What are meaning & purpose in life?

You may have heard countless answers to the question 'what is my meaning in life’? Some pop philosophers may have told you what The Meaning Of Life is. Some Holy Books may have introduced you to a Cosmic Purpose. Some esoteric authors may have told you not to listen to others, but to manifest your own meaning in life. Some therapists or life coaches may have done some exercises with you about meaning in life. Possibly you may have read the book 'Man's search for meaning' from Viktor Frankl. All these answers may be part of the larger puzzle of your meaning in life. Some of these pieces may fit your personal experiences, but others may not.

 

Meaning in life is a personal quest...

Although people can inspire each other, in the end, each individual decides for themselves what they find meaningful. A key tool to discover your personal sense of meaning are your critical intuitions.

 

Listening to your critical intuition means...

...when we carefully listen to what we are experiencing, we can intuit what is more meaningful in our life and what is less meaningful. We usually do this automatically. For example, you are reading this text and are not watching football on the TV; apparently at this moment you intuit that reading this is more meaningful. Unfortunately, sometimes we feel overwhelmed by what others are telling or by our emotions, and it can be difficult to differentiate between equally meaningful options. Therefore, it is important to critically listen to our intuition, and not automatically believe each fleeting emotion that may pop up. In sum, listen to what your gut feeling tells you is meaningful for you, but at the same be critical about what your gut may be telling you.

 

If you want to learn more about meaning in life...

...you have come to the right place! We are research experts and practitioners on meaning (read more). We have meetups, training, courses, and conferences for everyone, regardless of how much you know about living a meaningful life. Join our monthly self-development groups to learn from an expert and share your experiences. If you are serious about learning about your meaning in life, follow a training on 'Discover your meaning in life'. If you want to learn how to help clients with questions about meaning or life, you may want to follow one of our certificates or CPD practitioner training. Join our conferences to learn about the science and practice of meaning, share your dissertation or research, and to learn about qualitative research methods such as phenomenology. 

Some scientific bits about meaning

Some short & long videos from IMEC presenters

The science of a meaningful life

Meaning-centered psychotherapy

Meaning and mental health

Enjoy the small things

Living towards death

Discover your inner bear

The metaphor of the river

Sense of awe

Life is like climbing mountains

The age of the trees

The selfie stick tourist

Joel Vos' 12 rules for life

Engaging with life: using experiences

The psychology of fascism

Roy Baumeister about meaning

Want to learn more about meaning in life?

Join our self-development groups!

Our monthly groups are for anyone to learn more about how to live a meaningful life, to learn, share and support each other. 

IMEC Self-development groups

Join our training 'discover your meaning in life'!

Discover in ten weekly online sessions how to live a meaningful life. For anyone seriously interested in living a meaningful life. 

Training 'Discover your meaning in life'

Get a certificate in 'Evidence-based meaning-centered practice'!

Discover in ten weekly online sessions how to help clients live a meaningful life. For anyone in the helping professions. CPD credits available.

Certificate 'Evidence-based meaning-centered practice'

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