Want More Meaning in Life? Try This…

Do you want more meaning in life?


Try this: A Practice for More Meaning in Life


Appreciative inquiry is the practice of reflection which allows more time to pause and ponder the moments that unfold before you, including your choice of response. In this pause you are able to reflect on the pieces which support and expand the person you want to be and the meaning you gain from circumstance. Too often we are so busy doing that we neglect the power of the pause. The pause allows us to reflect on what we are doing and ask if what we are doing aligns with the person we are committed to being.


Similar to a puzzle with many pieces. It is easy to exert effort as you attempt to make a piece fit into the last corner of a puzzle only to realize after reflection that it is a piece from another puzzle. How many times have you stuck with an old behavior simply because it was familiar to you rather than pausing to ask: Does this behavior support the highest version of who I am in this world? What could I do to release this behavior in order to focus my attention on creating new behavior that showcases the person I want to be on this journey of life? Prune for growth in the new year. At first it’s uncomfortable; however, the more you clean out, the more room you have to create new responses to life.


Do you want to see more of what lights you up in life? Slow down enough so you can recognize what lights you up in life. Whatever you focus on grows BIGGER. Rather than concluding that feelings of confusion and frustration are bad, look at them as your souls way of saying that it is time for a change, an invitation for more clarity around your choices. Decision are easy when priorities are clear. Take some time this week to write down 5 things you value most in life and use that list as a touch stone to help you identify and adjust your behavior so it aligns with what you value most. Live life backwards and ask: If I was on my deathbed what decision would I have wanted to make at this moment in time to add more meaning in my life?


Appreciative inquiry involves three activities when communicating with others (including ourselves): Inquire => Advocate => REFLECT. Ask questions: Why did this work out? What do I want? What has held me back from doing this up until now? What resources do I need to take forward action?


Meaning is birthed into our experience when we inquire into life’s opportunities for growth. After we get enough information through our inquiring, we can then advocate…recommend, support or champion a cause. Reflection follows each exchange creating a learner’s mindset verses a reactive response.


The most powerful leaders have mastered impulse control or delayed gratification. The brain actually releases a chemical that can become addictive when we are advocating our position yet too often pushes out opportunities for growth. It is in the “pause of reflection” that meaning is found and learning is ignited.


Reflection is one of the most powerful practices when it comes to adding meaning to our day to day life. How often have you said, “these years are flying by.” Some of the perceived speed has to do with how the brain chunks time the older we get. When we are young, our brains process events bit by bit. The older we get we “clump” events together giving the perception that life is getting faster.


Reflection slows down the clumping process, offering a pause between events and days to reflect on the moments that are meaningful and contain opportunities for learning and growth.


Take Action:


Before falling asleep each night. Pause and reflect on your day. What caught your attention? How did you respond to moments that did not go your way? What did you learn about yourself and someone you care about? In what ways did you recognize God today?



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