Mental Toughness and The Meaning of Life

Here at Mental Toughness HQ we like to go after the “big fish” and ask the difficult questions. So along with the usual questions about their health and circumstances I will often ask clients “what and where is the meaning in your life?” In short, what I am getting at here is:

What’s your purpose in living and being? - What’s the point of you?

It’s an easy and straightforward question…isn’t it? Maybe not, but for mental toughness, resilience and good mental health in general, we need to be able to answer this question. Read on and hopefully I can give you some useful pointers or at the very least, something to think about and consider.

Commitment and Meaning

One of the key components within mental toughness and resilience is having commitments in our lives. Commitments are our goals and purposes, our aims and objectives; the things that we regard as important and give us meaning in our lives. It really doesn’t matter what our commitments are or what other people think of them, as long as they are meaningful to us. Our commitments give us a direction and destination in our lives, rather like an internal Sat Nav. They provide us with a healthy tension between what we have already accomplished and what we still wish to do. The meaning in our commitments gives us resilience because we will keep going and deal with setbacks and frustration in order to fulfil our purpose. We will learn from mistakes and solve problems rather than give up. If we have a strong enough “why” we will strive to find the “how”.

It is healthy if our commitments extend to different areas of our lives such as

Fun and recreation
Personal development
Physical environment

It is also helpful to be committed to things outside of ourselves such as charity work, local groups, social or political concerns. In the current recession many small and local charities have been forced to make staff redundant and are now suffering from overstretched resources, just when they are needed most. You could make a real difference by volunteering and giving a few hours of your time to help. You would also be increasing your mental strength by adding another area of purpose and meaning to your life.

The meaning of life exists more in the outside world, rather than in our internal world. If we are directed towards something or someone outside of ourselves and have a cause to serve, we become less aware of ourselves. By focusing on the outside world we are less likely to ruminate, self-criticise and become depressed. Activity gives us meaning and a sense of control over our lives; we stop moaning and complaining about the world and actually do something about it.

What if we have no commitments and meaning?

If we have no sense of meaning or commitment in our lives, then we are more at risk of poor mental health. A vacuum is created that can be filled with boredom, sadness, anger, violence, addictions and depression. We may have already achieved some important goals in different areas of our lives and completed projects that were important to us. It can be the case that after achieving many of our goals we become sad and wonder what it’s all for; the meaning that was once there, has now gone. Our circumstances and the world around us may have changed from the end of a relationship, a death of someone close to us, changing jobs or moving home. Our mental health is at risk when the environment changes and we do not adapt. As our lives and the conditions around us change we need to find new goals and meaning. The meaning of life changes but never ends.

Each one of us is responsible for what our lives mean; life has no meaning, unless we provide it. If we ask ourselves, “What is the meaning of life?” then our commitments and goals should provide the answer. If we don’t have meaning in our lives, then we are just fidgeting until we die.

So, back to my original question: What's the point of you?

Persist and persevere
Adapt and survive


Phil Pearl

PS. Recommended reading: If you have not already done so, then have a look at “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E Frankl.

Author's Bio: 

Phil Pearl DCH DHP MCH GHR Reg

Phil Pearl, clinical hypnotherapist and coach, specialising in mental toughness and resilience - helping people to improve their confidence, self-esteem and overcome anxiety and stress. Hypnotherapy in London

Call me for a free pre-consultation discussion, without any obligations.

Day, evening and weekend appointments available
Low Confidence
Low Self-Esteem
Can't Sleep
Fed Up
Can't Relax
Stressed Out

Courses in Mental Toughness and Stress Resilience for organisations and companies

Mental Toughness, Resilience & Hypnotherapy
10 Harley Street
Tel 020 7467 8548