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Live a purposeful life, not just a happy one

Live a purposeful life, not just a happy one

Learning & Development

GlobalLinker Staff

GlobalLinker Staff

12 Oct 2019, 12:42 — 5 min read

If the sole purpose of life isn’t to be happy then what is it? Almost all of us today are in the pursuit of happiness. But are we ever truly happy?

A Finnish proverb says, “Happiness is a place between too much and too little.” And if you look at it carefully, you realise that this is exactly where we all are in. We are often dissatisfied with what we have and are in an endless quest to achieve more. But the irony of the whole situation is, in doing so we are circling the same route perpetually while never reaching satisfaction. We often believe that once we achieve 'something', we will find our true happiness and this is where the biggest misconception lies. You can replace ‘something’ with a new car, a place you have always wanted to visit, a job that you have dreamt of or a business you have been meaning to start. But little do we realise that these something(s) don’t last forever or maybe they do but the moment you have achieved something, you are happy for a while before wandering off on a mission to look for happiness elsewhere.

Life isn’t just about happiness when you achieve something (because that list is never-ending) but is also an amalgamation of the journey towards a destination, of being useful and productive and the joy of giving others. In the end it boils down to living a life that is meaningful and useful.

Also read: The top two sources of self-worth


Living a life that is meaningful

People who live a meaningful life derive happiness from doing things that matter to them. How do know if what you are doing is not meaningful enough? Here are three major symptoms you should look out for:

1. You aren’t excited about getting up from bed in the morning

This is a sign that you are not driven towards your work. You are doing something that deprives you of joy and positive energy. If you are constantly thinking that you have to do “this” work today then you are not enjoying it. It’s the best if you either stop doing that all together or find out ways to make it more interesting for you.

Life isn’t just about happiness when you achieve something (because that list is never-ending) but is also about being useful, productive and the joy of giving others. In the end it boils down to living a life that is meaningful and useful.


2. You feel extremely high some days and extremely low on others

It is a normal human tendency to stick on to things hoping to make them work while our body starts showing us the signs that it isn’t working anymore. When you achieve a momentary goal, you are overwhelmed with happiness and the very next moment you are filled with emptiness. This happens only when you are working without a meaning in life.

Also read: Career value curves


3. You are scared to take the next step

If you are not enjoying what you are doing currently but are still sticking to it for the fear of taking the next step, then it is time you change it.  Don’t ever let the fear of failure hold you back from achieving your dreams.

Watch out for these symptoms and do something that gives you joy. It can be a simple thing as going to watch a movie or planting a tree or writing. As long as it makes sense to you and you are 100% satisfied doing it, you are achieving a meaningful life.

Live a life that is useful

We can go on living life each day and accomplish certain goals and feel happy about it. But in that process, are you doing something that is useful or productive? Probably not.

You see, happiness is a product of usefulness and usefulness starts with a change in mindset. You don’t have to aim for big things to make an impact. It could be small little things like helping an old lady cross the street; helping children at an orphanage, learning something new or helping your colleague with their work. Anything that makes you compassionate towards others is a good quality to hold on to.

Happiness as a word is largely misunderstood and holds different meaning for different people in life. Don’t be forced by society’s prejudiced definition of what happiness should be. Don’t think about it too seriously, simply find out your meaning and stick to it.

Also read: 7 must read books for entrepreneurs suggested by entrepreneurs


Image courtesy: shutterstock.com

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GlobalLinker Staff

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