Before you can live a meaningful life, you have to know what you are good at. It is imperative to the first of three principles to live a meaningful life. Would you be able to tell me the three things you are absolutely best at, designed to do, and would make the biggest difference if you did more of?
If you answered yes in your mind, then I think this will be rather easy for you. Do more of it, and do it more intentionally. If you would say that you have no idea what you are best at and designed to do, then I think this is where you begin your journey to having a meaningful life.
In the pursuit of meaning, we find ourselves swimming in an ocean of apathy if we are not doing something that is within our strengths. Sure, there are a lot of things you can be good at. They are probably in the way, or reflective of a bigger picture of what you are great at.
The first step to living a meaningful life is doing what you are great at.
I will use my wife as an example. She is an executive account manager for a large company and handles massive accounts. Her talent is unreal. She can easily manage extremely complex data packages and facilitates complex presentations with clients regularly.
So, knowing this you may guess that she has some extreme gifting for organization or administration. Maybe you would think she loves numbers or sales. Those are things she is good at, and most people think that if you are good at something and do it then you will feel fulfilled.
This is the tricky part. Her greatest strengths are actually more relational ones. She has extreme empathy, and actually considers the days where she has had the most authentic conversations with coworkers to be her most satisfying. It isn't the work that derives a deeper sense of meaning, it is her ability to reach out and use her strength of empathy to feel a sense of fulfillment.
People come to her for these conversations and it makes an impact on their life. To be clear it doesn't have to be relational. I have another friend who is exceptionally good at seeing what needs to be built and making it happen. He says he feels empty inside whenever he isn't working on some kind of project with his hands.
You have to find something that you excel at. That people are constantly coming to you for. This is the thing people are always telling you that you should start a business because you are so good at it. When at work, it is the area your boss always asks you to pick up another responsibility in.
You have to find what you are great at and stop doing it by default or because others ask you. It needs to be constant awareness and choice to do this in a way that brings value to your world and makes a difference to the people around you.
If you can focus on what you are great at, and actively do it for the good of others than you will feel a sense of meaning and purpose. You are designed to do something significant but stop assuming it looks flashy or will make you famous. It doesn't have to be public speaking or running a company.
It often looks like being the best listener and making an effort to push the people around you toward a healthier existence through friendship. Maybe it looks like a constant desire to encourage and put a smile on people's faces. You have to find it, and you have to consciously choose to do it.
My wife now chooses to look for people who need a deep, and sincere conversation every day to make sure she is doing what fulfills a sense of meaning for her and helps the people around her. What can you do? Start today.
If you don't know what it is. I would love to talk to you and help you figure it out. This is what I'm here for. Let me help you find your way to a meaningful life.