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What is Your Meaning?

Katherine Hayden (Junior, featured on the left)

Time. There is never enough of it. It seems like today we are trying to do more in less time than has ever been done before. And because many of us have become successful in this, we place an expectation on ourselves to achieve just as much if not more than the person next to us. We have to be more innovative than the first round of millennials, but less “lazy” and more hard working like our parents generation. All to get the right opportunities in order to network with the right people so one day we’ll get a good paying job that we love while, at some point along the way, find someone to share our lives with and possibly raise a family with. We have to do it all or else someone else will take the success we all strive for. But it is not just success that this common end goal entails, its happiness too.

I recently watched a very interesting Ted Talk given by Emily Esfahani Smith titled, “There’s more to life than being happy.” In it she explained that while happiness is important, it is not what gets us through the inevitable hard times—having a meaning or purpose to life does. It is less about a list of achievements we’ve acquired and more about what we give. Giving ensues grit. Grit to work hard without realizing it because it intern gives you a reason to get up in the morning. While meaning is not limited, time is.

I personally have always had an issue managing my time. There is so much I want to do but there is never enough time to do it all. For me, all striving for this has lead to is stress and a disappointment in myself because I didn’t achieve to the level I aimed for. While it is still a work in progress, I have come to learn that spending more time doing fewer things can lead to a more significant impact. For me, depth is more meaningful than breadth. Even though it may seem like the people around you are doing a million things successfully at once, it is ok to slow down. It is okay to take fewer steps at a time in order to find or pursue your meaning. As corny as it may sound, life is truly what happens when you stop spending your days focusing on how limited time is or racing against the clock. What is your meaning? What steps will you take to find it?

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