One important element of achieving sustained well-being is "Meaning". Meaning is the "M" of PERMA, the well researched formula for well-being. Many of us would recall Positive emotions, work on relationships and perhaps pat ourselves on our back for our accomplishments but when it comes to meaning, we are sometimes perplexed.
Think about it. Can we look at finding Meaning in what we do an overarching goal? Martin Seligman has to say this about Meaning;
"In the hope that your level of positive emotion and your access to abundant gratification has now increased, I turn to my final topic, finding meaning and purpose in living. The pleasant life, I suggested, is wrapped up in the successful pursuit of the positive feelings, supplemented by the skills of amplifying these emotions. The good life … is a life wrapped up in successfully using your signature strengths to obtain abundant and authentic gratification. The meaningful life has one additional feature: using your signature strengths in the service of something larger than you are. To live all three lives is to lead a full life" (From: The Authentic Happiness, Page 249)
For individuals who are new to Positive Psychology, the concept of "Meaning" is deep rooted in something that is innate and humane. For example if you are a Marketing professional and you need to make sure that the team is absolutely motivated at all times, you would work towards fulfilling some of the needs. The needs would perhaps include training and development needs or maybe sometimes a small appreciation would do wonders. In short, your daily practices of contributing to the service of something larger than yourself would add on to the meaning you are seeking in your professional as well as personal life. The first step towards ascertaining "Meaning" is understanding your signature strengths. You can do so by taking VIA Survey that will give you a hierarchy of 24 Character Strengths, out of which top 5 would define your signature strengths. Once you have the signature strengths in front of you, you need to use them through daily habits and search for areas in which you would think beyond of what is expected of you. Let us imagine that if one of your signature strengths is Leadership, are you asking yourself about how you inspire or uplift others through your strength or what kind of legacy as a leader you are creating for yourself? In what way you are able to touch people's lives? Are you accessible as a leader?
Similarly, you can ask yourself questions on all of your signature strengths, to understand how to find the "Meaning" of your life. Hence, in the year 2019, can it be your New Year Resolution, to find meaning and to make your PERMA robust, alive and kicking?
It is not a complex task to understand "Meaning". The Executive coaches at Positive Psychology India's promoting organization, Rectangle Consulting can help you understand your meaning and the purpose of life. Also, if you wish to be a Positive Psychology enabled Coach, we offer certifications programs that can be done online. For details, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org