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Thus, the greater each of the meaning components for any given person or society, the greater the overall meaning for that person or society.Emily Esfahani Smith helped clarify questions of meaning.These purposes make up that which we call “the meaning of life” or meaning for short.
She observed “a growing new movement, one that is fundamentally reshaping our understanding of the good life.” Her research shows that the search for greater meaning is far more fulfilling than the pursuit of personal happiness.” Like so many who write on the topic of meaning in life, she strongly advocates doing things for others as the best route toward meaning and contentment with life.
Her last chapter tackles the challenge of finding meaning in retirement.
In particular, caring about and for others, when done without duress, frees us from meaninglessness more than any other human pastime.
People interacting together come up with shared values and beliefs that help each individual choose and pursue one or more purposes for living.
Thus, their beliefs and values initially weigh more than our own.
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We look to others even for answers to questions like: What do I want to be when I grow up?
The key is to be spiritually grounded while serving others and to avoid the trap of self-centeredness.
Mindfulness is a practice of being fully in the here and now.
Spirituality can occur with or without religious beliefs and rituals.
Gerontologist Robert Atchley promotes the idea that “among elders, service to others can be a spiritual experience.” His premise is based upon the reality that service stems from the impulse to care.