Category Archives: Fun

A Meaningful Life: Self-Actualizing, Purpose-Driven, a Meaningful Life—How they Work Together

https://pixabay.com/en/clasped-hands-comfort-hands-people-541849/
https://pixabay.com/en/clasped-hands-comfort-hands-people-541849/

 

We’ve talked a little bit about self-actualizing versus a purpose-driven live versus a meaningful life. I discovered a book that does a good job of explaining their relationship to one another: The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters by Emily Esfahani Smith.

According to the author, purpose is what you’re driven to do—your mission in life. Meaning is the reason why it’s important to you, why you must do it. Self-actualization is fully using your talents, skills, and abilities, as well as delving deeper to discover the hidden treasures within. It’s by these attributes working together that one builds a life that matters, where the person feels that he/she is making a difference in the world.

This thought of leading a purpose-driven and meaningful life seems daunting. We think of Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., and other notable and famous people involved in great humanitarian works.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=25734&picture=child-and-books
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=25734&picture=child-and-books

One of the librarians at the town library is well past retirement age yet she’s compelled to keep working at the library. She delights in introducing patrons to new authors or book genres; it makes her feel good to help patrons select books that can comfort them or increase their knowledge or improve their lives. She derives a lot of satisfaction from her job.

It isn’t always easy for her. Sometimes patrons can be a pain in the neck, other times it’s the library board and the hair-brained ideas they want implemented, and then there’s the town with their unending pressure to reduce expenses…. In spite of these challenges and annoyances, she’s happy. She feels useful and that her life matters because she’s helping others enrich their lives. She has a purpose—a reason to get out of bed in the morning; she’s making a difference.

The librarian’s renown is nowhere near that of Mother Teresa’s, however, the librarian is living as rich, as rewarding, and as meaningful of a life as Mother Teresa did.

Copyright 2014 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2014 Artisans Workshop Designs

I also know of a woman who has a lovely garden every year. She derives a lot of satisfaction and happiness from selecting the right plants for a particular area, coordinating the colors and the blooming times of the flowers she plants so that there’s always something blooming in her garden. It’s only her family and a few neighbors seem to benefit from the results of her labors—she isn’t a member of the garden club, she doesn’t participate in competitions or enter her garden into the annual house and garden tours. But she’s fulfilled and content—her life has meaning and direction. And joy.

Every year, a local father-daughter team has a booth at our local Village Fair Days where they sell their handcrafted birdhouses. Their little business started out as the father’s desire to reconnect with his daughter who was grown with a family of her own. He remembered times he and his daughter fed the birds at home when she was a child and, one thing led to another, and they now have this little business of making delightfully whimsical birdhouses.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Sialia_sialis
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Sialia_sialis

Whether they make a lot of money or not is beside the point. The point is that they’ve reconnected by rekindling their love of birding. And, they now get to share that interest and love with other fathers, daughters, sons, and mothers. They have meaning, direction, sharing, enjoyment, and lots of love in their lives.

When you think of your own life and how to make it meaningful, don’t think you have to “go big or go home”. You can be like the librarian, my friend the gardener, and the father-daughter team and keep your efforts local.

Are there small ways you can add meaning and purpose to your life? Feel free to share in the comments below. Thanks! Tomorrow we’ll talk a little more about ways to add meaning into your life right here and right now.

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

A Meaningful Life: What Does That Mean?!

 

As I mentioned in my first ever video (!!) , this week we’re going to be talking about A Meaningful Life.

You might remember a few months ago we talked about self-actualization as described by Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need. According to Maslow, humans have needs that can be pictured as a pyramid with the wide bottom level being concerned with fulfilling survival needs such as adequate shelter and enough food to eat, and the top level being all about self-actualization.

I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit and, while I didn’t do any kind of scientific study, my observations have indicated that no matter how successful we are or are not, no matter how old or young, and no matter where we live in the world, everyone is always interested in self-actualization. I’ve come to believe that we’re hard-wired to self-actualize regardless of our life situation, condition, or location. It seems to me that this urge is part and parcel of our survival instinct, which makes it just as important to us as finding enough food to eat, having adequate shelter, and keeping ourselves warm and safe.

https://pixabay.com/en/i-love-myself-text-words-love-me-417267/
https://pixabay.com/en/i-love-myself-text-words-love-me-417267/

All of us, from the moment we’re born until the time we leave this earth, want to live life on our own terms. We want to be individuals—unique, one-of-a-kind, and irreplaceable. When we’re young, we feel ourselves brimming with untapped potential and each one of us wants to go to our grave totally spent—our gifts and talents completely used up—but, oh the experiences…the memories! The depth and richness of them will last us through eternity.

With our ever-present drive to self-actualize, I’ve wondered why Maslow put it at the top of the pyramid. Perhaps he did so because once the “lower” instincts are reasonably satisfied, we don’t have any distractions from this urge. Especially when we get to “a certain age”, typically once we enter the empty nest years, this need becomes nearly a force of nature—we can’t stop ourselves from thinking about it and striving for it, at least on some level.

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=65126&picture=background-647 & Artisan Workshop Designs
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=65126&picture=background-647 & Artisan Workshop Designs

This is why it’s so important that we figure out what self-actualization, being purpose-driven, and living a meaningful life signifies to us.

As I said at the beginning of this post—and in my first ever video!—this is what we’ll be talking about all week. Come back and join the conversation!

As always, feel free to pass this post along to a friend. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Laughter: Antidote to Worry, Anger, Depression, and More!

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=96530&picture=boy-laughing
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=96530&picture=boy-laughing

 

Life can weigh heavy on us.  Everywhere we turn we see something that frightens us, frustrates us, or makes us feel helpless and hopeless.  When we feel these emotions, we’re less creative, less resilient, and less energetic.  We can have trouble shaking off these feelings and getting ourselves back on track—positive thinking and affirmations sometimes aren’t enough to help us press the reset button.

