Happiness and meaning

Sociologists place meaning among the first reasons given for subjective “well-being”.

Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher, wrote about meaning: “It is a matter of understanding my destination, of finding a truth that is truth for me, of finding the idea for which I want to live and die.

For psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, meaning is a form of necessity; in its absence, people fill the void with hedonistic pleasures, power, possessions, hatred, boredom or neurotic obsessions and compulsions.

Meaning, which goes hand in hand with happiness, refers to both direction and meaning:

Finding your way, your direction

Am I on the right track? Towards which objectives should I direct my energies?  People in training, people in work, in short, just about everyone, at different times in their lives, ask themselves these questions as they grapple with the challenges of their chosen path. Is it the right one? Does it lead to possibilities in line with my values? Finding one’s “path” is often a long process of :

listening to my inner self: what makes me tick? what makes me passionate? what corresponds to who I am?

-and experimentation: I try, I explore, I see where the road is open and where it seems blocked.

Finding one’s path and the happiness of a life orientation that corresponds to us sometimes implies freeing oneself from orientations that are not our own, but have been received from family, culture, and a certain self-image. Have you found a path? Or are you still looking?

In search of meaning

What is the meaning of this adventure that is life? What do we live for? This is a question to which each person answers, at least unconsciously, by what he is and decides to be. Just like the existentialist philosophy which does not give a predefined meaning to life, but considers that humans build a meaning while living.

And for you who read this text, what gives meaning to life?