Does my life have a meaning? The question of Meaning of life is the Core question of our existence. Most people reach this point at some time or another, when they want to find a Meaning of life search for a Sense Fulfillment and a deeper meaning. Not only in the job or in the career: So our life journey gets a direction, a context, becomes part of a larger whole and gets a higher value, perhaps even noblesse. In science, work itself is considered a fundamental element that can provide a meaning to life. The point of this article is not to (morally) evaluate a potential meaning of life, but rather to help you find and have a meaning for your life in the first place. So-called Reflection questions regularly help to get a good deal closer to this goal..
➠ Contents: What awaits you
Definition of "meaning of life": ideal values
Scoffers would probably say: "The purpose of life is 42." (Quote from: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) In fact, the question about the meaning of life is as old as mankind itself. It is an elementary question, after a deeper reason, aim, use and purpose of the life in the universe itself: Why am I? What am I for? Where do I go? You could also say: The question of the meaning of life is the question of our destiny.
Answers to the question of the meaning of life are numerous. Religions have been offering them for eons. Just like philosophers. German poet and philosopher Gunther Anders, on the other hand, posed the provocative question of why a life should or even could have anything more than simply being there. Other authors make a subtle distinction between Meaning and Purpose of a lifetime. A goal (and purpose) is sometimes attainable, meaning is not. That is or is not (given). The Meaning of life can be interpreted completely differently from one individual to the next – and is also usually evaluated differently.
Selflessness as a sense of life, for example, is judged by most people to be particularly noble. The one who dedicates his life for others is considered a noble person with a higher meaning in life. Moreover, many experience strong sense fulfillment precisely through social connectedness (see Stavrova, O., Luhmann, M.: "Social connectedness as a source and consequence of meaning in life."). In contrast, a selfish to profane sense of life, such as "getting rich", is at the bottom of the list. We like to assume that someone has lost the meaning of his or her life, or even that.
With the sense of life, therefore, values are always transported at the same time. Or to put it another way: A life then seems special to us meaning, the more it conforms to ideal values.
Search for meaning and crisis of meaning: fulfillment thanks to Ikigai
As early as 2012, psychologists Thomas Hoge and Tatjana Schnell found (PDF): The more meaningful the professional activity, the higher the professional commitment. For this, workers are even willing to accept a lower status or less salary to put up with. The main thing is that the activity is experienced as meaningful and has a superordinate context.
Only what is the case with those who do not experience that?
Let’s face it: most people probably don’t find their jobs particularly meaningful or fulfilling. How else could the numerous survey results be explained, according to which two out of three employees already have a job in their State of inner resignation live or would like to change their job before the end of the year?
In fact, the search for meaning goes hand in hand with current work and life situation Hand in hand. Those who are going through a professional crisis, a serious illness, a separation, or have suffered a blow of fate, ask about the WHY and looks all the more critically at his life so far and its (still existing) perspectives.
Not without danger! Many a person gets caught up in the subsequent roller coaster ride of emotions in a Crisis of meaning or even a depression.
But in the search for meaning there is also an enormous opportunity. It helps us figure out what to do with our time meaningful, significant important can do. It is like the Japanese Ikigai model, with the help of which you can also find the answer to what makes your life worth living? With its four areas of life (passion, mission, vocation, profession), the Ikigai model explores what absolute fulfillment and satisfaction means.
Ikigai parable: a Japanese story
It happened in a small Japanese village near Osaka. There a woman first went into a coma and died. On the wandering of her soul she suddenly heard the voices of her ancestors: "Who are you??" asked one of the voices.
"I am the mayor’s wife," she answered. Then the voice answered: "I don’t want to know whose wife you are – I want to know who YOU are!"
Then the woman said, "I am the mother of four children." Then she heard another voice. She replied angrily, "I don’t want to know how many children you have! I want to know: Who are you?"
Then the woman replied: "I am a teacher"."Again she received the answer: "I don’t want to know what job you do, but who you are!"
And so it went on and on, until the woman answered: "I am the one who wakes up every day to take care of my family and to feed the young minds of the children in my school."
The voices of the ancestors fell silent contentedly, sending the woman’s soul back to her body. When she woke up again, she felt a deep sense of fulfillment and meaning for her life. She had found her ikigai and passed the test.
Search for the meaning of life: 5 crucial questions
Once you have found your purpose in life, you will not only find contentment, gratitude and happiness. This Meaning of life influences at the same time our whole being Thinking and acting.
