The Signifigance Project by Rachael Deaton


What is happiness? To me, happiness is an emotion created by several different things. Happiness arises from the little joys in life, like seeing a dog passing by on the street, to the big joys, like getting married to someone you love. Happiness comes from when you appreciate your life and the things around you. Being happy doesn’t mean you don’t have bad things happen to you, rather you choose to focus on the positive aspect rather than the negative. My life is nowhere close to perfect, but I have a lot happiness in it because I've chosen to appreciate what I've been given.

(In case you're ever wondering what pure joy looks like)


Success is something that each person has to define for themselves. I define success as actively pursuing goals, regardless if I fail. Personally, I believe that success and a meaningful life are intertwined. I think in order for me to see my life as successful I want it to be meaningful. Neel Burton says in "Man’s Search for Meaning", “that our main drive or motivation in life is neither pleasure, as Freud believed, not power, as Adler had believed, but meaning”. Our drive in life, what we define as a “successful life” is meaning (Burton 2012).


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Bad things will happen to us. It’s inevitable. Our reaction and what we take from that experience is what matters. We ourselves can take suffering and make it meaningful, it can give us an “outsiders perspective, an attuned awareness of what others are enduring” (Brooks 2014). I feel like Burton summed it up best when he said, “Even in the most absurd, painful, and dispiriting of circumstances, life can be given a meaning, and so too can suffering (Burton 2012). I don’t think we have to suffer to make our lives meaningful though. I would say that a life that impacts others in a positive way is a life that is meaningful. Published in the New York Times, an article titled “Millennial Searchers” describes that people who reported having “a meaningful life saw themselves as more other-oriented — by being, more specifically, a ‘giver’. (Smith and Aaker 2013).


We can find meaning in life through service to others, which relates back to our success. We can see a successful life would have meaning. People “feel a hunger to live meaningfully, but they don’t know the right questions to ask, the right vocabulary to use, the right place to look or even if there are ultimate answers at all” (Brooks 2015). To me, a meaningful life means positively impacting others and living your life upholding your integrity. More than worldly success, material riches, and achieving our dreams, I think that upholding your own personal integrity and values will give your life significance and meaning . To me, this means developing my relationship with God, treating others with kindness and respect, and being a positive influence on others in my life and community.


Created with images by Alexas_Fotos - "target arrive reach" • Ryan_M651 - "Depression" • Pezibear - "cloves flowers pink" • Pexels - "bible book highlighter"

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