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Your Result

Deepen your sense of purpose through a regular practice of reflection

To be happier, consider a habit that will deepen your sense of purpose through a regular practice of reflection.

Why this aim is likely to make you happier

A sense of purpose is an important part of a happy life. We’re happier when we know we’re contributing to something larger than ourselves, that we have a positive impact on the people around us, that we’re enacting our values in the world. We’re also happier when we stop to reflect on transcendent matters, which for many people includes making time for spiritual readings, prayer, and practices.

Understanding what our values are, and ensuring that our actions align with those values, require regular reflection. This aim can help foster feelings of gratitude, strengthen our sense of identity and community, and give us perspective during tough times. 

Aims you might consider

Meditate daily—consider guided meditations if you’re a beginner

Start your day by setting an intention—you might write it in a one-sentence journal, or on a sticky note to keep with you

Set aside time every week to read the work of a spiritual teacher you’d like to emulate or learn more about

Choose a value you’d like to cultivate, and make a list of specific actions that reflect that value. At the end of each day, reflect on how you embodied that value

Keep a daily journal—write down your thoughts, what you’re grateful for, a passage or quote you’re reflecting on

Know Yourself Better

Self-knowledge is an essential aspect of happiness, because we can create a happy life only on the foundation of our own nature, our own values, and our own interests. 

As you consider ways to deepen your sense of purpose through a regular practice of reflection​, ask yourself:

  • Who is your spiritual teacher or a role model you’d like to emulate?
  • What qualities do you admire in other people?
  • What activities or roles give you a sense of purpose?

A few notes of caution…

  • A spiritual teacher doesn’t have to be a religious figure—pay attention to qualities you admire that you’d like to cultivate in yourself, and how that person displayed those qualities in the way they lived their life. It might be a family member, teacher, writer, philosopher, or historical figure.

  • Lower the bar. You might feel like the ultimate goal is long periods of meditation, hours of deep spiritual reading, or lifelong dedication to a cause, but for many of us that’s not realistic. A small action is better than no action at all.