Have you also wondered what gives your life meaning? Do you feel like you’re only surviving rather than living?
I used to ask myself those questions. I even felt that problems seem to be unending and relentless, and what had given me a sense of meaning had withered.
All these circles around the notion of knowing my purpose in life – the very reason for waking up, finding fulfillment, and experiencing true happiness.
So, what can we do if we feel that life has no meaning?
Let me tell you that the secret to a meaningful life is simpler than you think – and that’s what I want to share with you.
But first, what is your purpose in life?
Most of us have been lost in the daily grind, what others expect, or in what society prescribes.
How many times do you think or say things like:
- I don’t see the value in my life
- I don’t know what I want anymore
- I feel adrift without any direction
- My life has no purpose, and I feel useless
- What’s the point anyway?
For some people I know, that sense of purpose has been absent for long stretches. The worst is that others don’t even feel that it was there.
Experiencing existential crises are inevitable during certain life stages, and it makes finding the meaning of our life feel impossible.
The thing is, in the midst of an existential crisis, that’s when we feel incredibly lost.
And it makes us question the futility of it all – the purpose and meaning of our lives.
It’s time that we get back on track and find our purpose when life has no meaning.
What to do if life has no meaning? 15 tips
1) Embark on an inner journey
In the middle of an existential crisis, that’s when you feel incredibly lost and can’t find a way out. I find myself wanting to be alone with a lingering sense that something is missing from our lives.
I start asking myself these questions:
- What do I really want?
- Is there something I want to change in my life?
- Am I the person I want to be?
When I connect with myself, it leads me to a path of self-knowledge.
You must find time to know who you are – your goals, feelings, and desires.
Probably, you’ve also been so focused on the outside world that you neglect to pay attention to what’s going on inside you.
So when you find that life has lost its meaning, get in touch with your innermost self to help you find your purpose.
2) Embrace it
Embracing the truth sounds weird – but I did this instead of resenting the fact.
And this means not allowing the lack of meaning in my life to consume me or fill my life with hatred and bitterness.
By embracing it, I’ve realized that I may have an incredible purpose after all.
I opened my life by bringing peace and understanding to people I encounter.
I never realized that I’ve become an oasis in the desert, a refuge, and support for the people around me who are caught up in the anxiety trap.
It is by embracing that there is something you can do to give meaning not just to your life but also to the life of others.
3) Reconnect with old passions
I hope you can still remember the joy of falling in love with something you used to enjoy doing.
We all have hobbies and interests that we’ve pushed aside when we get busy with work and responsibilities.
Reigniting that spark can change the way we view ourselves, our loved ones, and the world around us.
Those hobbies, outlets, creative endeavors, or passions help us discover something about ourselves.
So try to make the “thing” yours – live it, breathe it, and find beauty in it once again.
4) Ask for help and guidance
When we feel that life doesn’t have meaning, we get entrenched in pain, worry, and negative self-beliefs.
We can’t find the strength we need to take steps forward. That’s because it’s hard to connect with our purpose on our own.
So when this happens, it’s vital to recognize that there are people who can help us. Seeking help isn’t weak, but a sign of strength itself.
The thing is, answering the question, “what is your purpose” is hard.
Too many self-gurus will simply advise you to meditate, go on retreat, or focus on “raising your vibrations” to find that inner peace.
But come to think of it, those techniques don’t always work in helping you find the meaning of your life.
Because the truth is, visualization and positive vibes won’t bring you closer to finding your true purpose.
They could even drag you into wasting your life on fantasy.
It becomes more difficult to find your life purpose when you’re hit by many unrealistic claims.
You end up trying everything – but never finding the answers you need. This only leads you further back than where you started, miserable, and alone.
You want solutions and not create a perfect utopia inside your mind – for it doesn’t work that way.
Here’s the truth,
Before you can experience real change, you need to uncover your true purpose.
While watching Ideapod co-founder Justin Brown’s video on the hidden trap of improving yourself, I discovered the power of finding one’s purpose.
When Justin Brown traveled to Brazil, he met the renowned shaman Rudá Landê who gave him a new perspective. With Rudá, he learned life-changing ways to find your purpose and use it to transform your life.
It’s no exaggeration to say that watching his video was a turning point in my life.
It made me understand my purpose. And I can honestly say that when I found my purpose, it led to me finding the true meaning of my life.
5) Cultivate awe and gratitude
Being in awe and grateful feels awkward when we feel that our life is at a loss.
We get so used to feeling sorry for ourselves, and our minds are consumed with negative thoughts that it’s hard to shift them into positive ones.
But it’s not as hard as you think it is.
The best thing to do is to be grateful first thing in the morning and at night before you go to sleep.
As you go along, be in awe of the little things and people around you.
Keep practicing this. Sooner or later, you’ll feel connected to something larger than yourself.
And this provides the emotional foundation that gives you a sense of purpose and meaning.
6) Know what you are good at
We all have unique strengths and values, but sometimes we become blind to them.
If you seem lost or unsure of what they are, list down what others would say about you.
And ask the people who know you best.
Also, pay attention to things that you like or have liked, that you are no longer doing. At the end of the day, reflect on the things that you’ve done well.
You’re likely pursuing some of those passions without even realizing it.
For instance, you didn’t see yourself good at cooking and baking. But people love every dish and baked good from you.
See, why not use your skills and turn them into a side hustle or full-time source of income?
7) Explore and take risks
If you keep sitting on the couch pondering what your sense of purpose is, it will be difficult to figure out exactly what it is.
So why not go out of your comfort zone?
Keep exploring and trying things out so you can see what works, what sticks, and what doesn’t.
If you’re scared, try to listen to your inner critics. Instead, take risks and experiment with being bold.
