How to Scientifically Decide What's Meaningful

mind spirit Sep 08, 2022

 You are at a crossroads; how do you decide what's meaningful?

Recently, I took a deep dive into vision setting. I realised that no matter where you are on your journey, those who continually align their direction are happier, feel more fulfilled and have greater success

I delved into the research on meaning and these are the three pillars I found.

1. Coherence

Does this option make sense in relation to the story of your life? 

Research consistently demonstrates that those with a meaningful life, live a coherent life. 

Successful yet unfulfilled entrepreneurs I work with rarely examined stories from their past prior to coaching. 

But without a coherent story of who you are today, how can you know who you wish to become?

I was recently in conversation with an inspirational change-maker who plans to work in media. As a child, they used to stay up every year to watch the Oscars, engrossed by the acceptance speeches and the journey of their heroes. 

To others, their venture into media could represent a desire for external recognition, but to them, it made perfect sense. 

I encouraged them to ask these questions:

- What did I stay up late for? Why?

- What was I enamoured with that others were less interested in? 

- What did I find effortless that others struggled with? 

The logical mind finds personal exploration challenging. Explore your strengths and challenges but from a place of calm.

2. Purpose

Having a sense of purpose is associated with improved cholesterol, reduced stress, lower cardiovascular risk and better relationships. 

"Your purpose is born out of self-belief, skill development and an overwhelming desire of who you wish to contribute to."

Recently I re-watched 'The Social Network' movie. It struck me that the reason Zuckerberg was able to build Facebook in just a few weeks was because he had such a clear vision of who he was serving. The website started for Harvard undergraduates but now serves nearly 3 billion people. 

For your purpose, start with the 'who?' over the 'why?'. When faced with a difficult decision, ask yourself:

"Will I resonate with the people on this path? Are they my people?" 

3. Significance

Recent research shows us that the perceived significance of our contribution also affects how meaningful our lives are. 

I'm not talking about millions of followers, awards or external recognition, but whether the decision feels significant to your authenticity.

Ask yourself, "Will this decision be valuable to my personal growth and my loved ones?"

At the end of every week, you want to look back and believe you've made a difference, not because anyone has noticed but, just because...

Amazing research from Harvard shows that our contributions are far more powerful than we know. Kindness has an R number of 5. This means that if all you did this week was be kind to one person, it's likely that effect rippled out to 125 others. 

Kindness is significant. Never forget that. 


In this video, you will learn an exercise to help you meaningfully decide on your next step and hear fascinating stories of people, like you, struggling to find meaning.


1 Quote

"Your purpose is born out of self-belief, skill development and an overwhelming desire of who you wish to contribute to."

1 Question

Does this decision make sense in the story of my life?

1 Quality


Being able to judge situations, not people, helps you determine what's meaningful. 

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