it’s all about family. For others, it comes down to community or being of service. Meaning can come from creating, from making a positive impact on the world, or from leaving a legacy of some sort. 

There is no singular or correct way to create meaning in your life - meaning is deeply personal and what is right is whatever is right for you. 

Still, there are a couple of ways to do create meaning in such a way that it will truly grace your life:

Find The Sweet Spot Between Happiness and Meaning

Often it feels as though there’s a tradeoff between happiness and meaning. But that doesn't signify that they are mutually exclusive. Not at all. Still, when we think of being happy, we typically think about things that feel good or offer up immediate gratification – sharing a delicious meal and conversation with friends, laughing with a loved one over something fun or funny, finding (and obtaining) the most fabulous pair of Manolo Blahniks, meeting a financial goal, or enjoying a day at the spa.  

Alternatively, meaningful activities often involve making an effort, giving something up, or compromising in some way. Some examples could look like: years of study and financial investment into becoming a doctor or a teacher, donating time, money, or resources, volunteering, writing a book, investing time and energy into saving animals or the planet, or letting go of some freedom and carefree existence to commit to having and caring for a family.  

Notice that the pursuit of meaning is often outward-focused, whereas happiness is very often inwardly focused. Not always, of course; but, often that’s the case.

The beauty of meaning is that it allows us to transcend any moments we may experience of deprivation because we are gratified that we are in pursuit of something bigger than ourselves. 

  • Caring for loved ones
  • Raising well-adjusted children
  • Saving or improving lives 
  • Educating others
  • Being of service to our community 
  • Achieving important goals
  • Leaving a legacy for family or humanity

A life that is solely about pursuing hedonic happiness can be ultimately unfulfilling. Likewise, a life that is only focused on pursuing meaningfulness – while neglecting joy, laughter, and being present in each moment – can be unnecessarily austere.

The key is finding the perfect balance between joy and the present moment – often described as happiness – and pushing on to achieve meaning.

It’s The Little Things That Make A Difference

You don’t have to save lives or be particularly heroic to make a difference and have meaning in your life. There are many ways you can make the world a better place for yourself, your loved ones, and humanity at large. 

It’s possible that your name won’t go down in history as having made some massive, impactful contribution to the world. Still, it’s equally as important and noble to be able to look back and know that you took thousands of micro-actions that made a difference to others. 

  • Bringing in the paper for your elderly neighbor and taking a moment to chat will likely make her day and alleviate her loneliness 
  • Smiling at a stranger on the street could very well lift their spirits 
  • Donating gently-used belongings to those in need
  • Volunteering at your local youth center or animal shelter 
  • Offering to babysit – a meaningful contribution to any parent

A Meaningful Salute From You to You on Your 90th 

To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

How wonderful it will be when your 90-year-old self can look back upon your life, give a salute and say, “Well done, Darling!”

Find your sweet spot and make the little things count. That’s all it takes, and your 90-year-old self will thank you in satisfaction and fulfillment. 


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