How To Live A Meaningful Life (seriously!)

When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live life.
– Greg Anderson

I can’t tell you more about the author of this quote than his name. The quote is so popular that most citations on Google’s lists didn’t even provide that much. The Greg Andersons Google did turn up seemed to have darker sides than I would prefer.

The quote itself could be dissected with surgical precision. It begins with the idea of motivation. Motivation is a positive or proactive action in this case. Most people seem to react to life, not to treat it proactively. That is, they do what needs to be done because it needs to be done, not because they are motivated by some strong feelings to do it.

The quote says that goals should be the motivating factor, not simply a reaction to surroundings or events. Specifically, goals that have deep meaning. What’s that?

A goal with deep meaning would be one that requires much effort to accomplish and that would provide considerable satisfaction on achieving it. It would also be one that would enhance our edification as an individual. Saving a life or making a difference in someone else’s life might be such a goal. Getting a university degree. Raising a child successfully.

“Dreams that need completion” is a re-expression of the previous phrase. Dreams, by themselves, go nowhere. They are nothing more than hopes, only with less chance of coming to pass than most hopes. Dreaming of world peace would be one like that.

World peace does not, could not, be achieved without many intervening steps, smaller and more manageable things that could be accomplished. Each of those would have a recognizable end point which, when reached, a person could say it has been accomplished.

Dreams can be goals, but only if they are carved into smaller and more manageable portions, each of which can be accomplished with a plan and considerable effort. World peace will never happen by itself, even if a million people decided to pray about it, all together. Somebody actually has to do something, something concrete and quantifiable, something that can be seen to have been accomplished when the job is done.

“Pure love that needs expressing” may seem simple, but it could be confused by someone who takes it out of context. Love, in this case, is not sex or romantic love, or even motherly love. This love that needs expressing is about the goals with deep meaning. It’s a matter of being devoted to accomplishing each stage of the development and eventually achieving the goal with deep meaning. It means loving what you’re doing.

That is how to truly live life.

Doesn’t everyone do that? Actually, very few people do.

Most of us have life goals as young adults. Whether we accomplish them or not could depend on whether they had manageable steps, whether we had the resources of time and money to accomplish them, but most of all whether we devoted ourselves to reaching those goals. Most life goals get lost along the way, according to the people I have asked about their own.

Perspiration is the fuel by which goals are accomplished, not inspiration. Most people find they don’t want to put that much effort into accomplishing their long term goals. So they satisfy themselves that they just “got too busy.”

Is it necessary to live life at that level? I mean, it’s really hard work, isn’t it?

Spend some time in a crowded place, such as a market or a fair, and observe how similar people behave to worker bees in a hive. Worker bees are extremely important to a beehive. And basic workers are important to a society. But, once gone, they are forgotten and quickly replaced with others of their kind. Dead workers are forgotten quickly.

It isn’t necessary to live life at the level of accomplishing meaningful goals. Worker bees don’t regret their contributions to the welfare of the hive. But not one of them accomplishes a goal with meaning because they spend their lives doing little tasks that need to be done.

I submit that if you look at people who truly live life at the level of meaningful goal accomplishment recommended in the quote, you will find people who feel the same way about life as those who firmly believe that God lives within them.

And that’s pretty good.

Bill Allin
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a guidebook for parents and teaches who want to teach their children the important lessons of life. Many of those lessons are provided in the book.
Learn more at http://billallin.com

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4 thoughts on “How To Live A Meaningful Life (seriously!)

  1. Hi, I always wonder whether ppl feel god first and then they live a meaningful life or they wanted to live a meaningful life and turn towards god. It’s like the same question whether we have egg first or chicken first.

    • My opinion, based on personal experience, is that a person actually lives a life that is meaningful, then a realization of God comes to them. When God becomes reality in a person, the person learns that God is nothing like is preached by any religion. God is, as Jesus of Nazareth said, within each person. Note that while Jesus showed us the way to God, he was not a Christian and would not have approved of much of what the Christian churches stand for.

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