Posts Tagged ‘Meaning’

worthwhileIf you’re like me, you do a lot of different things throughout the day. Some you do out of habit without thinking. Others you do because you must. Yet others you choose to do because you find great joy, comfort or satisfaction in them. Then there are some moments that happen unexpectedly because of what others do that affect you.

As I reflect on what tends to bring the greatest satisfaction to my days, it is usually the smaller, simpler moments – unplanned, unexpected and serendipitous – that are more meaningful. Most of our days, though, are focused on the big, time-consuming aspects of work or other ongoing, major responsibilities. If we aren’t careful, we may miss the smaller and potentially more significant moments.

For example, here are some moments that have made a few of my recent days meaningful and memorable:

  • My 2.5-year-old granddaughter feeding me a tiny piece of a French fry she dipped in ketchup;
  • Getting an email from a colleague saying that my blog post on reconciliation motivated him to take action to repair a relationship with a family member;
  • Hearing a funny story from my Dad on the phone;
  • Being told by a colleague in the midst of changing jobs that another recent blog post about taking chances helped her in the days surrounding that change.

As I look at the above list, none of the meaningful moments directly deal with the work I spend 10 hours a day performing. None are connected with anything I’m paid to do. Rather, they relate to relationships and/or making a positive difference in the lives of others. I didn’t plan any of them – they all happened at the initiative of someone else. I may have played some role in the chain of events that led to the moments, but the meaningful moments themselves were handed to me by others.

My fear is this – that I will be so consumed some days with the big blocks of time-consuming, planned activities that I either don’t allow time for the simple, meaningful moments like those above, or that in my rush of activity I will miss them.

A reminder to myself and anyone else who may need to hear it: make room and time in your life for what brings meaning to your days. Remember that success as the world defines it and true significance may be (and probably are) very different realities.

Know what makes your days worthwhile.