Why jump into the water before the boat capsized? (Chinese proverb) And I add: Unless it is for fishing the denture that we have escaped …
Hope and meaning are so important that they nourish our motivation and even our desire to live.
In this article you will learn how to equip yourself with a vision, meaning and hope that will nourish your daily happiness and carry you beyond your dreams.
Hope and meaning: the basis of life
Every day, when you go about your activities, do you give them meaning, do you hope to improve our life?
The meaning of what we do plays a crucial role in our desire to live.
Personally, the meaning of what I do plays a very big role.
That's why I'm writing this blog, but I've always had a hard time motivating myself to do what I did not believe.
That may be why I became an entrepreneur: doing lots of flat tasks to grow my business is fine.
But make them in return for a salary while business owners fill their pockets! I can not.
This does not mean that you can not find meaning in your work by prioritizing other priorities, such as making a living to raise your children in the best possible conditions.
In fact, there is no wrong meaning: the meaning simply varies from person to person according to our experiences, our interests, our personalities, etc.
Dr. Alex Pattakos is a specialist in meaning and hope. His work is inspired by what psychiatrist Viktor Frankl observed in concentration camps during the Second World War.
Frankl found that those who had the most hope, such as that of seeing their family or completing a large-scale personal project left unfinished, survived better and were more positive despite the inhuman treatment of the Nazis.
According to Dr. Pattakos, more and more people are searching for a deeper meaning to their existence: "People are beginning to realize that they can not truly be accomplished only through material abundance and outward gratification."
The basis of motivation
The life of every human being is driven by two great forces.
The desire to obtain pleasure and to avoid suffering, which can be summed up by the carrot and the stick.
Our motivation and our actions are articulated around these big poles.
But in our affluent societies, aspirations quickly exceed the mere satisfaction of vital needs.
That is how meaning and hope come into play, especially in the desire to do what is most important to us, which enables us to realize ourselves.
Take for example the good old pyramid of Abraham Maslow's need (thanks a thousand times to the personal development site Instantspresents.com to which I borrowed this image):
As you can see, physiological and safety needs are usually met (we are lucky).
And these are the ones to satisfy first. Then come all the others, psychological, social and identity.
One can find a lot of meaning to life in positive relationships with others (need of love and sense of belonging), in the feeling of gratitude through what we do and as this blog is about in the search for happiness, fulfillment, self-realization.
A vision, for more meaning to his life
So, how do you help make sense of your life, make it richer, more exciting, more motivating?
With a vision.
I do not speak here of having visions and seeing little blue men of 50 centimeters or imaginary characters, as is sometimes my case. It is rather a vision of life.
A vision is a great way to nurture the meaning you give to your life.
A vision goes beyond the everyday, it transcends the banal and makes us dream.
I must confess that, without my vision of writing books, if I had not concretely imagined myself as an author holding one of his books in his hands, I would never have published it.
Without my vision of starting a business, I would not be an entrepreneur.
The vision helps us to imagine ourselves in the future.
It makes exciting the idea of realizing what does not exist yet. Because I had to devote very very very many hours of work to write my books before they are published (and again, it could have never been published).
It took me so long before my conference and training company became a reality.
When I look at it today, and with all that it brings me in terms of recognition, excellent relations, income, etc., I can hardly imagine that these are just hours of work and vision that allowed him to be born and thus improve my life!
People like me who have a lot of ease in pursuing a vision share a mix of soft naivety and idealism.
But no need to have the same mental problems as me to develop your vision. 😉
Your vision is the way you see your ideal life.
Without vision, you will advance, but much less quickly because you will not have any particular reasons to do one thing rather than another (the famous meaning).
Although it is not so easy to have a vision that propels us forward, we can work on it.
A vision consists of the meaning and the hopes that make you want to live.
It can involve love, family, some activities and everything you care about.
Some questions to help you determine a vision of meaning and hope
There is no magic recipe to give you a vision.
And remember, as true as we are all different from others, everyone must determine their own vision from whom they are. For that, we must first know ourselves well …
Here are some questions you can ask yourself seriously (with a paper and a pencil, or a computer, or a tablet …):
- What are the results I want (most) to get in my life?
- What kind of balance do I want (between my career, my interpersonal relationships, etc.)?
- What are my values, my tastes and my interests? Which ones should I pursue first? Which are the most guarantee of happiness for me?
- What makes the difference in my life? What makes me experience the most positive and intense emotions?
- What would I like to look like in 5, 10, 20 years? What would I like to have accomplished in the future?
- What activities I value most (I'm talking about meaningful activities that bring something to your life, if you say "being on vacation" or "listening to TV" does not matter).
If you do this exercise seriously, you will have the tags that you may miss to clarify the outlines of your vision.
Then, continue to question yourself to try to specify it always more.
This clarification will help you later to imagine the actions to take to achieve it.
To enrich your vision, you can also pursue values and high virtues, as Martin Seligman proposes with positive psychology.
Acting in accordance with your values also boosts your motivation in addition to flooding you with happiness.
Hope is alive
And it seems that hope is always there, even in the worst conditions.
Alex Pattakos worked in 2005 on a program to support humanitarian workers who were going to Indonesia following the tsunami that swept the shores of several Asian countries.
As a result of this experience, he reports that "far from extinguishing hope, the disaster was not enough to prevent survivors from hoping for a positive future for themselves and their nation. "
In other words, "the importance of hope has allowed them to transcend the horror of their situation",.
Thus, the more you enrich the meaning of your life, the more you will cherish realistic hopes, and the more you will live a pleasant and authentic life.
You will also be more resilient to hardships, more optimistic, and you will assume more responsibility for your life.
What makes us lose hope?
- Sudden changes in our life.
- A lack or excess of responsibilities.
- A lack of stimulation and encouragement.
- Too much stress and worry.
- A disappointment or a loss.
- Setting the bar too high and failing without giving you an exit door.
We will all be, one day or another, confronted with certain elements of this very depressing list …
When it happens to you, like the most optimistic people, never forget that the problems are temporary.
They are also specific, that is to say they should not be generalized throughout your life.
With these beliefs in mind, you will be left to move towards your vision and continue to achieve despite the pitfalls!
Exercise: Refresh your dreams!
We can realize our dreams if we consider them as real goals that are accompanied by concrete actions.
We often had big dreams when we were young and we left it to daily and negative comments heard on the right and left to make us forget.
The lack of vision and enthusiasm is due to the fact that our daily actions do not satisfy us enough. We have moved away from our dreams and from what we really are.
This exercise is an opportunity to start reappropriating your dreams, your life, everything you are!
To relearn how to dream, remember all that is really important to you.
And do not let thoughts like "But it's way too ambitious" or "I'm not realistic" break those dreams.
Do you believe that those who have achieved extraordinary dreams are content to be realistic? Not at all !
They believed in their dreams and did what it took to make it a reality.
I have been following this process myself for over 15 years now and I can assure you that it works very well.
Write the list of your dreams by jumping a line between each of them.
And next, specify if these dreams are short, medium or long term. Then put them in order of importance.
Post the list of these dreams prominently and read them often (at least once a week) because it is the belief that you can achieve your dreams and the actions you will take to achieve them.
If you liked this article, know that it is from my book Ask yourself the right questions. You can get it in ebook version to read it in full.
Two excellent readings that I suggest you:
If you have a vision that you pursue every day tirelessly, share it with us!
How do you give meaning to your life? I can not wait to read you in the comments.