How To Live A More Meaningful Life

February 13, 2013 — 22 Comments
How To Live A More Meaningful Life | Joseph Lalonde

At one point or another we all struggle to determine what makes our life meaningful.

Is it a fancy car? The biggest home we can afford? Or the prettiest wife on our arm?

In the end, those things won’t leave you feeling fulfilled and satisfied. Chasing after these trivial matters will leave you wishing you lived a more meaningful life.

But I know something that will.

The Problem

Most people go through life following the flow. They have no plans or goals. They’re willing to go where life takes them.

They could care less.

And there’s the problem. When people stop caring, they stop living a meaningful life.

I was one of those people for quite some time.

I’d decided I wasn’t going to care about life. I’d take it as it came. There would be no chance for disappointment.

And there was very little disappointment during that period in life.

I won’t lie, life was a lot easier but it also took out much of the meaning. There always felt like something was missing.

Eventually I came upon the truth that without care, there was little meaning to life.

Then I began to look at those who were enjoying life and making a difference. There was a difference.

They cared about a cause. They cared what happened in the world. They just cared.

I feel this is one of the keys to living a meaningful life. Discovering a cause to chase after. A cause to fight for.

One of the seven deadly capital or deadly sins is acedia. Translated “sloth” it sounds to some ears more ridiculous than sinful, but acedia has in it something worse than idleness or laziness. It signifies the “state of not caring,” a state whose lineaments have been most horrifyingly drawn by Dostoyevsky.
— James L. Jarrett

Why?

When you begin to care about a cause or a person or a mission, something changes within you.

You begin to feel invigorated. There comes a clarity in your life. Doors begin to open and you’re willing to step through.

Caring brings about a sense of being. It increases your sense of existence.

This is why you need to care!

What You Can Do About It

It’s simple to begin caring.

Look around your city. Begin to notice the nuances of the city that bother you.

What are they?

Is it the homeless population? Maybe it’s the kids without fathers. Or could it be the lack of attention you’ve paid to your family?

Whatever it is that catches your attention, choose to step forward and take action.

Discover ways to get involved in helping the homeless. Spend time with the fatherless. Invest your time with your family.

It’ll require a sacrifice of other things. And it might not be easy.

Yet when you open yourself up to the opportunity to care you’ll begin to feel again. You’ll feel like you’re living.

And your life will never be the same.

Question: What do you care about? Are you willing to take action? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

    I care about the people who live in the village of Xenacoj, a small community in Guatemala.  I’m taking action by returning their with my family this summer, and I’m also trying to impact this community through pointed projects supported through my blogging community.  Last year, we built a house.  This year, I’m hoping to feed as many kids as possible through a feeding program.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      We can tell that Jon. Through your blog posts and the life you live. It’s a great care to have. You’re making an impact and doing great work. Keep it up.

  • http://deuceology.wordpress.com Larry Carter

    It seems that my life is in the process of being “wrecked” a bit, so what I care about is in flux. I care, now, more about helping folks than any other time of my l

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Life wrecking is happening more and more lately. It’s definitely one way to discover what we really care about.

  • http://sparkvoice.wordpress.com/ DS

    I care about impacting people in a positive way – through words, deeds, presence, and action.  I’ve been taking action by broadening my sphere of influence and trying to be a positive example.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      DS, that’s great. Our words and actions can have a profound impact on others. Keep caring and giving and there will be results!

      • http://sparkvoice.wordpress.com/ DS

        Thanks for that positive feedback :)

  • http://twitter.com/LeadingEveryday Juan Cruz Jr

    I care about children going hungry around the world. It bothers me that in a world that has so much abundance we still have children, and men and women, that go to sleep without a meal. I am willing to take action. I’ve given monetarily, been to in-country missions trip. I am looking to do more. 

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      That’s wonderful Juan. I’m with you, it’s truly amazing how people can go hungry when there’s so much abundance in the world. Can’t wait to see the lives you’ll have affected by giving of your time, energy, and money. 

  • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

    Good post, Joe.  I care about people who have suffered abuse as children, and people who deal with mental illness.  I’m using my writing to try to reach out to others and dispel some of the myths that live around these topics.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Thanks Dan. Those are awesome people to care about. Often they’re the most neglected as well. I hope you’re seeing great results!

  • http://www.leadtoimpact.com/ Bernard Haynes

    I care about encouraging, equipping and empowering people to live their God-designed vision. I also care about empowering men to become who God created them to be.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      All of those are great Bernard! How are you doing this in the life of others?

      • http://www.leadtoimpact.com/ Bernard Haynes

         I facilitate a workshop in a maximum security prison for about 30 inmates. I have done this for the last 4 years. I do workshops for a Headstart program that empowers the fathers. My wife and I facilitate a premarital class and we counsel couples with living their marriage purpose and vision. I facilitate seminars for young people on goal setting and vision discovery. I have a few more things in the works.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TPCZKWKBQW2BTKKXTXQ5P4N64I David

    I care about the impoverished  and disenfranchised both locally and abroad. I support both monetarily by donating to one of our local (Seattle area) rescue missions and one of our regional (Northwest) international aid organizations. Although I know I need to do more. Like Larry, I’m kind of in the process of being “wrecked” and hope as I work through this season I get an idea of just what that “more” should be.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Fantastic David. Keep helping those who need it.

  • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

    Great post and thoughts. What we care about must move us to action. My desire is to help and add value to others by writing and teaching on leadership. 

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Great Dan! 

  • http://www.mondayisgood.com/ Tom Dixon

    I care that there are way too many people out there who feel trapped in jobs they don’t love. Economically, everyone is better off when everyone is doing what they are best at… 

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      That’s a true reality and it’s great someone is caring about those people. Living in a job you hate is no fun at all. How are you helping those who are stuck in this position?

      • http://www.mondayisgood.com/ Tom Dixon

        I offer career coaching to get people out of those situations. It is great to serve people, especially in relation to their work.

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