Monday, December 06, 2021 | Jumada al-ula 1, 1443 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Can we understand the meaning of life?

Sometimes people come and ask questions hoping to understand what life is all about. Some assertively live their lives and others always trying to figure out why they do what they do. I think to make your dreams come true, it is better to find the meaning of your life.


People who think they know the meaning of their lives have greater well-being than those who don’t. Interestingly, this was associated with fewer symptoms of depression and a higher positive impact.


If you haven't found yet the meaning of your life, how can you search for it without searching too much? Maybe you can do this more effectively — and without too much obsession — by evaluating your life in three dimensions from a psychological point of view.


Here you will need first of all to realize that events fit together. To say it in simpler terms, this is understanding that things happen in your life for a reason. This doesn't necessarily mean that you can fit new developments into your novel as they happen, but you are usually able to do so afterwards, so have faith that you will eventually.


Moreover, think about the purpose as the second dimension of your life. Definitely, you need to believe that you are alive to do something. More importantly, when we look to the significance as another value or dimension in our life, that feeling that our life matters. You can think of these three dimensions as macronutrients: the elements we need for a balanced, healthy sense of life's meaning.


For instance, if you tell me you've just changed your eating habits and aren't feeling well, I'll ask your nutritional profile — whether you're consuming enough fat, proteins and carbohydrates, and in the right balance. Likewise, feeling that your life lacks meaning should raise the question of whether you have a deficit of coherence, purpose, or significance. Ask yourself these questions: Do you feel out of control — fluctuating through life with no rhyme or reason? Do you lack big plans and dreams for your future that excite you? Do you feel that it doesn't matter if you disappear, as if the world wouldn't be any worse (or perhaps better) if you did?


In end, each of us must decide whether we believe that this is true about our lives. The irony of the untestable premise is that even if we strive, we can never be sure that we have found what is true about life. But one thing is certain: we won't find anything unless we look.


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Dr Yousuf Ali Al Mulla is a physician, medical innovator and writer.


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