Every Day can be Meaningful

“Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day.”
14th Dalai Lama

Our lives have been filled with countless activities and interactions, all of them joyful, challenging or somewhere in between. We’ve enjoyed so many wonderful things and people. Can you even begin to count how many joyful experiences you’ve had in your life? Likewise, we’ve all experienced pain and suffering from a wide variety of activities and people. Can we even remember a small portion of them all? Our lives are filled with accomplishments and failures, joys and sorrows, as well as the gain and loss of dear friends and family. When we are sad, all of our past accomplishments seem to fade away from any recognition at all. When we’re joyful, all of our previous sadness and hardships are no longer present in our mind.

If we live our lives simply trying to accumulate as many pleasurable experiences possible while trying to avoid the difficult ones at all costs, our lives will be a roller coaster of emotions fully dependent upon our outside circumstances. While it is healthy and natural to seek pleasure and avoid suffering in our lives, it is important to remember that the source of our inner peace and genuine happiness comes from living a meaningful life in alignment with our values. If we understand this, the pleasurable experiences become that much richer and the challenging ones provide us with growth and integrity.

This day will never come again and every day is an opportunity to live a meaningful life. Unfortunately, it is easy to forget the simple truth in the busyness of our lives as we continuously seek one pleasurable experience after another. To make our days and our lives meaningful, we need to bring our attention and intention into our daily activities. If we can do this, literally every action we engage in can be an opportunity to improve ourselves or the world we live in. Even a simple activity such as giving a tip at a restaurant can be transformed into a meaningful event. Instead of simply figuring out the expected percentage, we can give the tip with the motivation that this money helps the server meet their needs, feed their children or helps them with their education. The challenges that arise in our day offer us opportunities to develop patience, wisdom and character. The joys we experience can be shared with others. Even the chores we do provide us with the opportunity to engage in the life that we are so fortunate to have.

As our days come and go, do we truly recognize their value? As our friends and loved ones come and go, do we recognize their value? Do they know how much we value them? If we lived each day as though it may be our last, what would truly be important to us? Every day is a rare and precious gift that will never come again. Each are filled with opportunities and challenges that allow us to improve ourselves and the world around us. The key is to remember the transient nature of the circumstances of our lives as well as the genuine happiness that arises from living a meaningful life. – John Bruna, November 17, 2015.

MLP Community 1The above is a an excerpt from one the daily emails sent to the members of the Mindful Life Community. I invite you to explore our community and consider joining.

Copyright © 2016 John Bruna. All rights reserved.

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