Finding Meaning in Everyday Life: Cultivating Happiness and Growth

Lucas Charbonnier

Hatched by Lucas Charbonnier

Oct 18, 2023

4 min read


Finding Meaning in Everyday Life: Cultivating Happiness and Growth

We have all experienced those moments of intense happiness - whether during a trip, a meditation retreat, a yoga workshop, or any other occasion. These moments can be characterized by a deep sense of connection with the universe, inner harmony, unconditional love, self-acceptance, or profound relationships with others. However, one common thread among these diverse experiences is that they are temporary. We often struggle to accept the return to our everyday lives, which may seem dull and uninspiring compared to the profound happiness we have just experienced.

The challenge lies in moving beyond this initial resistance and embracing the everyday. We must learn to let go and continue our daily lives, enriched by our experiences and cultivating gratitude for having lived them, without becoming attached or constantly yearning to relive those special moments. While some transformative experiences may lead us to make significant changes in our lives, we inevitably have to return to our daily routines. However, there is a risk of devaluing our everyday lives, believing that they lack significance because they are not as intense as those extraordinary moments. This mindset can hinder our progress and personal growth.

Renowned spiritual teacher Arnaud Desjardins once said, "We do not progress despite the difficulties of everyday life, but because of them." He compared the challenges of life to steps on a staircase - they may appear to be obstacles preventing us from reaching the next level, but in reality, they are the very means to get there. While significant experiences may give us a glimpse of what lies ahead, it is only through our daily lives that we can actually progress. Our everyday lives provide us with opportunities to put into practice what we have perceived and received.

For instance, if you have experienced a time when you felt profound love for all of humanity, it is through the daily practice of this love with your partner, family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors that you can continue and manifest this experience in reality. This ensures that you do not become disillusioned with yourself. It is important to be mindful of our egos, which often try to claim ownership over our spiritual experiences, even the most profound ones. Our ego may say, "I am important, and my abilities allowed me to have this experience or will make it last," rather than acknowledging the external forces at play. The stronger the experience, the more vigilant we must be in not allowing our ego to appropriate it and deprive us of its fruits.

After a transformative experience, it is crucial to first turn inward and listen to our inner being, the Life within us, regardless of the name we give it. Only then can we act from what has been touched and transformed within us through this communion with Life. In practical terms, it is beneficial to deepen this experience within our inner selves and let it naturally translate into our daily lives, gradually and organically. By doing so, we can discover what this deepening and embodiment inspire us to do.

Combining the insights from both the Yogi Planet and Major Prépa articles, we can draw parallels between finding meaning in everyday life and preparing for mathematics exams. Just as with life, success in mathematics requires a balance between appreciating transformative experiences (learning new concepts and solving challenging problems) and embracing the everyday (practicing and reviewing foundational knowledge).

Here are three actionable pieces of advice to help cultivate happiness and growth in everyday life:

  • 1. Embrace the Ordinary: Instead of constantly seeking extraordinary experiences, learn to find beauty and meaning in the mundane. Practice gratitude for the simple joys and small victories that occur in your daily life. By doing so, you can shift your perspective and find fulfillment in the present moment.
  • 2. Apply What You Learn: Similar to the importance of applying mathematical concepts in problem-solving, integrate the insights and lessons from transformative experiences into your everyday interactions. Whether it's practicing kindness, empathy, or self-love, consciously apply these teachings to foster personal growth and positive change.
  • 3. Reflect and Review: Just as revisiting past exam questions can reinforce mathematical knowledge, take time to reflect on your experiences and review the lessons learned. Regular self-reflection allows you to assess your progress, identify areas for improvement, and continue growing.

In conclusion, finding meaning in everyday life is about recognizing the value of both transformative experiences and the routines of our daily lives. By embracing the ordinary, applying what we learn, and engaging in regular reflection, we can cultivate happiness, personal growth, and fulfillment in our journey through life. Remember, it is through the challenges and joys of everyday life that we truly progress and evolve.

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