How can we make our lives meaningful? Does a meaningful life equal a happy life? These are valid questions that one might ask himself or herself. By studying the various theories on how to create a meaningful life, we can begin to understand what that means for you.
Paul Wong and Meaning Therapy
Paul Wong is a renowned psychiatrist who studies meaning therapy, which is a form of therapy that studies relationships and meaning. In his research, Paul Wong claims that human beings are the only ones who search for meaning. His work aims to help people come to terms with the meaning of their lives so that they can learned to cope with their lives in general.
A Meaningful or Happy
It’s easy to confuse living a meaningful life for living a happy life. While these terms are similar and they often discuss the same things, they aren’t identical.
For some people, having a meaningful life is one that is full of relationships. With people, friends, and significant others, we often find meaning in feeling loved. Having a lot of possessions and fulfilling your desires might make you happy; however, this doesn’t translate into living a meaningful life.
So, what’s the difference between being happy and living with meaning?
Being happy is an emotion and temporary state-of-mind; therefore, it comes and goes. When you’re happy, you’re living in the present. Living a life with meaning, on the other hand, incorporates the past, present, and future.
This means that when you’re happy, you’re not necessarily thinking in the past or future. When you’re meaningful, you’re often thinking of the past and future, but not of the present. People who are more meaningful tend to have more anxiety and depression because of this. By thinking of the future, one might think of everything they have to do to reach a goal and by thinking of the past, they might think of how far they’ve come from bad situations.
While this might seem like living a meaningful life is less satisfying than living a happy life, it isn’t.
If you want to live a meaningful life, you should enact principles of positive thinking. Essentially, what you think will become your reality. If you envision a life of wealth and happiness, you’re more likely to have these things.
Living a meaningful life ensures that while you might encounter difficult situations, you’ll always overcome them and reach your goals. To live a meaningful life, you must decide what you want your future to look like.
If you want to lead a meaningful life, you have to determine whether you truly want a meaningful or happy life. The two differ greatly, but ultimately, leading a meaningful life depends entirely on how you want your future to look.