What would you like to attain in your life this year? What would you like to happen in personal relationships? In your professional life? What impact would you like to make in the world around you? What good would you like to bring into your life? What particular areas of growth would you like to focus on? What limitations/blocks/challenges would you like to tackle? Little things and big things?
How often do we stop, ponder, and focus on such questions? How often do we take concrete steps to live an examined life?
Research and practical wisdom are both clear that those people who purposefully strive for something meaningful in their lives are far happier than those who don't have aspirations or purpose.
As I highlighted in my Meaningful Life calendar January page,
to experience a sense of purpose, it is important to set goals in accordance with our authentic values and passions and to make time to ask questions that can help guide you toward your purpose.
Serendipitously, this January I read Al Gini's article in my undergraduate alma mater's Loyola University Magazine. Quoting the famous Socratic adage, "An unexamined life is not worth living!", he poses that for life to be authentic, to be lived well, and to be one of integrity, it has to be questioned, challenged, and confronted head on, without false pretense or illusion. Yet, the examined life is not a one-time affair, he adds. In life, we are constantly confronted with unexpected change, crippling mistakes, unanticipated maladies, and miscalculations. No matter how well prepared we are, life can challenge us and change us, but it rarely offers us easy answers. The examined life is a process, not a static phenomenon. As the facts, data, and experiences in life evolve and change, we too must evolve, consider, analyze, and keep questioning to find answers.
Now is the time to do so!