The sooner we deal with it and find the Finding the meaning of life, the greater the effect – for example on education and choice of studies, career, choice of employer, interests, hobbies and leisure activities.
It is helpful and inevitable that we deal with ourselves – with who we are and who we want to become. The following questions can help enormously:
What would you do if money is not an issue?
Money is a fundamental factor in the decisions of many people. Quite a few people try to earn and save as much money as possible, to find as secure a job as possible, and thus to live a pleasant, comfortable and as carefree a life as possible. However, it is rarely a question of whether they really want to do what they are doing – whether the work makes sense.
Admittedly, great financial pressure makes it difficult to develop freely or even to search for the meaning of life. It is simply about the bare existence (Maslow sends his regards), about food and drink and a roof over our heads. However, you should still ask yourself from time to time whether you recognize a meaning in life in your profession. Or rather: What would you do if money did not play a role?? Would everything stay as it is or would your life change massively? And if the latter is true: Is it really only the money that keeps you away – or is that just an alibi?
What fulfills you completely?
Everyday life can be quite captivating. Life – it goes on and on. We do our thing, we do our tasks, we function. But always just working doesn’t work. At some point we wake up, only to find out that we forgot to live at the same time.
Wake yourself up already by asking yourself this question. It’s not about employment, it’s about fulfillment. What attracts you so much that you experience deep and also lasting satisfaction in doing it? If you like it a bit more casual, you may also ask yourself, at which thing he or she loses time and space so much, that you even forget to drink or to go to the toilet. Possibly you can also switch off particularly well, come to rest, devote yourself completely, deepen, forget.
How could you make the world a little better?
Our world is far from perfect, everywhere there are construction sites, injustices, suffering. Saving the world – no human being can do that. But make it at least a little bit better – that is very much in our power. And of course it is also a noble gesture and deed, which can definitely create a meaning in life.
Try not to reach for the stars right away or the next one Angel of Calcutta (although that would be great, too, of course). It is enough to start with oneself, to help people in one’s personal environment, to sneak money to them or to send it to them; to donate kind, uplifting words or simply to smile more often. In any case, you leave something very meaningful through your life: Happiness.
What would you do if you had to change something in your life??
Imagine you had no choice but to change something in your current life. And that now. Immediately. What would it be?
Sure, the question sounds a bit absurd at first. But it is not. Rather, it has an important background: we often hide behind daily routines, resign ourselves to our situation and stop questioning ourselves or searching for meaning.
Even if hardly anyone can force you to make big (life) changes, we should occasionally think about whether we really want to keep doing things the way they have always been done. Perhaps you will recognize some of them Things you cling to for the wrong reasons.
What would you do if you only had one year to live??
Okay, not a nice idea. But the only sure thing in life is death. We will all die once. However, we only become more aware of this the older we get. Then come Impacts Always closer. Before, we usually live as if we had an eternity…
As the saying goes "We all have two lives – the second one begins when we realize that we have only one life." It’s like the so-called Edwards Law: confronted with our own finiteness, we immediately make better use of our precious time. Limits don’t just make you more productive – such an ultimatum can also be meaningful.
Live every day as if it were your last! – Maybe you don’t have to go that far. With the help of this question you can usually see very well what you are wasting your time on and whether the path you are currently on is actually the right one and will lead you to exactly the destination you have chosen.
Life sense sayings, aphorisms and quotes
If you need some inspiration in your search for meaning beyond the questions above: The following life meaning sayings, aphorisms, and quotes can also provide valuable inspiration…
We try to find the meaning of life and often forget to give life a meaning. Franz Kern
Measure your life time; it is not enough for so many things. Lucius Annaeus Seneca
The greatest matter of man is to know how to properly fulfill his place in creation and rightly understand what one must be to be a man. Immanuel Kant
What can give meaning and fulfillment to one’s life is to give to others and to stand up for each other. Richard von Weizsacker
I do myself no good if I expect nothing of myself. Joachim Gauck
Do not worry about what may come, do not weep for what will pass; but take care not to lose yourself, and weep when you drift in the stream of time without carrying heaven within you Friedrich Ernst Daniel Schleiermacher
The more a person has thought, the more beautiful and useful deeds he does, the longer he has lived. Frederick the Great
Life span is the same whether you spend it laughing or crying. Chinese proverb
Who neglects his soul, cheats himself of the meaning of life. Erich Limpach
Some people think up adventures and whole novels and make up life to live at least in this way as they wish. Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky
Christmas is not a bad occasion to reflect and ask oneself what is really important. Roman Duke