Creating a “meaningful life”…. meaning, structure and community

Some potentially positive components of a meaningful life…
meaning…structure…community

living with a sense of personal meaning and purpose,
creating a positive structure for one’s time, activities and interactions
developing an engaged community with others

meaning…structure…community
creating each individually
leading to a workable, harmonious flow among them

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I made that page a few years ago and have it on a white board…right here beside my computer… an inspiration for, and reminder about, some potential components of  “a meaningful life.”  (I remember seeing these 3 criteria in a book I had read, but I can’t remember which book..and  I can’t find the book  by googling the terms)

Now that I’m not working and don’t have that strong sense of  external  meaning, structure and community, I’m reflecting more on each quality…what each one might mean to me, given my own interests, strengths and potentials…and how to develop each of those  in my “re-wired” life…

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Perhaps some of this reflecting and pondering might be a springboard for others, too?
and so I’ll share what I’m creating…
A few ideas that resonate with me
about accessing my sense of  personal meaning

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And structure…. apparently, people do better with some relevant sense of structure…for our time, activities, interactions…all of us different as far as how much, or little, structure we need…to find an appropriate type and level of structure that works for each one of us.

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A sense of structure that seems to resonate with me…

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And creating a sense of community… appropriate to each person’s level of satisfying interaction…

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some people like more sociability, others less….
some people thrive on more intense interactions, others more casual or light…
some people prefer structured group activities, others more flexible or individual…
reflecting, observing and figuring out
what works for oneself…

A few ideas that resonate with me…
creating flexible, meaningful communities

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And so…
reflecting, observing, understanding
what each component means to each of us
learning how to develop each of those  and  how to combine them harmoniously
meaning…structure….community

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Sometimes…well truthfully….OFTEN….. I find it helpful to continue to “play” with ideas I’m trying to learn or “get”….yesterday I found an intriguing online site called “Gliffy” …for creating flow charts, Venn diagrams …

I signed up and spent a few hours learning how to create a Venn Diagram with these ideas…actually, I created the Venn Diagram first…a great way to access and organize ideas…and THEN used those ideas to  create the last three charts above….

I still can’t find the original jpg/photos of the charts in my files…I have no ideas where THEY  saved THEMSELVES and can’t find them….and seem to have used a mistaken password when in the site…so here’s what I CAN access of that “missing” Venn Diagram… a bit blurry…providing more clarity, in my own mind,  as I  think about these ideas.

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Strangely enough…yesterday morning, just as I completed that Venn Diagram and other pages, I got a phone call from a former colleague…offering me a job for as few, or many, hours per week as I would like…teaching adults who are struggling with reading or math… adults who want to go back and get their high school diplomas….Marie, from Love is the Answer, (and author of “Beyond Inspiration” ) and I call that “woo woo stuff”…. synchronicity…. wooooo… really, kind of remarkable!  (I told the friend that I’d think more about that idea of working….reflecting and pondering is good )

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For those who might not be familiar with Venn Diagrams…there are separate circles for each concept, and then the overlap areas for what they have in common. That center area shows how the 3 ideas flow together…

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a vision for creating a “meaningful life”
each of us creating our own vision
a unique and meaningful vision that resonates with each of us

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About Pocket Perspectives

A blog about shifting perspectives...
This entry was posted in Encouragement, Life, Motivation and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Creating a “meaningful life”…. meaning, structure and community

  1. I love how you’ve developed this. These are three crucial pieces to a life of wellness and wholeness. I’m going to play with these three words and see what truths emerge for me. thank you, once again, for sharing your wisdom in such an insightful way.

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  2. nrhatch says:

    Love the synchronicity of that phone call, Kathy. The Universe is amazing that way! Work does tend to provide us with Meaning, Structure, and Community . . . but I still prefer “not working.” 😉

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    • Isn’t synchronicity amazing? I’d only “work” if I didn’t consider it “work”…. teaching isn’t like work…if it’s the “right kind” of teaching, it’s fun and satisfying….but, having freedom from work/job is remarkable!

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  3. Hey, Kathy. This is a great post for me/you. I’m finding that I don’t have a problem (yet) with structure in my day. So far, I’ve filled my plate with volunteering and lunching with friends. My structure alarm comes from exercise class in the morning and then I just go from there.

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    • That’s wonderful that you’re so busy and engaged! I’m enjoying myself too…but am thinking that I’d like to “create” more sense of meaning and purpose…that’s also enjoyable. I’ve been reading a book with lots of insightful ideas…”What Color Is Your Parachute For Retirement” by Richard Bolles and John Nelson. There are good chapters about different levels of satisfying “retirements,” identifying and using one’s “strengths” and nurturing various types of friendships and social relationships…lots of good insights. I’m so happy that you’re enjoying yourself!

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  4. hugmamma says:

    You get back…what you give away. And you, my friend, are always generously giving of yourself. So you’re deserving of all the good things that happen your way…including venn diagrams. 🙂

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  5. sufilight says:

    This really amazing! It IS woo-woo that you got offered that job while learning new programs that requires mathematical abilities, and your focus was on structure. 🙂

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    • Isn’t that something? And yes…that’s an interesting overlap too…structure of the diagrams and structure in my everyday life…even more synchronicity than I had noticed… thanks for pointing that out…life amazes me!
      (ps…I added 3 more “pages” to the bottom of the “accessing motivation” post…after reading your comment there…some pages with ideas you might find interesting or helpful… as we develop patience and persistence in adding “meaning” to our lives…those pages helped me, so maybe they might be helpful to someone else…)

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  6. sufilight says:

    Kathy, Thanks! I just finished printing all of the charts. Also, thank you for adding a link to my blog and mentioning my book. 🙂 I am willing to let go impatience and be persistent so your ideas do help me.

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  7. Robin says:

    Congrats on the job offer! I did that for a while. It’s very rewarding. And fun. 🙂

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    • I was tempted, but decided to “let the dust settle” for a few more months before I make any decisions….taking some more time for quiet reflection and exploration. But I would like to try some teaching with adults, at some point. That’s great to hear that you found it both rewards AND fun…sounds good to me!

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