What does it mean to live a meaningful life?

Exploring the Essence of a Meaningful Life through Philosophy and Personal Insight

Hi there! November’s done, and here we are in the last month of the year. It was quite a month for me. I kind of slipped from my usual routine and ended up having more sugar than I planned. I usually set aside just one day for it, but life’s been zooming by, and I think I indulged for two or three days. Things happen fast!

By the way, today was special—my daughter rolled over on her own for the first time! It's incredible. We can't help but record videos of her doing it over and over again, even if she might be tired of it. But for us, it's still a marvel every single time.

Weekly Inventory Check

As the year wraps up, you might have a bunch of things still unfinished. It's a good time to look back, sort of like taking a big review. Figure out what went well and what didn't. Getting feedback is key—ask those around you why things worked or why your plans didn't quite happen. Did you take on too much? 

Consider doing a review of your year, chat with folks you trust, and figure out why some things didn't go as planned. It's all about learning from what didn't work out and bringing those lessons into the new year.

What does it mean to live a meaningful life?

Let me share a story from our philosophy meetup. It's about this old tale called the Myth of Sisyphus. Now, I won't dive into the complicated details, but here's the gist: Sisyphus was a tricky guy who ticked off the gods, so his punishment was to roll a huge rock up a hill forever, only to watch it roll back down. Tough, right?

Now, a philosopher named Albert Camus wrote about this story. He said, "One must imagine Sisyphus happy." Sounds strange, doesn't it? But the idea is this: maybe life doesn't need a big purpose or a finish line. Maybe the journey, like Sisyphus pushing that rock, is what truly matters. It's about finding happiness in the struggle.

During our meetup, we shared stories about what makes life meaningful. Some said it's seeking truth, understanding how things work beyond just living and dying. Others found meaning in simply being alive, especially those facing health challenges. It was eye-opening.

When the same question popped to me, I answered that a meaningful life means bringing value to others, making someone's day better. And you know what clicked for me? It's being a good dad and husband. That's why I'm so focused on family—it's where I find purpose and motivation.

In my view, a meaningful life involves contributing to society and making a difference. However, if you believe that meaning comes from personal achievements, that's absolutely valid too. I'm just expressing my perspective on what gives life meaning. Studies consistently show that engaging in social service and giving back brings greater personal happiness. There's empirical evidence supporting the idea that, as a species, we find joy in giving.

So, here's the takeaway: Your life doesn't have to be just about you. It's okay if it is, but knowing why you wake up each morning, what drives you—that's key. Because if you're not aware of that, you might miss out on making a real difference in the world.

Want More?

·  This article discusses new studies which show that lending a hand to others isn't just for those who have already found their purpose. It turns out, helping others itself can bring the meaningfulness we're looking for in life.

·  This article explains that living a meaningful life is more about doing things that matter and giving you satisfaction and less about outcomes and what other people think.

·  This article suggests ways to live a meaningful life and explains ways to incorporate minimalism in life.

Reel of the Week

Check out our reel of the week. It's in the little things, like washing dishes side by side and allowing space for individual growth, that true love takes root. In the gentle embrace of sharing responsibilities and honoring each other's solitude, real love whispers its sweetest melodies.

The Weekly Vasl Podcast

Our Episode on Socializing without the pressure of being intoxicated! is out now! You can watch it below! Here, my microphone ventured into Arizona, USA where I dived into the fascinating journey of a young pharmaceutical doctor, Omar, as he shares his experience transitioning into expat life in the United States. Driven by a profound passion for science, Omar follows his father's footsteps into pharmacology but charts a different path by aiming for an industry role over academia. Originating from a comfortable upbringing in the Middle East, where chores were managed by assistance, Omar intentionally challenges himself by overcoming social introversion to pursue personal growth. Now navigating student life in the USA, Omar adeptly handles the responsibilities of single living, balancing chores, academics, and building new connections. Reflecting on his religious background, Omar expresses gratitude for his father's guidance and the freedom to make personal choices. As he delves deeper into understanding his parents' efforts in maintaining a balanced family structure, he develops a profound appreciation for family values, recognizing their unique significance in the cultural landscape of the United States.

We also are on Spotify, Apple, Google, and wherever you listen!

Meetup

The upcoming meetup will be a quick roundtable preview where we'll discuss the format in a fast-paced manner. We aim to demonstrate how a roundtable operates through an in-person example and highlight its benefits. I encourage anyone interested to join us; the link will be live soon. Additionally, you can become part of this Meetup group to access the event online.

During the preview, we'll explore the roundtable concept by inviting everyone to share an obstacle they're facing. Together, we'll brainstorm and work through potential solutions. This sneak peek will give you a glimpse of what to expect at the actual roundtable event.

The Round Table

I am excited to introduce the Round Table at Vasl.

Here, you have the opportunity to join a group for the upcoming quarter. Together, we will determine your quarterly goals and form a cohesive group centered around shared themes. You will get a chance to learn about 12 agile principals in 12 weeks that will help you get closer to reaching your goals. While I aim for a certain level of similarity to facilitate cohesive discussions, I also appreciate the value of diverse experiences. The goal is to create a supportive environment where learning from varied perspectives is encouraged.

We are opening eight seats for this group where I will act as the facilitator. Throughout the journey, you'll be backed by your fellow peers, have access to shared resources and as I tend to introduce shared Notion Space where we can all collaborate and exchange resources. If this opportunity resonates with you, you can sign up now using the following the link.

Please note that this commitment is non-binding initially. You will first fill out a form, and we will assess if we are a match. Once we think you are a match, you will be officially sent an invitation.

However, I must stress that there are limited seats available—only six to eight seats. So act quick to secure a spot in this cohort, as we wouldn't want you to miss out on this opportunity. The upcoming cohort will commence at the beginning of the year, with the following cohort scheduled for March 2024.

I look forward to welcoming you to the Round Table and witnessing the positive impact it will have on your personal and professional growth.

Thoughts to Leave You With

This story makes us think about the meaning of life. It shows that making a difference in society is crucial for living a meaningful life. It's important to know what makes YOUR life meaningful. You've got to understand why you do the things you do. It's not just about you, there's more to life. But hey, if you think your life is all about you, that's okay too, as long as you're aware of why you get up in the morning and what gives you that morning motivation.

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