A meaningful life essay

To better understand her subconscious mind, Jung had her recount her recent dreams. As she was describing the dream, there was a tapping on the window and Jung turned around.

A meaningful life essay

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Support Aeon Donate now Parents often say: When we lose a sense of meaning, we get depressed. What is this thing we call meaning, and why might we need it so badly? To be sure, happiness and meaningfulness frequently overlap. Perhaps some degree of meaning is a prerequisite for happiness, a necessary but insufficient condition.

If that were the case, people might pursue meaning for purely instrumental reasons, as a step on the road towards happiness. But then, is there any reason to want meaning for its own sake? The difference between meaningfulness and happiness was the focus of an investigation I worked on with my fellow social psychologists Kathleen Vohs, Jennifer Aaker and Emily Garbinsky, published in the Journal of Positive Psychology this August.

We carried out a survey of nearly US citizens, ranging in age from 18 to The survey posed questions about the extent to which people thought their lives were happy and the extent to which they thought they were meaningful.

We did not supply a definition of happiness or meaning, so our subjects responded using their own understanding of those words. By asking a large number of other questions, we were able to see which factors went with happiness and which went with meaningfulness.

As you might expect, the two states turned out to overlap substantially. Almost half of the variation in meaningfulness was explained by happiness, and vice versa.

A meaningful life essay

We narrowed our search to look for factors that had opposite effects on happiness and meaning, or at least, factors that had a positive correlation with one and not even a hint of a positive correlation with the other negative or zero correlations were fine.

Using this method, we found five sets of major differences between happiness and meaningfulness, five areas where different versions of the good life parted company. The first had to do with getting what you want and need.

Not surprisingly, satisfaction of desires was a reliable source of happiness. People are happier to the extent that they find their lives easy rather than difficult.

Happy people say they have enough money to buy the things they want and the things they need. Good health is a factor that contributes to happiness but not to meaningfulness. Healthy people are happier than sick people, but the lives of sick people do not lack meaning. The more often people feel good — a feeling that can arise from getting what one wants or needs — the happier they are.I remember well the self-doubts of my early writing career, when I felt completely unsure that I could ever write anything that was worthy of notice or publication.

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Definition of a Personal Narrative. A personal narrative can be defined as, “A personal account which offers details, analysis and a personal opinion from a particular happening or event, experienced by . The meaningful life is not necessarily subjective as is the pleasant life as well as the engaged life.

Leading a meaningful life is at least objective. The person who lives a meaningful life is one that serves what is larger and more worthwhile than just the self’s pleasures and desires.

Indeed, stress and negative life events were two powerful blows to happiness, despite their significant positive association with a meaningful life. We begin to get a sense of what the happy but not very meaningful life would be like.

Hinds 1. Tia Hinds Professor Deborah Jizi UWRIT 28 September My Meaningful Life Essay Living a life with no regrets and filled with love is what I want.

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