4 Things That Make for a Successful and Meaningful Life

Published: Jan 31, 2022

I turned 60 this past year and I am just now feeling that I am acquiring some wisdom— not a ton, mind you, but I know some things now. I think as we get older, we question our lives, what we’ve done, and what we’ve failed to do. Speaking for myself, I have questioned, “What is success?” Think about that—so many definitions of what it means to be successful. Ruminating over this question, I came up with 4 criterion that I think one must have or do to be happy, content, and live a good life. You may differ on this— and that’s okay— these are mine.

  1. I start with this one because it should be first. Love in three directions: 1) Love for yourself in the form of self-respect and wanting good things for you. Not arrogance or conceit but knowing you should first be good to YOU. 2) Love you feel for others—a deep, unwavering love. 3) And finally, love others have for you. This is not automatic either. You must be worthy of being loved. If you have this trifecta, you are on your way to a good life.
  2. I think you need to see as much of the world as you can. Getting out there gives you perspective. It opens both your heart and your mind to a whole world beyond you. You are but one drop in a sea of cultures and people and beauty. One has to see it. You will be different as a result.
  3. Meaningful Work. This of course will vary from person to person. Work is good. We all need something to do and if we can employ our talents in that work, we’ve won. You know what I’m talking about if you’ve ever done a job that did not challenge you, where you were simply marking time, bored and empty. Work that serves others brings fulfilment and purpose. You must be brave and seek this. The path of least resistance will not get you there.
  4. We all get what we get in this arena, but we also have a say in our own personal health. Everything is better when we can move. Often defined as the first wealth, our health allows everything else to happen. Being as healthy as you can be with what you’ve been given. Again, the path of least resistance will not get you there.

I came up with these 4 many years ago and over the years, they still hold true. Some of these occasionally ebb and we have to reevaluate and recommit to get our ship back on course to a wonderful life. Are you sailing in the right direction?