The poet Adrienne Rich described life as a succession of “brief, amazing moments”, with “each one making possible the next.” Appreciating each and every mundane moment in life isn’t easy to do, but fully enjoying the extraordinary, special moments is essential. Make the most of the good times as they don’t always come around often, and try to find great joy in small things. Here are some of the ways to find meaning and purpose in your everyday life.
1. Say ‘I Love You’
Your loved ones will know that you love them, but saying it everyday reinforces the familial or romantic bond and reminds you that there are people that you care about in the world, and that there are people that care about you. Love is the greatest meaning we can find in life so treasure the time you spend with your near and dear ones and try to spend every day in the company of people who matter to you.
2. Connect With Others
Spending time with friends and family is all well and good, but connecting with people outside of our close circles is just as important. It is easy to go through life on autopilot, not really observing or seeing what happens around us. When you have a conversation with someone, even if it’s just office small talk, make sure to really listen to what the other person is saying and notice their body language, aura and mood. Our connections with others, no matter how big or small, inject meaning into our days and into our lives so start waking up and being present in the moment, not stuck inside your own mind and wrapped up in your personal thoughts.
3. Think About Someone Else
One of the greatest gifts we receive in life, is the gift of giving. As so many people will tell you, there is huge gratification and satisfaction to be had when we live to serve others. This doesn’t mean being a slave, being a subordinate or being used as a doormat. It simply means to live a life in a way that gives back to society and the world in whatever small way you can. The decisions you make on a daily basis can have a positive impact on everyone and everything around you, so every day make a conscious effort to do something for the greater good, and not just for the good of yourself. They only have to be very small things, but when you live your life like this you will feel that everything starts to have more meaning.
4. Live Your Life Consciously And Purposefully
In his commencement speech called ‘This is Water’, David Foster Wallace said the following;
“The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being truly able to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad little unsexy ways, every day. That is real freedom.”
The whole speech is incredible and it’s worth listening to in it’s entirety, but the main point of it is that life isn’t about the big things we think it is – getting caught up in a rat race, getting ahead, making money, achieving great things. Life really boils down to the simple, everyday moments that we try to just skate past until we start to realise that those moments are all we really have, and those are the moments we should be paying attention to. Just as a fish swims around a tank without thinking to himself that ‘this is water’, we have to remind ourselves ‘I am present’, ‘I am present’, ‘I am present.’ Once you start living your life with heightened and enforced conscious awareness in your everyday life, you will start to find meaning in everything you experience.