“The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it.” – Carl Jung
Whatever your current lot in life, or whatever struggle you’re going through right now, I hope you believe that your life is meaningful and worthwhile. A sense of meaning leads to greater life-satisfaction, and it is a sense of meaning that allows us to persevere and be resilient through obstacles. A life devoid of meaning can feel empty and futile, and lead us to throw in the towel. A lack of meaning is the major reason why people end up feeling stuck. Without meaning they become apathetic. They are afraid to take chances and make the changes necessary to live a more spirited life. When we become stuck, whether it be in a career, relationship, or on some physical health goal, it can be due to feeling like we have lost control. We have become a victim and may feel like there is no use in trying. Living a meaningful life is how to awaken from this existential comma. If you’re dissatisfied with your present circumstances there is hope for progress and change. Dr. Paul Wong a Psychologist who studies and teaches about meaningful living created the P.U.R.E. model as a guide to find more life meaning. PURE stands for: Purpose, Understanding, Responsibility, and Enjoyment. This article will discuss the PURE model of living, so you can more easily bounce back when you stumble and move forward with vigor and zest.
Meaning comes from having a sense of higher purpose and calling. It is this mission and calling that gives life direction and significance. If you are not in touch with your life purpose it is time to create a vision and mission statement to guide your decisions. This can be created by knowing your core values and priorities, as well as what you are passionate about, and what you want to be remembered for when your life is over.
In short, this refers to understanding who you are and what really matters. As John Maxwell has said, “You have to know yourself to grow yourself.” If we don’t know our life roles, how we influence others, what is expected of us in a given situation, it will be difficult to respond effectively and make decisions from our authentic self. When we have this understanding of ourselves we will be more coherent and more easily able to navigate a difficult path. The greater our self-awareness the more likely we will make decisions that align with our purpose and leave us feeling fulfilled.
One of the most important traits for living deeply and fully is the belief that we are responsible for the decisions we make and response we have to every situation. When we assume responsibility for your own life and all our actions we will see our confidence grow and our ability to deal with setbacks improve greatly. Taking responsibility fills us with meaning because we realize a moral duty and obligation that is tied to a bigger picture beyond ourselves. The way we live our life reflects and impacts many other people, so respect your inherent influence.
Learn to enjoy every minute of your life even when things do not go well. This will require an appreciative attitude and an ability to enjoy the little things. Enjoying life also comes when we follow a purpose and live responsibly. When we do good for others we will feel good ourselves. Everyone wants to believe and feel like their life has a meaning and purpose, and with this model you can begin to live in a manner consistent with what really matters. I really like these four elements because they are a great reminder for how to live life when we are going through ups and downs. When things are going well PURE reminds us to stay humble, live based on our values, and think beyond ourselves. When we’re down in the dumps PURE helps us take control of our situation by focusing on progress and taking a perspective of learning instead of blaming. Remember there is something good in every day. Enjoy the pleasant things and recognize the duty you have to make the world a more loving place.