Find Meaning Every Day - Great Health Guide
Find Meaning Every Day

Find Meaning Every Day

Written by Dr Suzanne Henwood & Lani Morris

To find meaning every day is something that we all strive for. Sometimes in our busy lives of lists and schedules we lose sight of the bigger picture to find meaning and purpose. We seem to forget that if we live every day with the aim to find meaning and purpose it would make a huge difference to our lives and those around us.

If you have ever thought the below questions, then read on:

  • Is it worth getting out of bed?

  • Does my effort make any difference?

  • Can I keep doing this over and over?

One very useful technique we highly recommend is to use The Map of Meaning; a beautiful way to find meaning every day. The Map of Meaning is a tool created from a PhD by Marjolein Lips-Wiersma.

Firstly, use this outline to draw the Map on a sheet of paper, or create a Map you can walk round on the floor by using several sheets.

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Look to your right…

Take your focus and step right into the center:

     1. Start with Inspiration.

Ask yourself, ‘what inspires me today’? Place your hand on your heart and feel what will bring your heart alive today.

     2. Move your attention to Reality 

Ask yourself, ‘what must get done today’? Honestly prioritize and confidently create a list of things that are both important and urgent. Make sure that you create space for things that will make you feel alive.

Now move around the four quadrants. Focus on the thing that inspires you:

     1. Expressing Full Potential.

  • What do I have the opportunity to create today?

  • What can I uniquely bring to this?

  • What strengths can use I in this?

     2. Integrity with Self.

  • How could I be the best form of me in what I do?

  • Is it time to speak up about something?

  • What would today look like if I was even more true to myself?

     3. Unity with Others.

  • Who do I want to involve in this?

  • Whose support would make a real difference?

  • What can I do to get the support that I want?

     4. Service to Others.

  • What difference could my work make today? To whom?

  • Whose life would or could be better?

The Map of Meaning also provides an excellent framework for reviewing a day. Having a copy of the Map on the fridge for example, would be a great way to remind you to reflect on what is meaningful to you and see if you lived with meaning and purpose that day.

Take another look at the outside words on the diagram Being, Self, Doing and Others. Notice where you spent your time today.

  • Did you spend your time mostly Being with Self, (top left) relaxing, reflecting, dreaming?

  • Or Being with Others, (top right) chatting, working together, hanging out?

  • Was it Doing for Others, (bottom right) focused on serving others, tasks, activities?

  • Or was it Doing with Yourself, (bottom left) buried in a task, maybe working alone?

As you reflect on where you spent your time, how inspiring does it feel? If you are not happy with it, maybe you could look at some different activities that would feel more meaningful.

There is no perfect place, just the one that feels right to you. The Map of Meaning can help us to notice whether things are a habit, a should, a necessity or can help to show how a small shift can help us to rebalance. The Map of Meaning helps us to take charge of what we do with our time, so that we can find even more meaning every day.

We encourage you to use the Map in just the right way for you – maybe alternating it between planning your day as it starts, to reflecting back on work you have done that day. This will remind you of what a difference you make and help you to reconnect with what makes your heart come alive.

There is more information available on The Map of Meaning and the new 2nd edition of the book has recently been published, full of real life stories of how the Map is used in a range of different contexts.

Author of this article:
Dr Suzanne Henwood is the Director and Lead Coach and Trainer of mBraining4Success. She is also a Map of Meaning Practitioner; the CEO of The Healthy Workplace and a master Trainer and Master Coach of mBIT (multiple Brain Integration Techniques) and can be contacted via her website.
Lani Morris is the Co-founder and CEO of The Map of Meaning International Trust, which is committed to helping people to have lives that feel worth living, work that feels worth doing, and organisations that are worthy of the human spirit.

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