in Personal Development

How to live a meaningful life

Do you know what a critical element is for you being unhappy?

Your relationships.

Yes. Your happiness comes down to the quality of your relationships.

As a human being, you are part of an ecosystem where everyone is related to everyone else.

If your important relationships go wrong, you feel unhappy.

If your important relationships stay right, you feel happy.

If you form any new, meaningful relationships with interesting people, you feel happier and look forward to the vibrant side of life.

Meaningful relationships = Meaningful life.

A meaningful life is the life full of meaningful relationships

“A meaningful life is a life full of meaningful relationships. Create yours.” Click To Tweet

To live a meaningful life, you must have a meaningful relationship with at least the following: your own self, people who matter to you, causes you care about, your career or your business and things that matter to you.

Good thing? Meaning is subjective, and it can be defined. Means you can attach a specific meaning to your life when you decide to.

In his famous fable The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, Robin Sharma wrote,

“The purpose of life is the life of purpose.”

A powerful statement. It states that you can choose the purpose of your life. Same is the case with meanings.

So, here’s a big idea: consciously participate in meaningful relationships, and you’ll have a meaningful life.

Some people recommend that you should “invest” in relationships – I disagree.

When you invest in something, you expect a profit or a tangible result out of that investment. If you do the same with your relationships, sooner or later, they will go sour. And you, unhappy.

But when you participate in something, you don’t expect any outcome out of your participation. True participation means real life, lived in that moment … without any expectation or a desire of a tangible result, whatsoever.

To observe true participation in action, watch the behavior of a 3-year-old child. She’d not “invest” her time into any activity. She’d participate. May it be playing with her friends. May it be interacting with her parents in her wordless way… take any action and observe her true participation.

Learn from her. And you’ll be happier… like the 3-year-old!

To live a meaningful life, it is very important to understand the distinction between investing in relationships vs. participating in relationships.

And you got that distinction now.

And guess what, this distinction will fundamentally change how you treat other people.

Understanding this distinction will be very useful to you if:

  1. You are a parent, and you think you are investing in your child because your child will take care of you when you will become older
  2. You spend your time with your friend because you feel your friend will become an influential man (or woman) and you’ll leverage his influence one day to your benefit
  3. You spend your time with your team members because you think your team members will indirectly give you more benefits by contributing more work

I can go on and on. But you got the idea.

If you decide to be in a relationship to gain something out of it, sooner or later, you will meet sorrows, grief, and unmet expectations. All of these are good pillars to create an empire of unhappiness for you.

Human beings have a basic need – they want to be treated as a human being, not as a thing. They want others to treat them as others want to be treated.

Never miss an opportunity to enable the other person to realize and operate from her peak potential.

When you do that, you form a different kind of relationship with that person. A relationship that you’re going to celebrate for the rest of your life.

Not because you expected anything from the relationship but because you chose to be an aware human and you chose to participate and elevate the other person.