Exceed Happiness And Strive For Meaningfulness

Happiness is not our goal. We are so busy doing so much, that happiness shifts with us as we move through our life experiences. Viktor Frankl, the famous Austrian Jewish psychiatrist, survivor of the Nazi concentration camps, and author of Man’s Search for Meaning, has since discussed our human goals in terms of meaningfulness as having more significance to us than simple happiness. Think about happiness as having a full tummy after a holiday meal, and meaningfulness as giving away your dinner, even though you are hungry, to another person who is even hungrier.

The sense of meaning we earn in our lives against our values is better measured in finding meaning in all we do and say, instead of striving to be happy. Happiness can be the inner glow of finding our meaning.

Begin with the end in mind. Predictive encoding in our mind is seeing clearly the picture of what we really want – to truly touch, smell, and breathe in the visual of our greatness. This is not a dream or imagination – it is a plan. The difference between a dream and a goal is the deadline – for example, Dec. 31 2018. Paul Sohn’s 20 questions for summarizing 2017 are modified here to drive meaning for 2018:

1. How do you feel Sunday night, before you go to work Monday morning?

2. Who will you compliment in 2018, someone who perhaps you spoke poorly about in 2017?

3. What will you teach someone in 2018?

4.  What personal goal will you strive to achieve daily with one small change?

5. Could you stop saying “sorry” so often and try “will you forgive me” more?

6.  What negative person in your life will you arrange to spend less less time around?

7. What circumstance will you stop blaming for your lack of meaning in what you do?

8. What compliment will you give your boss in 2018?

9. How will you describe 2018 in 3 words? Write them now and read them on Dec 31 2018.

10. What one word will people use to describe you in 2018 which they did not use to describe you in 2017?

11.  What will be your favorite 3 books you will read in 2018?

12.  What trip/vacation/destination will be your greatest joy in 2018?

13. What will be your biggest time waster in 2018? What will you stop doing that you did in 2017?

14. What will you be most grateful for in 2018 that you have not counted previously?

15. What advice will you give your 2017 self as you enter 2018?

16. What will be the compliment you receive in 2018 that will mean the most to you? From who?

17. What will be your biggest learning in 2018?

18. What will you stop saying or judging in 2018, that doesn’t seem to serve you well?

19. Who will be your new friend in 2018?

20. What will you finally forgive yourself for in 2018, in order to realize you am a great you and not perfect?

Bonus: Will this be the first year you take an e-mail free vacation?

Make 2018 Great!


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