Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 450215

Shown: posts 1 to 11 of 11. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Living a meaningful life opposed to a good one

Posted by pinkeye on January 30, 2005, at 15:55:33

I was just pondering over something, and just thinking aloud - that many of us get into problems and desperation in life mainly because a lot of us try to live a perfect life and want to have a perfect everything - perfect parents, career, love, affection from others around us, appearance etc.
Maybe if we give up on the idea of having a good/great/perfect life and are willing to settle with a meaningful one - where we just block the biggest leaks in life, and know that is more than we can ask for - a lot of us would be happier and get out of the depression? Any thoughts? I find myself repeatedly sinking into depression only when I find that I should have something in life which I don't have. But then I realize that most of the people around me don't have it either and go on to have a perfectly normal and happy lives. I am trying to look at that and see if I can be like that also. Maybe it is the attitude that matters a whole bunch.
Pinkeye.

 

Re: Living a meaningful life opposed to a good one

Posted by smokeymadison on January 30, 2005, at 16:15:50

In reply to Living a meaningful life opposed to a good one, posted by pinkeye on January 30, 2005, at 15:55:33

i totally agree! thanks for the insight. perfectionism is my main struggle. i want perfect grades, perfect papers, the perfect job, etc so bad that i can't be happy with anything less. and of course none of those can ever be perfect. my standards are just too high. what do you find meaningful? i think, for me, it is having good relationships with other people and having my actions be worthwhile ones ie they help others in some way, however small.

SM

 

Re: Living a meaningful life opposed to a good one pinkeye

Posted by Dinah on January 30, 2005, at 17:04:01

In reply to Living a meaningful life opposed to a good one, posted by pinkeye on January 30, 2005, at 15:55:33

I've based my life on good enough. At least on good enough from others. Reduced expectations are the key to happiness. I struggle with it for a little while, but then I usually give in and readjust my expectations downwards.

I'm not quite as good at reducing the expectations for myself, although it's been a fact of my life for the past four or five years that I've been letting people down and not doing what I know I can do. So I suppose I have reduced the expectations for myself by default.

I don't find that it makes me significantly happier than the less realistic folks in life. Maybe the happiest people are the people who just don't see limitations at all, not the ones who see them and accept them.

 

Re: Living a meaningful life opposed to a good one

Posted by pinkeye on January 30, 2005, at 18:22:47

In reply to Re: Living a meaningful life opposed to a good one, posted by smokeymadison on January 30, 2005, at 16:15:50

> i totally agree! thanks for the insight. perfectionism is my main struggle. i want perfect grades, perfect papers, the perfect job, etc so bad that i can't be happy with anything less. and of course none of those can ever be perfect. my standards are just too high. what do you find meaningful? i think, for me, it is having good relationships with other people and having my actions be worthwhile ones ie they help others in some way, however small.
>
> SM

I have the same feeling too. Only relationships make my life meaningful - I feel good about other things, but the most meaning comes from relationships. But maybe it doesn't have to be from only personal relationships. Lot of people who fail in their personal lives, go on to create a meaningful social life - either helping others or being part of a community or social service etc or with friends, etc. Maybe any meaningful relationships will do to keep us from being depressed.
Also everything adds up. If we keep insisting on finding meaning in one area, and allowing ourselves to get depressed when it deson't work out in that area, we will never achieve happiness. Just like a pond fills with water only drop by drop, we have to find meaning only little by little.

 

Re: Living a meaningful life opposed to a good one

Posted by pinkeye on January 30, 2005, at 18:26:43

In reply to Re: Living a meaningful life opposed to a good one pinkeye, posted by Dinah on January 30, 2005, at 17:04:01

I think what I was saying is only a tiny bit of the whole picture. Happiness is probably lot more complicated an issue :-).

> I've based my life on good enough. At least on good enough from others. Reduced expectations are the key to happiness. I struggle with it for a little while, but then I usually give in and readjust my expectations downwards.
>
> I'm not quite as good at reducing the expectations for myself, although it's been a fact of my life for the past four or five years that I've been letting people down and not doing what I know I can do. So I suppose I have reduced the expectations for myself by default.
>
> I don't find that it makes me significantly happier than the less realistic folks in life. Maybe the happiest people are the people who just don't see limitations at all, not the ones who see them and accept them.

 

Re: Living a meaningful life opposed to a good one pinkeye

Posted by Angela2 on January 30, 2005, at 20:23:05

In reply to Living a meaningful life opposed to a good one, posted by pinkeye on January 30, 2005, at 15:55:33

I have often wondered where my desire to have everything be pleasureful comes from. When I find myself living that lifestyle I find that it lacks meaning. Interesting thread.

 

is it possible? pinkeye

Posted by Shortelise on January 31, 2005, at 11:33:09

In reply to Living a meaningful life opposed to a good one, posted by pinkeye on January 30, 2005, at 15:55:33

It's funny, but I suffer the opposite problem - I am afraid that my life has no meaning, that I will someday when I am very old look back and see what a shell of a thing my life was.

I do not expect perfection, sunshine everyday, etc. What I do want, would I would very much like, is to lead a life that matters in some way other than my insignifigant self.

ShortE

 

Ditto for me ShortE (nm) Shortelise

Posted by littleone on January 31, 2005, at 14:44:23

In reply to is it possible? pinkeye, posted by Shortelise on January 31, 2005, at 11:33:09

 

Re: is it possible?

Posted by pinkeye on January 31, 2005, at 15:04:55

In reply to is it possible? pinkeye, posted by Shortelise on January 31, 2005, at 11:33:09

To be honest, I am struggling with it myself :-)

> It's funny, but I suffer the opposite problem - I am afraid that my life has no meaning, that I will someday when I am very old look back and see what a shell of a thing my life was.
>
> I do not expect perfection, sunshine everyday, etc. What I do want, would I would very much like, is to lead a life that matters in some way other than my insignifigant self.
>
> ShortE

 

Re: is it possible?

Posted by pinkeye on January 31, 2005, at 15:48:17

In reply to Re: is it possible?, posted by pinkeye on January 31, 2005, at 15:04:55

Actually I can share what my ex therapist said about this. Beyond a point, it makes sense to live not with just ourselves in the center - but to have a bigger picture of life - to have some good cause at the center of our lives. That will probably prevent you from ever reaching the state of desperation that you have written here. Try to find actively something to do for others - than just for yourself. That will help you.

> To be honest, I am struggling with it myself :-)
>
> > It's funny, but I suffer the opposite problem - I am afraid that my life has no meaning, that I will someday when I am very old look back and see what a shell of a thing my life was.
> >
> > I do not expect perfection, sunshine everyday, etc. What I do want, would I would very much like, is to lead a life that matters in some way other than my insignifigant self.
> >
> > ShortE
>
>

 

Re: is it possible?

Posted by Daisym on January 31, 2005, at 22:55:39

In reply to Re: is it possible?, posted by pinkeye on January 31, 2005, at 15:48:17

I'm jumping in here...I think attitude about who you are makes the difference, not what you do or don't do for others.

Not that meaning in life isn't important. But I know grocery store checkers who are so happy and completely generous with their happiness to everyone who comes through their lines. And I know tons of people who work with the disabled and they are completely unhappy because they work in a frustrating, complicated system. But their work is important and they KNOW what they do makes a difference. Yet, they are still unhappy.

The key might be living each moment to the fullest - no regrets from the past, no fear of what is next -- just being in the here and now. I can do this in some settings but not in all. But I find when I concentrate on the person in front of me (as long as it isn't my therapist!) time flies and depression eases off.

Just my thoughts...


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