What is your definition of a peaceful life? Is it something physical – like lounging on the beach, enjoying the view of the water? Is it something more internal – like always being in a zen like state, no worries, nothing riles you? Maybe it’s something totally different.
Here is my definition. A peaceful life is a life filled with purpose. It is a meaningful life, and one that leaves a legacy for those that follow us.
What exactly does a meaningful life look like? The good news is that it is totally up to you. Once you know your purpose – the reason you were created – you can choose how to carry out your purpose and give your life meaning.
I order to live out your purpose, you need some tools. Consider the tools below as a way to fill your toolbox.
One of the saddest things that can happen to a person is for them to achieve what they believe to be true success early in life. It is easy to think they have all they want and just have fun, do nothing more, and coast to the end of their time here on Earth. To really have a meaningful life, it’s important to grow and evolve. Otherwise, you’ll realize one day that you’ve wasted your potential. You’ll wonder what you could have accomplished with a little more time and attention.
How have you changed over the last ten years? What do you know now that you didn’t know then? What can you do now that you couldn’t do then? What new skills have you developed? How has your view of the world changed? Just think if you had stopped – what would the world be missing out on?
Have a reason to wake up every day
Everyone needs a reason to get up and get going. We all know of someone that worked hard all their lives, dreamed of retirement, and sadly, died shortly after retiring. They had no future plans, just the plan to be retired. It’s important, especially with big lifestyle changes like retirement, children moving out of the home, or maybe just a less demanding lifestyle, to have meaningful ways to spend the extra time.
How you spend your extra time doesn’t have to be anything complicated or overly involved. Studies have shown that even something as simple as taking care of a plant extends the lifespan of residents living in nursing homes. Remember, you are not defined by your job or your occupation. You can find meaningful ways to spend your time without going to work every day for the rest of your life!
If you have the means and the time, help others. Volunteering is a simple way to make a meaningful contribution that can make life worth living – for you, and for the people you are helping. Not sure where to volunteer? Ask yourself what is important to you? What do you do that can help others in a way that you believe is meaningful? There are no limits.
Find your people
It can be a large family, an extensive network of friends, a church, where you work, a club of some sort, or any other type of organization. We all need to belong to a group and feel accepted by the other members of that group.
According to WebMD in a May 2018 article by Nick Tate, “A new study out this month has thrown a spotlight on the emerging public health issue, suggesting Facebook and other Web-based communities — as well as other things in modern life — are boosting levels of loneliness that are undermining the nation’s mental and physical health.”
“The survey, conducted by the health insurer Cigna, found widespread loneliness, with nearly half of Americans reporting they feel alone, isolated, or left out at least some of the time. The nation’s 75 million millennials (ages 23-37) and Generation Z adults (18-22) are lonelier than any other U.S. demographic and report being in worse health than older generations.”
Without a group, we tend to feel ignored and unappreciated. We have an emptiness that cannot be filled on our own. If you haven’t found your people yet go out and find them. Your life will be enriched.
Share your story
What makes up your story? We all have a past – some more colorful than others. No matter where you come from, or how you got to where you are today, there is someone who can benefit from what you have learned throughout your life.
We all make mistakes along the way, and it’s super important not to beat ourselves up or relive those mistakes over and over. We need to extend ourselves some grace, make any necessary amends, and then file the story away until we meet someone who needs to hear it.
If you are a creative person, you may even want to write a memoir. Everyone enjoys a good read that is real, vulnerable, and relevant to them. A book is a way of sharing your story with many more people than you could ever meet. Do you have a message that needs to reach the masses? Consider becoming an author.
Value what matters
Our society is one of the most materialistic on the planet, yet there are many unhappy people. That’s a strong clue that possessions aren’t all that meaningful.
How much enjoyment have you gotten from purchasing something expensive? How long did that enjoyment last? Did it give your life meaning? Ensure that you’re spending enough time on accumulating experiences and meaningful relationships. The Ferrari will mean less to you than you think – especially after the newness wears off.
You can choose what will give your life meaning. It’s entirely in your hands, and it’s important to make a conscious choice of what you are going to do with it.
Find your purpose – find your joy!
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Did you find a few more ideas of your own? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments, and as always please reach out with your thoughts.
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