Create Shared Meaning

Don’t forget to download our three Meaning and Valued Living Exercises for free. If you’re in the early stages of developing a new hobby, it might help to express what you enjoy about the hobby. Consider writing a journal entry about what you enjoyed or tell your partner/friends/family members about your new hobby. Motivation is useful for activities that are considered dull (e.g., washing the dishes), whereas passion is the driving force for activities that have significance for us.

Meaning and psychology

how to create meaning

It is both empowering and healing to be able to create meaning from even our most adverse experiences and use it as a foundation for helping others realize growth in their lives. However, it is arguable that this process cannot be executed to its fullest capacity unless we begin with gaining awareness of self. Viktor Frankl, the author of Man’s search for meaning[6] – an excellent must-read book about how he survived the Nazi, says humans are driven to seek meaning and purpose in life, even if all you have around you is doom. Our meaning-making motivation allows us to interpret our inner world in the context of an external world. But failing to act authentically and live according to the meaning and purpose we have chosen would result in a less-well-lived life. So, try the exercises within this article – if only to better understand who you are, your core values, and your place in your surroundings – and explore potential yet to be written.

How to Create Meaning and Purpose in Our Daily Lives

  • Given that the universe is infinite and continually expanding, finding the meaning of life is a comically tall order.
  • Regardless of the structure you choose, discussion is an integral part of the meaning-making process.
  • You can still value human life and have a desire to alleviate the suffering of others.
  • Indeed, research on trauma survivors has observed post-traumatic growth and the capacity to extract meaning from adversity (Routledge & Juhl, 2010).
  • Loss and trauma are two of the most injurious events that you will face.

As an example, one of the things I value is being able to share ideas and help others discover greater well-being. This motivates me to keep writing blogs and put my writing “out there” in cyberspace, despite some discomfort and worries about what others will think. With retirement comes more free time and possibly an opportunity to develop a new hobby or passion. And as we previously mentioned, finding a passion is one way to develop meaning.

how to create meaning

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This means designing experiences where they learn to be critical consumers of information and active participants in collaborative dialogue. It means providing opportunities to be meaning-makers rather than meaning-receivers. Sense-making is our ability and motivation to retrospectively understand our experiences, thoughts, and actions.

A master ceramicist returns to Kansas City to teach students how to make art with meaning

Recent research suggests that people with increased meaning are better off – they appear happier, exhibit increased life satisfaction, and report lowered depression (Huo et al., 2019; Ivtzan, Lomas, Hefferon, & Worth, 2016; Steger, 2009). Existentialism is indebted to Edmund Husserl’s work on perception to answer this and other questions. Writing in 1900, Husserl regards meaning, along with perception, as the creation of the individual. Meaning is not objective – to be found in the external world – but built up from our mental states (Warnock, 1970). In The Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus (1975), when faced with what he saw as the meaninglessness of existence, suggested we live life to its fullest rather than attempt an escape.

how to create meaning

  • Like beliefs, such meanings are created unconsciously and automatically.
  • Through loss, you learn to value life in this moment and to live and love fully, knowing that you may not get another chance.
  • So, about every six or seven years, Notkin said, he returns to Kansas City to pass along what he’s learned.
  • My content here is referenced and featured in NY Times, Forbes, CNET, Entrepreneur, Lifehacker, books, academic courses, and research papers.

Uncommon Words Related to Love

  • If you want to keep up with the latest from me, join my monthly email list.
  • Second, bracketing means identifying a structure to information so you can label it to overcome ambiguity.
  • Don’t forget to download our three Meaning and Valued Living Exercises for free.
  • Sentence stems are a useful addition to Socratic seminars to encourage using inviting, affirming language and to scaffold entry points for reluctant participants.

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