4 Pillars to a meaningful life

Greetings readers, today I want to share a short but meaningful article written by Emily Esfahani Smith.

Being happy is the goal in life, isn’t it? Isn’t that what we all aim for? For most people it looks something like this: good grades, popularity at school, good education, great job, ideal life partner, beautiful home, money for great vacations.

Meaningful

Yet, many people have achieved exactly this and still feel empty and unfulfilled.

Is there something wrong with expecting happiness to result from success in life? Clearly it’s not working.

The suicide rate is rising around the world, and even though life is getting objectively better by nearly every conceivable standard, more people feel hopeless, depressed and alone.

Is there more to life than trying to be happy?

Writer Emily Esfahani Smith thinks so.

In her search she found out that it’s not a lack of happiness that leads to despair. It’s a lack of having meaning in life.

What is the difference between being happy and having meaning in life?

“Many psychologists define happiness as a state of comfort and ease, feeling good in the moment. Meaning, though, is deeper. The renowned psychologist Martin Seligman says meaning comes from belonging to and serving something beyond yourself and from developing the best within you,” says smith.

“Our culture is obsessed with happiness, but I came to see that seeking meaning is the more fulfilling path. And the studies show that people who have meaning in life, they’re more resilient, they do better in school and at work, and they even live longer,” she adds.

Her five-year study led her to the discovery of four pillars than underpin a meaningful life. The first three I might have guessed, but the last one caught me off guard. And it’s really a crucial aspect of the meaning we give to our lives.

“The first pillar is belonging. Belonging comes from being in relationships where you’re valued for who you are intrinsically and where you value others as well,” says Smith.

But she warns that not all belonging is desired belonging. “Some groups and relationships deliver a cheap form of belonging; you’re valued for what you believe, for who you hate, not for who you are.”  This is not true belonging.

For many people, belonging is the most essential source of meaning. Their bonds with family and friends gives real meaning to their lives.

The second pillar or key to meaning is purpose, says Smith, and it’s not the same thing as finding that job that makes you happy.

The key to purpose says Smith is using your strengths to serve others. For many people that happens through work and when they find themselves unemployed, they flounder.

The third pillar of meaning is transcendence. Transcendent states are those rare moments when you lose all sense of time and place and you feel connected to a higher reality.

“For one person I talked to, transcendence came from seeing art. For another person, it was at church. For me, I’m a writer, and it happens through writing. Sometimes I get so in the zone that I lose all sense of time and place. These transcendent experiences can change you.”

So we have belonging, purpose and transcendence.

Now, the fourth pillar of meaning is a surprising one.

The fourth pillar is storytelling, the story you tell yourself about yourself.

“Creating a narrative from the events of your life brings clarity. It helps you understand how you became you.

“But we don’t always realize that we’re the authors of our stories and can change the way we’re telling them. Your life isn’t just a list of events. You can edit, interpret and retell your story, even as you’re constrained by the facts.”

This is so true. It boils down to perspective and that can make all the difference: the difference between a miserable life plagued with misfortune or an inspirational life filled with gratitude and insight.

No matter what has happened in your life to break you, you can heal again and find new purpose in life like so many people who have allowed the bad in their lives to be redeemed by the good.

Stay safe and enjoy your life.

Ladies Enrichment club

30 Minutes morning break?

photo of woman walking on seashore
Photo by Elina Sazonova on Pexels.com

Take a Morning break…

So often life can get too busy and you have lots of things on your mind.

Try to make a new routine and start your morning half an hour earlier by taking a walk, reading a book, say your morning prayer, meditate or write a story. It’s so good for your mental health.

It’s essential to get a good nights rest if you want to wake up earlier. Just try it for yourself, it’s an uplifting experience that might stick for the rest of your life.

Life is precious, we saw it during these past 8 months with COVID-19. Live your life one second at a time, make the best of your day by blessing someone today even if it’s just with a smile on your morning walk, or giving a homeless a bag of groceries.

Anything good is better than Nothing.

I took a morning walk today with my family before school and work, we all felt refreshed and ready for our new day.

Stay safe and enjoy your life.

Zelda

Founder of the Ladies Enrichment Club Worldwide

PS. Tracy Kennedy shared and interesting article on her website

woman girl morning sport
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

For the Health of it :) It’s time to bake some healthy break time rusks….

Classic healthy rusks
12 servings Preparation: 25 mins, Cooking: 5 hrs


Ingredients:

500 g butter — or margarine, melted
2 Tbs molasses (I used 2tbs date spread)
2 eggs — extra-large, whisked
1 kg flour — self-raising
1 Tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt (I didn’t use salt because the muesli already contain salt)
375 ml brown sugar — soft (I used 30 ml less because I’ve added more cranberries and raisins)
2 cup muesli — toasted
80 ml pumpkin seeds
30ml almonds — finely chopped
100 cashew nuts
100 g macadamia nuts — chopped
500 ml buttermilk

Method:
Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease 3 small 18 x 9cm tins.
Beat together butter, molasses, buttermilk and eggs.
Combine dry ingredients and stir through butter mixture with a wooden spoon.
Pour dough into greased tins, pressing down evenly. Bake for about 40 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Leave loaves in tins for 15 minutes to cool before turning out on wire racks to cool completely.
Carefully slice and cut into thick rusk wedges. Reduce oven temperature to 90°C.
Arrange rusks on large baking sheets and dry for 3-4 hours or until crunchy.

Tip….

Nut allergy: replace nuts with dried cranberries and other seeds.