We are in constant pursuit of happiness. And, hopefully more often than not, we grasp it. A good chat with a friend, savoring a favorite meal, a vigorous workout can all bring on happiness. But as an emotional state, happiness is subjective, experiential – and ephemeral. More sustaining and a better indicator of satisfaction with life, research shows, is purpose or meaning.


You’ve heard about the school janitor who found greater meaning in his daily work. Above the drudge of cleaning toilets and properly separating recyclables and trash, this janitor saw his purpose as providing a healthy and safe environment for the kids at his school. Our work may be joyless, but we persist knowing its greater purpose. Stop and consider: What is the meaning in your work?


There’s more to life than being happy (The Atlantic, Jan 9, 2013) explores the relationship between happiness and meaning: “…meaning transcends the self while happiness is all about giving the self what it wants.”


“But happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue. One must have a reason to 'be happy.'" Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning, which appears on the Library of Congress and Book of the Month Club's list of 10 most influential books.


In the October issue of Mindful Magazine, Simple Intentions founder Jae Ellard explores a different topic, hedging, in "The Power of No." Read how to recognize and break the cycle of saying "yes" when your answer is really "not now."

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