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How to Create a Meaningful Life

A week ago, I got the BIG life question that every parent gets from their child at some point. I have to admit I am not sure if I was ready to explain how to create a meaningful life to my teenage son but I was thrilled he asked this question.

“Mom what’s the point of life?”

This is a question many of us struggle with personally and now I was expected to explain it to my son! My answer could not have been text book: “To have a happy life son.”

But is that answer? Did I do the right thing as a parent with this text book answer? People search for the answer on Google, they ask Siri, they look for it in videos on YouTube– they look for the answers in others. We seem to have fallen into the process of  measuring our life based on how much money is made, how big our home is or the brand of car we drive. Recently we measure our meaning by how many likes, how many followers and how many views we receive on social media.  At the end of the day – at the end of our life –  we can’t take any of these metrics with us so my answer instead was:

“To live a meaningful life son.”

But HOW do you create a meaningful life?

Bring in the researchers! They have spent the time and energy studying this topic for years. They have asked the question what is a happy life vs a meaningful life. They have observed, and learned from human behavior and experience  and have concluded that  People derive meaningfulness from helping others— by being a “giver”

If you want to have a meaningful life – you need to give. If you want to create happiness in your life – you need to give. It doesn’t matter which country you live in, which religion you practice, the colour of your skin or your gender. The human race is connected by this action to build a meaningful life – to give is human and will build a meaningful and happy life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology research paper  

Ask yourself these questions.

  • What is your living legacy? What do you want your living legacy to be?
  • How will you be remembered by the way you made people feel?
  • What seeds did you plant to move the world forward in a positive way for generations to come.

Don’t wait for the end of your life to look back trying to answer the big question “Why was I here?” Move forward knowing you are creating the answer right now.

We are here to get you started today. It’s as easy as 1,2,3 to get your giving ripple going.  Read these articles from our blog to start your giving journey that will lead to a meaningful, happy life.

22 Small Acts of Giving That Increase Happiness

10 Animal Gives the Will Make You Happy 

7 Ways to Make A Bottle of Water Your Daily Give

Join our giving community today and commit to making your life one of meaning to yourself and others 1 give, 1 day at a time.

What people are saying about 365give

“I wanted to express my gratitude for the teaching you provided today. Your message was delivered eloquently, compassionately, and without judgment. The kids were engaged, and now have knowledge with which they can change the world. We all appreciated how you took the time to help us learn to build positive mindsets and practice happiness.”
Shelley Gardner, Grade 6 Ridgeview Elementary (West Vancouver)
“Actions really do speak louder than words, which is why I believe the 365give Challenge has resonated throughout my community. Every give we do is so important to us and leaves us happier and appreciating our lives a little bit more than before.”
Mahina Niyozova (Tajikistan)
“After watching the 365give TEDx Talk, I was inspired to join and begin a daily giving program in India. Today, along with 12 other volunteer women, we provide 100 meals to local underprivileged children in Bangalore for school every day.”
Deepika Ahuja, Mom (Bangalore, India)
“My life has greater meaning now.”
Renate Jorge, @BeKindBrazil and 365give Member, Family Program (Brazil)
“I just wanted to share that 365give really helped me. I am a better person now, thank you.”
MayLee, 365give Member, Individual Program
“This 365give Challenge has really injected excitement and extra enthusiasm in each work day as I think about what we can do. It has motivated me and the students.”
Cristina Peters, School Counselor (New York City, USA)
“I have seen a huge shift in energy throughout my classroom since doing the 365give Challenge. The Challenge has empowered my students to make a positive difference in the school’s community and beyond.”
Cella Adriana, Special Needs Educator /The Holliswood School (New York City, USA)
“The 365give Challenge helps students understand their impact on others. It opens avenues for introducing and discussing global and local issues in classrooms. It is powerful to watch students of all ages think about how they can make a change in another person’s life with one small act.”
Jessica Hall, Primary Teacher, French Immersion at École Pauline Johnson (West Vancouver, Canada)