The Depth Coach | Seven Surefire Steps to Living a Meaningful Life
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31 Aug / Seven Surefire Steps to Living a Meaningful Life

“What happens to you is not as important as how you react to what happens to you.”

  • Dedicate at least five minutes every day to reflect on your life. For example, I spend at least five minutes a day reflecting on the last 24 hours. I reflect on what has been going right lately and what has not. Accordingly, I consciously and empirically consider what I could be doing better and admit what I have done wrong. I try to reflect on every aspect of my life, and from this simple habit I aspire to continuously improve. Reflection is what gave me the topic of this post, and the tips that are to follow. We cannot learn from our mistakes if we do not take the time to reflect on them and apply them to future action.

  • Practice gratitude. When everything seems hopeless and it’s hard to see a gray cloud’s silver lining, I take a moment to practice gratitude. No matter what happens, I acknowledge that there is somebody that has it worse than I do. Gratitude helps us see through the adverse circumstances of our present situation and instead find a way to turn lemons in to lemonade.

  • Be willing to listen to other people, they likely have something they can teach you. Assume that you can learn at least one thing from everyone you encounter. In many cases, this will not be the case, however, by engaging people with a friendly demeanor and listening to them, you stand to gain much more than you could lose.

  • Keep a journal and write in it often. Journaling offers a way to probe the unconscious for symbolic clues. These clues can help shed light on a person’s psychological development over time. Don’t underestimate the importance of writing down the past. These lessons learned will help you better understand how you arrived at the present circumstances of your life.

  • Pay attention to your dreams and document them. The great twentieth century psychologist Carl Jung considered the dream “a little hidden door in the innermost and most secret recesses of the soul, opening into that cosmic night which was psyche long before there was any ego-consciousness, and which will remain psyche no matter how far our ego-consciousness extends.” Dreams are compensatory and complementary, compensatory in the sense that the dream can spontaneously produce a symbol that seeks to balance an inadequacy of the conscious mind, and complementary in that the dream presents an experience that completes the whole. Dreams are also predictive in the sense that they anticipate the future based the current conditions of the present.

  • Remain open to change. It may sound overly simple, but it’s true. No matter how hard we try, we cannot control everything that happens to us. No life insurance policy can manage all the uncertainty in the world, so we must be open to change and be prepared to adjust to what the world gives us rather than what we want.

  • Accept that you are a miracle. Out of all the extraordinary things that have happened, nothing is more miraculous than “you.” That you were able to emerge from chaos and become an autonomous reflective and free-willed being constitutes a singular miracle. What are the chances? If this does not astound you, consider these figures: There are about 250 million sperm cells in a single ejaculation and the average woman carries between one and two million eggs in her body during her lifetime. When we contemplate just how unlikely the chances are that the one specific sperm cell happened to fertilize just the right egg from so precise a woman to form you, we witness a miracle. Thus, with all your imperfections, with all your failings, and despite each loss, you are a product of immeasurable impossibilities, a mathematical miracle, uniquely you, and in the grand scheme of things, nothing could be more perfect.

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