Tuesday, December 13, 2011
It seems like an increasing phenomenon that a number of individuals are finding themselves with a psychic emptiness at some point in life. There is some kind of dissatisfaction, an uncertainty as to why they feel so unhappy and what will help them feel more complete. This runs rampant with people who have acquired some kind of success in life and find their minds saying, now what?
Some people call this a mid-life crisis, but it can happen at all different times of life. What’s missing?
Albert Einstein once said:
“Try not to become a man of success but rather a man of value.”
Today we’re driving our kids more than ever to be “successful.” But what does this really mean? Somewhere along the line we’ve become confused as a culture and lost sight of what really matters. The test is simple, what makes us feel good? Not in a hedonistic way, but more in line with the Greek term eudaimonia. This can be translated more as a meaningful happiness.
So what’s missing? An understanding of personal values. The key question is: What do you believe is important in life? Is it helping other people, being honest, working hard, being compassionate, spending time with family or people in your community, or maybe being mindful?
This isn’t just a cursory question, it’s one to take seriously and then take an inventory of your life seeing where it lives and where it’s missing.
What would your life look like if you were actually living in accordance with what you valued? Visualize this and let it be your guide toward a happier life.
Sometimes life can truly be that simple.
Sometimes you’re living your values and not even taking a moment to be mindful of it. Think about where in your day to day you are actually living in the way you think is most important.
Right now, stop what you’re doing and take a minute to look forward toward the rest of the day. Where are you living your values? Where is an opportunity to stop in line with them more?
Take this moment to live as if it mattered.
By Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.