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How to live have a meaningful life?  

Posts: 2
Joined: 5 months ago

Good morning, 

so far I have already experienced, that the learning curve of humans are widely different. I would categorize them into roughly 3 groups.

     The first is super driven, learning a lot, and realizing in their 20's that they only have one life to live.

     The second live their lifes and do not follow/have their personal passion until they realize in their 30's/40's "Oh, I missed a lot".

     The third one does not realize what to live until they die. All the time working for others, not having any meaning in their life or changing things.


What is your opinion on that and how can I set myself as good as I can in the first category I mentioned?

In general, how to live a meaningful life?


Thanks for your advice!

2 Replies
Austin Denison
Posts: 2
 Austin Denison
(@Austin Denison)
Joined: 5 months ago

Hi, Rokselle!


My name is Austin Denison, I'm a Change Management Consultant, Life-Coach, and author. Believe it or not, one of the books I've written is called The Potential Dichotomy: The Philosophy of a Fulfilling Life. I wrote it in hopes of inspiring others and I'll pull from it to answer your question.


Essentially, What I've found is that, in life, we have only 3 resources available to us in order to actualize ourselves and our potential. These resources become the building blocks upon physics, science, and philosophy. They are what I call "primary" resources because all other things we do is just a blend of these 3 primary resources. They are 1) Energy 2) Time, and 3) Conscious Direction.

Energy: Is finite, cannot be created or destroyed.

Time: Infinite, but cannot be stopped, and we, as humans, don't have much of it.

Conscious Direction: your ability to choose where your energy and time go.


Energy is separated into 3 parts, It is your job to focus on these three parts and create a balance within your life that becomes meaningful to you. Energy is separated into...

1. Physical Energy: The ability to act without tiring.

2. Spiritual Energy: The ability to believe without appealing to the senses. and...

3. Emotional Energy: The ability to love without condition.

The key to physical energy is exercise and a healthy diet. The key to spiritual energy is faith. And the key to emotional energy is in practicing constant gratitude.


Time is interesting. Time is a fabricated concept by humans, but nonetheless, exists in a sense. You can use it as a tool to measure the quality of your livelihood through relative time (that is, whether time seems to be moving slowly, fast, or other). You can also use the time to focus only on what is most important to you as a person. That is what I call your Conscious Direction.


Conscious Direction is your ability to focus only on what matters most to you. By doing that, you create a life surrounding you that is full of things that are valuable, worthy of time and energy, and make the biggest difference towards your livelihood.


In all honesty, most people who I see making big strides in their life recognize the inevitability of their own mortality. Knowing that you have just one life to live is often enough to stir a fire underneath someone. The biggest question is whether or not that fire is hot enough to get you to overcome your fears of rejection, failure, success, and whatnot to overcome them.

Notice that these three resources create the foundation of understanding mortality, and our ability to change our lives. For example, limited energy, and limited time mean that, theoretically, we can view time as a function of our potential energy. Humans can be seen as batteries, eventually, we won't be able to hold a charge.

The best thing you can do to live a fulfilling life is to focus your resources (energy, time, and conscious direction) on your own values. Living without a strong sense of values is often a recipe for guilt, burden, and the general sense of worthlessness that many encounter today. 

I would suggest that you layout your values very clearly and remind yourself constantly to live a life in line with those values and goals!

Hope I helped you!

-Austin Denison

(Denison Success Systems)

Posts: 18
Senior Consultant
Joined: 7 months ago


I love that you asked this question here. I'm a leadership scholar, and over the past few years I have been working on this area of meaningfulness and spirituality as it relates to the workplace. Meaningfulness and spirituality have both been described in so many different ways (and ultimately the definition truly resides within the individual in relation to his or her values and goals. So in my initial breakout paper on the topic, published in Leadership Quarterly (the top leadership publication globally), I started the paper by reviewing years and years of existing research on spiritual growth and development, to arrive at a three-pronged categorization of what spirituality is. I purposefully considered it in a multi-denominational/nondenominational way so that it wasn't biased as much work in this area is by one viewpoint or theology over others. Ultimately, it serves to provide a useful framework that can be used by anyone or any organization that wants to engage or promote meaningfulness and spiritual development at work, regardless of the approach or philosophy. In the context of an organization, this review suggested spiritual development requires three categories of support: (1) opportunities to engage in meaningful work, (2) promoting one's inner-life journey, and (3) providing a context of connectedness. Beyond the initial review that arrived at these three facets of spiritual support, I went on to develop a framework for spiritual development that has become widely cited by leading scholars in the area. It's a model whereby spiritual development is best fostered at the dyadic (one-on-one) level more so than through broader organizational or social initiatives. It accounts for mutuality in the relationship, and suggests that one's spiritual journey (journey toward meaningfulness) through work should be co-created by the individual engaged on the journey and a trusted other who serves in a mentoring capacity. This concept of co-creation and mutuality has begun a stream of research on best practices for approaching mentoring and developmental relationships in the workplace. I've attached a copy of my article, but in the event that it's too large of an attachment for this forum, you may either find a copy at the link above, or, if it's asking you to pay for it, just shoot me an email and I can send it to you along with my more recent article on mutuality in role modeling relationships - this second article is not touching on meaningfulness itself, but rather an approach to mentoring/role modeling based on the degree to which the learner/developer/mentee is self-aware and has a strong sense of identity.


Frankie J. Weinberg, MBA, Ph.D.
Distinguished Associate Professor of Management and
CEO and Founding Member, Leading Consultation International, LLC


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