The meaning of life!

The Meaning of Life usually leads me to chuckle at the various Monty Python clips, however recently, I have managed to get beyond the "Biggus Dickus" sketch and get a little more involved with what the meaning of life actually means to me and how that can reduce stress and anxiety!

It started off with being in Vietnam.  I had promised myself that I was going to leave all things 'work' in Salisbury but the temptation to 'just check emails' overpowered me every now and then and I convinced myself that this was a great opportunity to start reading all those 'really interesting' blogs or emails that I rarely manage to find time to do.  After all, what better place to absorb information then around a pool with a mojito in hand!!?

Rather than absorbing all this 'great' content though, I found myself getting quite wound up.  In various different guises, most of these emails were about the 'one thing' you MUST do, or, one that really stood out - the advice that "Doing the thing you like doing in your business is the thing you really must stop doing and outsource."  Ouch!

Perhaps it was being in an environment where the buddhist mentality prevails but I sat there (still not over influenced by the mojito I hasten to add!) and thought, "Is this really for me?  If this is what it takes to have a 'successful' business, am I prepared to make that downpayment?

That moment was nearly two weeks ago (as I write this) and the conclusion I reached as I sat on my sunlounger has not changed now I am back in sunny Salisbury - NO!  However, there is a  but.....!!

What I started to realise was that all of these emails were from people who had a different definition of success to me.  To them, success is measured by revenue, the price of the car on the drive, the balance in the bank account.

Some of you know a bit about my 'story.'  My amazing big brother whom I love to bits, had a stroke age 37.  My best friend from school disappeared, assumed murdered.  My father is a sociopath.  I have an amazing husband, two incredible kids.  Would more money have changed any of these things?  Would me working harder on that 'one thing', or not doing the things I like doing change any of these things?

I respect that for the people who wrote those blogs, they may well argue that more money may reduce stress and some of the anxiety in life by providing my brother more support to make his life better, or could fund more care for my father so I was less exposed to his ways.  And that may be true but where all these thoughts lead me is to the conclusion of the meaning of life is "Do as much of what you can that makes you happy." 

You can only experience one emotion at a time and if happiness dominates, there is much less room for stress or anxiety.  If happiness comes through making money, brilliant!  If it comes through making a big difference in the world, wonderful.  If it is about making the most of every day, then you are probably in my camp.

There are things in my business that I could probably outsource to free up more time to do those things that I procrastinate about - but I procrastinate because they stress me out!  They may be one of the 'one things' that elevates the business or makes me a millionaire :-) but for now, the meaning of life for me is to focus on the things that I enjoy.  I love sitting across from a client in my big blue chairs in my work room and helping them.  I have an online course pretty much ready to go and will mean I can help more people in the same amount of time, but I won't get to know them in the way I do when they are here infront of me.  I won't get to hold their hand if the tears come.  I won't get the hug that so many of my clients freely give before they leave. Supporting people on the course will mean more evening work - time away from my husband and kids.  THOSE are the things that give me meaning. 

Maybe one day that course may make its way onto some technical platform.  Maybe one day I will create the new website that will undoubtedly improve the business.  But for now doing those things lead to feelings of anxiety.  So, I am going keep doing more of things that mean, at the end of the day when I turn the light off and reflect back on the day - I fall asleep with a smile on my face.

 If this resonates with you, here is a little idea I'd like to share with you.

On a piece of paper, write down things that you enjoy - be they big of small.  From international travel, to watching Monty Python films!  From enjoying a nice glass of Rioja to having dinner parties with friends.  Just write them all down.  

It's a list that need never stop being added to so put it somewhere where you can easy add new things when they come to mind.  And then USE IT.  Every day, make sure you plan in time to do at least one of these things.  Doing things for your own pleasure is NOT selfish.  You are the only person responsible for your own quality and enjoyment of life so take responsibility!  

And when you are challenged to do things that you feel resistance to doing, check in with that list.  By doing this thing, will it lead longer term to achieving something on that list or will you be sacrificing those list items to complete that challenge? Remember, today is the only chance you get to enjoy today and none of us know what tomorrow has in store!

One reality of life - we all only have 24 hours in a day.  Money is abundant, food is abundant, but time is fixed.   Spend it well when it is here!


I'd love to hear your thougths on this?  Do you share my meaning of life?  What would be one of the top 10 things on your happiness list?
Please share your answers with me in the comments box below.

Published by Caroline Cavanagh Clinical Hypnotherapist and author of Anxiety Alchemy. on |

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