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How to Create a Meaningful Life

Karla Mans Giroux


One day I would love to write my memoir about my healing journey through cancer. I certainly know my journey and what I went through, and myself, better than any other topic. On the other hand, I probably don’t know myself as well as I would like to think. I mean, do I really do enough introspection and contemplation? Am I honest enough with myself? Is anybody honest enough with themselves?


It’s just too easy to go through the motions of life, letting each day fade into the next. Wracking them all up without a thought to what they add up to be. Life is a busy endeavor with many meaningless things to do. While some meaningless things are of course necessary they are still meaningless. Things like balancing the checkbook, paying bills, washing the dishes, cleaning the house. Meaningless, yes?


What has real meaning anyway? What would make up a wonderful, fulfilled life? What would make me a fulfilled and happy person? What would make YOU a fulfilled and happy person?


It might be easier to talk about what is meaningless – the chores, the errands, the busyness of life, the endless social media scrolling, watching mindless TV, and jobs that are “a means to an end”.

Jobs are of course necessary, and for some lucky people they are very fulfilling and meaningful. But for many, they are the means by which you earn a living to pay for the “end”. What is your end? Do you prioritize it high enough or do the meaningless things take over? Are you too busy working, paying the bills and running errands to stop and think about the “end”? Are you too busy with life to actually take steps to ensure you are achieving your “end” goals?


The concept of “end” goals as explained in the book “The Code of The Extraordinary Mind” by Vishen Lakhiani was eye opening for me. If you are like me the phrase “it’s a means to an end” is something you have said but perhaps not deeply thought about. If the job/career is a means to an end, then what is the “end”? As Lakhiani writes, “End goals are the beautiful, exciting rewards of being human on planet Earth. End goals are about experiencing love, traveling around the world, being truly happy, contributing to the planet because doing so gives you meaning, and learning a new skill for the pure joy of it.”


Now that I have “retired” from my corporate job I clearly see there was no real meaning in the job itself. It was important work, but the real meaning came from the people I met and interacted with regularly. Those with whom I developed friendships. There was meaning for me in my personal work ethic, and my standards for how I conducted myself and treated others. Remembering the details of the job/roles I had does not come to mind first or even very clearly as I think back over my 20+ year career. It’s the people I remember. I am still in touch with people from that first corporate job…and some before that. I know I treated them all with respect and kindness and for that I can be proud of myself.


Certainly, raising a family and having the love grow and deepen and expand is meaningful. Watching that family grow and succeed and find happiness and love is meaningful. Same for deep friendships with people that matter. Love and connection are meaningful. Make sure you have great opportunities to connect deeply with your family. Cherish it. Make it fun and meaningful.Don’t let the day pass by without telling your people that you love them!


Volunteer work also brings meaning to my life. More than I give myself credit for in fact. I volunteered for many years with the Boy Scouts of America as my son’s participated. I am now a volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters and have a “little sister” I have been meeting with since 2016. She is now 17 and a junior in high school. She was 10 years old and in the 5th grade when we started. I know I have had a positive impact on her and I’m happy to continue that relationship because it has meaning. She has had a positive impact on me too! It’s important to remind ourselves that touching just one life does make a difference. Sometimes it may be a big difference and sometimes you may never know of the impact, but trust that it is there.


For me, surviving and thriving through cancer has meaning as well. It showed me that I have strength, fortitude, perseverance, and a strong positive mindset. I know my journey to health has inspired others and I hope to continue to do so by achieving my goal to live to be 100+ healthy and sane!


So just how does one remember to focus on the “end” – the meaningful things. It’s something I’ve said before, you must disable your autopilot (read "Are you Living on Autopilot" here)! You can’t just walk through life without consciously thinking about what you are doing. Stop. Take stock of your life. As you think about your goals, do as Lakhiani says, “choose end goals, skip means goals”. He says, “End goals speak to your soul”. When was the last time you spoke to your soul?


In peace, love and health,

Karla


P.S. The Radical Remission healing factors include “Having Strong Reasons for Living” so join us for a workshop to learn more about this and the other 9 factors.

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