Why is it important to live a life with meaning?
It’s what inspires your every day. It’s what makes you happy and brings joy to your life.
During my training to become a Life Coach, one of the recommended reading books was ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Victor Frankl. A psychiatrist, Mr. Frankl spoke of how he survived the Holocaust and how he discovered the importance of having a meaning in life.
I became passionate about life purpose and read many books on the topic including What Matters Most, Light up your Life, The Life you were born to live and Living on Purpose. What I came to realise is that one’s purpose is not a job description, it’s rather an innate gift or talent – it’s part of who we are.
Many of us take years before we connect with our purpose. Even though this invisible power may guide our lives, we often remain separate from it, until some crisis provokes us to search more deeply. For some of us this crisis may be leaving home, school, or university, for others a job change, an accident or the death of a loved one. It could happen through a relationship challenge or divorce, an illness, redundancy or when our children leave home, the list is endless.
Some just know – and follow their purpose. Some are pushed by parents who believe they know best for their kids, some wander aimlessly seeking and hope to find their path at some point, whilst others do what they think they should do.
We grow up learning to ‘fit in’ and to do what pleases others – our choices are affected by our early caregivers, our parents and family, then our teachers and peers. Our life is shaped and molded by our social experiences, relationships, and environment. During our teenage years we have to make decisions about our future (probably before we are ready!), to choose subjects, colleges, universities, jobs or vocations and yet these years are also important for our ability to explore – to find out who we really are and what we want to do and what brings meaning to our lives. This process is very typical of any transition or change, but it can be very scary without any support.
During my training as a Life Coach I realized that it’s this very topic which fascinates me. Why we do what we do? What creates our interests and patterns? What do we love? What blocks us from doing what we really want to do? What inspires us? What motivates us to jump out of bed each morning?
I identified my life purpose as ‘inspiring fulfilment in people’. I simply love to help people work out what it is they really want in life and inspire them to find it or achieve it. I do this with my riding clients, life coaching clients and I even do it with strangers in the pub! It’s a part of who I am!
When I retrained in Equine Facilitated Learning in 2010 I found another way to support people to be true to themselves and connect with their life purpose – through interactions with horses. My purpose didn’t change, I simply found another avenue in which to express it.
I love to help people find out what inspires or drives them because it helps them to choose relationships, work and life experiences which bring them joy.
In the past few years I’ve become very interested in health and the connection between our health and our state of emotional wellbeing. I hear of increasingly more people taking anti-depressants to cope with their anxiety and depression – it’s so much more common than I realized. So, it was with great interest that I read an article from the Guardian, posted on Facebook last week “Is everything you know about depression wrong?” It says that one of the solutions is living a life with purpose. “There is strong evidence that human beings need to feel their lives are meaningful – that they are doing something with purpose that makes a difference. It’s a natural psychological need.”
This interested me because it complemented what I’d read in another book recently, called “Ikigai – The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life”. The people of Japan believe that everyone has an ikigai (a life purpose) – a reason to jump out of bed every morning and this contributes to their happiness and length of life.
A coach once told me that your life purpose is where your innate gift/talent intersects with one of the world’s greatest needs. I’ve been aware that my gift is to inspire people towards fulfilment for many years, but until now I didn’t know that having a purpose was a natural psychological need.I decided that it was time to define my purpose and encapsulate it in a strapline for my business.
Finally, I have it!
Inspiring you to live a life true to yourself
If you are interested to find out how I can help inspire you to live a life true to yourself, through coaching, equine facilitated learning, or through riding coaching with your horse, then do get in touch.