Our culture is obsessed with happiness, but it comes and goes. What is more important for oneself is to find sense – something that you can stand on. Our writers thought about four basic features of a life that makes sense.
1. Belonging to the Group
The feeling of belonging appears in relationships where you are valued for you personal qualities, for the fact you exist, and for you valuing others. Some groups (sects, gangs) and relationships can give a fake feeling of belonging. There you are valued only for the fact of what you believe in, who you hate, and not for whom you really are.
Real belonging appears where love and respect have place.
And that is always a choice: you can cultivate that feeling in your relations with other people. But we all often unconsciously disvalue people around. One passes by people they know. One watches into a smartphone when people talk to them. Such small details can often make ignored people feel invisible and not worthy.
2. The Goal
The goal is less connected to what you want to get, and more connected to what you give others. For instance, doctors say their goal is to help ill people. Many parents say their goal is to help their children to grow up.
The point for living according to your goal is to use your strengths to help people around.
Of course, most part of people does that through their job. When working, everyone contributes into a common business and feel being needed. Still, a goal and a job can’t be called the same. Anything that can make you live and move forward can be your goal.
3. Connection to Something Greater
This is about those rare moments, when you fly above the daily routine and come out of your ego’s limits. Somebody has this feeling when watching the art, others – when standing in a church, someone else (writers, for example) – while being in a process of text creation.
That experience changes a person. During one research, participants were asked to look at the 60-meters high eucalypt trees for a minute. After that, they felt themselves being less concentrated on their own ego, and were more responsive according to someone who needed help.
4. Understanding Yourself
Structuring events of your life into a one connected story helps you understand how actually you became who you are at the moment. But people often do not understand that they are authors of their story, and they can change the way HOW they tell it. One’s life is not just a list of facts that happened. Basing on them, one can interpret and retell his or her story.
Think about your life: how certain events influenced you, what you lost, what you gained. Of course, you can’t change the way how you understand yourself during a single day. The process might even take years. It can be painful and difficult. But when you accept those painful memories, you can learn a lot of things from them, and become one step closer to a conscious life.