Pursue Meaning, Not Success

What would make your life more meaningful?

Spending more time on your art? Your music? Your poetry?

More time outdoors? Discovering the intricacies of nature? Bearing witness to more sunrises and sunsets? Jumping into oceans and climbing trees?

Forming deeper connections with people you love? Less small talk, more real talk? Less gossip, more silent, breathless belly laughs?

More time with your family? And not just showing up at family obligations but actual quality time?

More giving and service, less consumption? Leaving this world a little better than you found it?

Joy, freedom, peace, wellbeing, connection. These things can’t just appear in your life if you don’t make them a priority.

I’m not telling you that you have to quit your job to pursue your passions full-time in order to be fulfilled. That’s not true, and sometimes that kind of pressure can extinguish the fire of what we love to do.

But you do have to make the choice to treat your passions as an equal (if not greater) priority than your obligations. Or at the very least, find ways to bring your passions into your obligations.

And sometimes we don’t like hearing that, because it’s easier to say, “Well, it’s not so simple—I can’t quit my job, so I guess I can’t be happy.” That outlook takes us off the hook. It’s easier to accept a reality we don’t like when we can blame it on something else. It’s infinitely harder to take a real look in the mirror and recognize that our reality is the result of our own choices. Of how we choose to spend our days, our hours, here in this one life.

The greatest shifts in my own life have come from living more intentionally. From choosing to prioritize exploration, experiences, creativity, play, connection, family, and my health. And choosing to prioritize them now—not some abstract point in future “when I’ll have the time and means.”

No. Because nothing is guaranteed beyond the now. And when my time is up, whenever that will be, these things will all have contributed more to a meaningful life than time spent laboring for someone else’s ideal of success ever will.

So, what will you choose?

About the author
Thinker, Feeler, Creative, Human • Holistic Healing Advisor Follow Meredith on Instagram or read more articles from Meredith on Thought Catalog.

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