The key here is to clear away any obstacles blocking you from moving forward.
Sometimes, the path to finding meaning in your life and rediscovering your purpose lies in moving forward even if you’re uncertain of the road ahead.
8) Reach out to others
Remember that wonderful feeling you experienced when you did something good for someone else.
It can be the satisfaction of running an errand for your old neighbor, donating to a good cause, or even smiling at a stranger.
Being able to help others is a beautiful thing. And it gives me a feeling like I have so much to offer.
That’s the secret to happiness.
When you give back or help others even in little ways, it gives you a sense of value. The feeling tat you know you’ve made a difference in the life of others no matter how small it is gives meaning to life.
This is because, when you help others, you are also helping yourself.
9) Turn hurt into healing for others
The realities of life dictate that we’re not free from struggles, and all of us are either hurting, healing, or moving on.
But these make us see our unique strengths and shape us into who we can be.
I’ve discovered this to be a huge game-changer.
Sometimes, sharing our pain with others triggers an exchange of positive energy and healing
We open the doors so others will be honest about their pain and be vulnerable about their hardships. Our hurt qualifies us to enter into the pain of others and be wounded healers.
Even if there’s no easy way to help a hurting person heal, the fact that you are there is already a blessing.
So be present – and there you will realize the meaning of your life.
10) Take time for self-care
When you’re battling against yourself, it will be hard to find the meaning you’re looking for.
But when your mind is relaxed and in its positive state, it can lead you closer to finding your purpose.
This is one reason why taking care of yourself and your well-being is very important.
Use these practices to invest in you:
- Practice mindful breathing and meditation
- Create a mantra or affirmation for yourself
- Give up on something you feel like you need to do
- Receive or give someone a hug
- Remind yourself of a wonderful memory
- Give yourself extra minutes to enjoy being still
- List down things that make you happy
- Take a walk or a power nap
- Move around and play with your kids
- Uplevel your looks and shop for some new clothes
- Plan time to do nothing
So if knowing your purpose feels like finding a needle in the haystack and everything you do fails to spark joy, then take time for self-care.
11) Surround yourself with people who inspire you
Do motivational speaker Jim Rohn, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, or anyone else inspires you?
Beyond your friends, family members, and trusted colleagues, who do you choose to spend your time with?
Our world has a plethora of inspirational people renowned for their legacy and lifetime achievements that we can look up to.
Surrounding yourself with purpose-driven and positive people is likely to influence you. If it’s impossible to hang out with them, read their books, listen to their podcasts, or do anything else you can think of.
With them, you can see life from a better perspective, and inspire you to be the best version of yourself.
More than that, you may even discover the meaning of your life through them.
12) Be self-aware and curious
Allow yourself to see yourself clearly and be amazed by your inner world.
Ask yourself questions to understand how your thinking patterns affect you.
- “What do I think is my value in this world?”
- “What will make my life worth it?”
Get curious about your authentic self and seek to understand yourself even more.
Listening to clues, looking for patterns, and focusing on your thoughts, actions, and patterns will help you rediscover the meaning you are searching for.
This helps heal your past, embrace the present, and decide on your future consciously.
Through the compassion and kindness you show yourself, you’ll get to align your values and fulfillment too.
13) Look into what you desire to change
Pay attention to things that block you from finding the true meaning of your life.
This could be family messages on how you’ve been brought up, your manipulative workplace, or the toxic relationships that limit you.
Either you get stuck on those things or choose to let go of what’s holding you down.
While this pathway takes a lot of courage, it will result in newfound freedom.
When I changed the way I do things, I realized that I was able to control my happiness. And from here, I started to live as a better person than before.
To help you build this habit of changing try to:
- Be aware of why and how you’re doing it
- Focus on how this change makes you feel
- Find something you want to change continuously
- Take the first step to change
14) Practice self-acceptance
Oftentimes, we become our worst critics and enemy. Instead of loving and being kind to ourselves, we choose to be harsh.
But how can we find meaning and feel good if we’re constantly inundating ourselves with the bad?
It makes sense to learn to embrace the parts of yourself that you consider negative or undesirable.
And this means deeply accepting every aspect of yourself without exception.
By practicing self-compassion, you’re more likely to give the best of yourself in every situation.
546And this leads to a greater sense of connection with others and in everything you do – giving more meaning to your life.
15) Find your flow, enjoy the journey
Like you and the millions of people out there, I’ve been searching for “that thing” that will give me a deeper sense of purpose.
The truth is that finding the meaning of life doesn’t happen instantly. But it didn’t stress me out.
My journey has been filled with wonderful discoveries and experiences.
While on my journey, I made a list of things that gave me satisfaction and happiness. I’ve been conscious about what gives me warmth and joy, and positive habits that make me fulfilled.
It even bought me closer to realizing that “there isn’t a single” thing that gives us purpose.
And as I find my center, I come to see that those experiences are worthy in themselves.
Uncover the meaning of your life
Finding the meaning of your life won’t come overnight. You could even keep on asking, “Who am I?” and still not know.
There are days when you’ll feel like you’re so close to knowing your purpose, but it’ll feel impossibly out of reach.
And knowing the meaning of your life doesn’t necessarily mean you have to change what you’re doing already.
Sometimes all it takes is seeing what you already have and being thankful for that.
Understand that knowing your purpose doesn’t have to come from having or doing more things. Sometimes, all you have to do is to focus on the ones that truly matter.
The key here is to reflect on whether you feel like the path you are on is taking you in the direction you want to go.
If not, then that’s the time you can change your path.
Most of the time, finding the true meaning of your life takes a few curves, turns, forks, and stoplights.
No matter what, trust that you’re already good.
And I can tell you for sure that you are good in every way.