But three cheers for laughter!  It can:

 

~lift your mood

~increase endorphins

~lower stress

~help you sleep better

~improve memory and recall

~burns calories

~enhances learning

~oxygenates your blood, brain, and body

~increases blood flow

~lower blood sugar levels

~massages your organs and tissues

~lowers heart rate and blood pressure

~improved immune system

~helps you cope better with Life’s ups and downs

~promotes relaxation

~improve your quality of life

~relieve pain

~strengthen your social connections.

 

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=9663&picture=laughing-buddha
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=9663&picture=laughing-buddha

Don’t delay;

Start laughing today!

🙂

 

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Lighthearted Quotes to Start Your Week Off Right

Copyright 2014 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2014 Artisans Workshop Designs

 

I hope these quotes help you start your week with a chuckle.  Enjoy!

 

Happiness does not have a price tag so smile. Jade Lebea

 

If only common sense were more common. Anonymous

 

Always follow your heart, but remember to bring your brain along. Anonymous

 

Life always offers you a second chance. It’s called tomorrow. Anonymous

 

Common sense is like deodorant, those who need it the most never use it. Anonymous

 

Life is not about how you survive the storm, it’s about how you dance in the rain. Anonymous

 

Living on earth may be tough, but it includes a free ride around the sun every year. Anonymous

 

Which one(s) did you like?  Let me know—thanks!

Feel free to share this post with a friend.  Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

More Quotes from Outside of the Box That’ll Make You LOL

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Laughing_point.svg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Laughing_point.svg

 

Here are a few more humorous quotes I came across.  I think you’ll like these, too!

 

Of course I talk to myself… sometimes I need expert advice. Anonymous

Like I said in yesterday’s post, after you’ve thought things through and listened to the wise advice of people who truly care about you, when it comes down to it, YOU are the expert on your life and your dreams.  You get to make the decision of what course of action is the right one for you.

 

Smiles are contagious… be a carrier. Anonymous

So true.  It’s so easy and absolutely free to smile.  It’s amazing how it lifts your spirits and when you give your smile to someone else, how it can be a game-changer in someone’s day.

 

Please cancel my subscription to your issues. Anonymous

Oh my goodness, this is soooooooo true!  I wince when I think back over all the hours (or more!) I wasted trying to be the good egg and help people who claimed to be in crisis when in truth they were self-centered jerks sucking all the oxygen out of my life!

 

I’m going to stand outside, so if anybody asks for me, I’m outstanding. Anonymous

Encompassed in this quip is the wisdom that, in order to achieve your dreams, you really do have to step outside the box that everyone else is in.  You will be outside.  But that’s where you’ll find all the thrills that make up an outstanding life.

 

Don’t worry about what to wear today, your smile goes with any clothes. Anonymous

Added bonus to smiles:  your smile makes you look younger and slimmer!  🙂

 

Life is always rocky when you’re a gem. Anonymous

It’s easy to be mediocre, average, and to just get by.  But even those aren’t guarantees or protection against the bumps and kicks Life doles out.  So, if you’re going to get shoved around anyway, you may as well do so in your quest to manifest your Truth and in leading a life that matters, that makes a difference.

 

To thrive in life you need three bones. A wish bone, a back bone, and a funny bone. Reba McEntire

Reba hit the nail on the head and drove it home in one blow with this quote.  We need to keep our eyes on our dreams for direction and guidance, have the nerve and the guts to keep going—especially when all seems lost, and then to keep our sense of humor.  Humor can be a source of creativity because in order to see the humor in a setback, you have to look at it from a different angle.  And, when you do that, you just might see a little sliver of light that you can move toward which will lead you to your breakthrough.

 

Let me know what you think of these quotes—and which one(s) you liked.  Thanks!

Please pass this post along to a friend.  Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Quotes for Restorative Rest

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=982&picture=relax-on-the-beach
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=982&picture=relax-on-the-beach

 

There’s an old saying I’m sure you’ve heard:  All work and no play makes Jack a very dull boy.    

Rest is essential to a well-lived life.  Not only does it restore balance, equilibrium, and energy in our life and spirit but it also provides room for insights and “Eureka!” moments that help us solve knotty problems or give us ideas about and glimmerings of our True path.

Here’s what others have to say about restorative rest:

 

What is without periods of rest will not endure.  ~Ovid

 

Rest is not idleness; and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.  ~Sir John Lubbock

 

Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths, or the turning inwards in prayer for five short minutes.  ~Etty Hillesum

 

The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.  ~Sidney J. Harris

 

Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgement will be surer.  Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.  ~Leonardo Da Vinci

 

Sometimes the most urgent and vital thing you can possibly do is take a complete rest.   ~Ashleigh Brilliant

 

True silence is the rest of the mind; it is to the spirit what sleep is to the body:  nourishment and refreshment.  ~William Penn

 

Rest is the sweet sauce of labor.  ~Plutarch

 

A good rest is half the work.  ~Proverbs

 

Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.  ~Ovid

 

Take the next 24 hours and just relax with the knowing that everything is okay.  Let go of your stressors and worries for one day and see what happens.  ~Mike Basevic

 

Sometimes it’s important to work for that pot of gold.  But other times it’s essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing on which color to slide down the rainbow.  ~Douglas Pagels

 

Enjoy your well-deserved rest this weekend!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Year End Reflections Merry Christmas Quotes

Copyright 2016 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2016 Artisans Workshop Designs

 

Merry Christmas!  I wish you and your loved ones all the best the Season has to offer.

It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags!… Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! “Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more! ~Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect. — Oren Arnold

Enjoy your celebrations!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,
Lauren