The One Reason You Dont Love Your Life
“My life is pretty decent. I have a good job, a nice apartment, and I’m in shape. I don’t have family problems. I make good money. And yet, I feel pretty ‘meh’ most days. I’m not unhappy, I’m just… not happy.”
“On one hand, nothing is terribly wrong at the moment, but still nothing feels great. I feel stuck in some ways, like I’m pressed against a wall or something.”
“I wouldn’t say I’m having a bad time, but I’m also not having an amazing time, and people keep telling me that these are supposed to be the best times of my life, so I guess I feel like I’m missing out.”
Does this sound like you?
It’s okay if it does. I’ve been there too. Sometimes there really isn’t anything wrong in your life, but there’s nothing right either. And that’s what’s wrong.
How to Find True Happiness When Your Life is Just ‘Okay’
Do you know what the missing piece is? It has two parts. The first is finding purpose in your life. Ask anyone who is happy, and you will find that they have a mission in their lives. They have something that has them bounding out of bed in the morning full of energy, ready to take on the day. They have a purpose that they are passionate about.
I don’t believe in the idea of a “life purpose”. Finding your life purpose is often something we think of as one and done. You’ve either found your life purpose or you haven’t. Usually this is accompanied by a lot of hand-wringing and fretting over what the one big purpose of your life is. Nonsense.
Instead, I believe that each of us has many possible purposes in life- things that we can teach to others or do for them to make their lives better. And, I believe that our current purpose depends on the phase of life we are in.
Some years, your purpose may be to discover as much about the world as possible and share it with others. In other years, your purpose may be to be the best parent you can possibly be. At another time you may find that your purpose is to teach people something you have learned.
The first big step towards a fulfilling life is discovering what your current purpose(s) might be, and then acting on it.
Why Service is One of the Most Important Keys to Happiness
The second part to happiness is service. If you find yourself in a cushy life where everything is fine but nothing is great, you can bet that it is because you aren’t serving anyone beyond yourself. Humans are hard wired to find pleasure in giving and sharing. We are social creatures, and evolutionarily speaking, being valuable to your tribe would ensure your safety throughout your life.
So how can you begin serving others? There are an infinite number of ways. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What cause do I care particularly about?
- What adversities have I faced and overcome that I could teach to others?
- What would have helped me immensely during a previous part of my life?
If you want to find happiness, getting truly involved with the service you give will yield the greatest rewards. So instead of simply giving money to charity (although that is a great thing), be a leader in the change you wish to see in the world.
Create care packages for the homeless and spend part of your Saturdays handing them out downtown. Offer free services in your field of expertise to organizations that are in need of support. Teach middle school students about something you have learned- self esteem, responsibility, career paths, or whatever else speaks to you.
The Bottom Line for Creating A Rewarding, Happy Life
Purpose and service combined are the key to taking your life from a 5/10 to a 10/10. It is easy to brush this off with easy excuses like, “I just don’t have time”. But I will tell you one thing. I have never met a happy and successful person who didn’t incorporate purpose and service into their lives. It is the backbone of our ability to be fulfilled. It is the reason people who have very little in terms of money and resources can be so happy despite everything they face.
Get started by planning to serve others this week. Take it one step at a time. What can you do this week that will make a big difference in someone else’s life? How about this month? Let me know in the comments!