From ancient philosophers to modern day psychologists having a sense of personal meaning has long been identified as a prerequisite to survival. Socrates claimed that we are beings in search of meaning. More recently, a leader of the positive psychology movement, Martin Seligman, explained that the meaningful life focuses on the strengths of an individual and how they use their strengths to impact more than just their own life, but also the lives of others. Perhaps Viktor Frankl described the power of meaning best when he explained that finding meaning allows a person the ability to deal with both happiness and sadness more effectively.
During these uncertain times, focusing on what brings meaning to your life is essential to help you survive and thrive. The Meaning-Centered Leadership paradigm provides a roadmap for the process of focusing on your why, your purpose, ultimately those things which bring meaning into your life.
Engagement is the first element of the M-CL paradigm. It is also an area that requires greater effort than ever before. If you are working from home, sheltering, or behind a mask and social distancing, the disconnect from others can seem insufferable. However, by focusing on the actions that build engagement you can take positive action to overcome the rampant disconnect in our pandemic present.
Start with focusing on the trusted relationships in your life and connect with those people. Spend some time asking them questions and listening intently to their responses. Let those people who have become distanced from you know that you care. These simple actions can build your engagement with others and allow you to gain meaning from the positive impact you bring to those that matter to you.
Empowerment, the second element of the M-CL paradigm offers three steps you can take to focus on creating deeper meaning each and every day.
First, focus on your personal vision. What is your purpose, your why? If you can’t readily answer those questions consider spending time developing a personal vision statement. Let that statement guide your day to day actions.
To avoid hyper focusing on the fears associated with this pandemic, stay present. Focus on what you can do today that aligns with the action plan within your vision statement. Maintain your enthusiasm and excitement by employing an attitude of gratitude. This may seem especially tough when you are possibly dealing with a myriad of losses associated with the pandemic. Gratitude has the power to let you focus and build on what is best in your life.
Expertise, the third and final element of the M-CL paradigm offers several active steps you can take to build personal meaning and help you focus on a post pandemic future, while you maximize your potential in the troubling present.
The M-CL definition of wisdom is “experience grounded by principles.” To identify and connect with the important principles that guide you, consider developing a core values statement. Identify the values that guide your life and your actions. Focusing on your values can help you develop an unflinching resolve to always pursue the course that is meaningful to you.
Maintain an optimistic outlook. With all the negative headlines, division, and politicizing of information this can seem like a daunting task. Positive future-casting can help you focus on current challenges by looking towards positive outcomes in the post pandemic future.
Lastly, focus on self-development. Having the humility to understand that our learning in life is a constant undertaking can help you focus on building skills for the future while enriching your present.
For more on how the power of meaning can positively impact your life, use the contact link on this page to connect with us.