View profile

Finding Meaning - My Simple Formula

Does anything matter at all? Well sure, there are things that matter. But they're up to you to figure
Finding Meaning - My Simple Formula
Does anything matter at all?
Well sure, there are things that matter.
But they’re up to you to figure out.
And that’s the problem, isn’t it?
How do you figure out what’s important to you–and what isn’t?
When most people talk about mental health, they focus on the surface layer, on emotions and behaviors.
Sometimes thoughts come into play.
But what about meaning?
Meaning is critical to living a healthy life.
Let’s figure out this meaningful-life thing together.
In a few minutes, you’ll know the two key components of a meaningful life.

Getting Meaning All Wrong
When I was a young adult, I went through a process that, I assume, most people go through.
I thought that certain things would make me happy.
I thought, if only I have more money…
Or, if I only I get that job…
It was all about getting more, about attracting the right kinds of objects, people, and situations to me.
And yes, there were familiar themes that popped up–becoming famous, being admired by others, having more money than I knew what to do with.
But are these things at the heart of a meaningful life?
I thought they were.
Some people will try to tell you that they are.
But I’m here to tell you that no, they most definitely are not.
Where Meaning Comes From
What happens when you go after something shiny and attractive like money or admiration from others?
It feels good in the moment–ok, maybe several moments–but then what happens?
That happiness is fleeting.
The feelings you seek are elusive.
It’s a like a beautiful, golden bird landing on your shoulder. It’s so nice to be in possession of something so wonderful, but eventually you learn that a bird is born to fly, not to be responsible for your ongoing happiness.
Because happiness is a mirage–it can be grasped for mere moments in the shifting world in front of you, but how you find something with more stability?
You have to look within.
And this is where meaning comes into play.
The Components of a Meaningful Life
5 hands looking for meaning.
5 hands looking for meaning.
Now, creating a life of meaning is your task.
I can only point you in the right direction based on what’s worked for me.
You can read about meaning. You can talk about meaning. You can even create a song and dance about meaning.
But it’s not until you’ve committed to this task and made it your own that will realize how important meaning is to your mental health.
For me, meaning comes down to a few things.
One, it’s about committing myself to something that I would do, no matter what. This newsletter, The Mental Health Update, is a huge part of that. I’ve fallen in love with the process of writing and sharing what I’ve learned.
Yes, I have some members who support me, but I would do this–and I have done this–without being paid for it. Deep down in my heart, I don’t want others to feel the way I felt when I didn’t have access to helpful mental health information. That’s why I try to make mental health information as accessible and meaningful as possible.
The meaning is baked into the hours of time I spend writing each week.
Second, and I think this is especially important, is the context. Would this writing mean anything if I had no one to share it with?
Sure, it might mean something, but the meaning is only enhanced when I connect with you, the reader, another human being like me, just trying to figure it all out in life.
I now get to discuss mental health with old friends, with family members, and with strangers-turned-friends all over the world. It seems like a dream–but it’s not.
The often-missed component of a meaningful life is “for whom” and “with whom.”
Who are the people you want to be around?
What is your relationship with them?
Emotions, thoughts, and behaviors mean very little if they happen within a vacuum.
It’s the people that makes them come alive. Everything must be considered in its proper context.
So, let’s review.
Commit to something grand, something that makes you come alive.
Then, share that work with the world. Allow others to deepen your understanding of it.
That’s what has worked for me, and it seems almost too simplistic.
But the simple stuff is what will change your life.
Meaning comes from within, but it’s shaped and solidified by the world around you.
Your task is find what makes your heart sing.
Then, go share it with the world.

Like anything worthwhile, finding meaning is a process that can take a long time. And that’s the important part–it’s a process. Commit to the process no matter what, and you’ll be alright.


P.S. What does meaning mean to you? Do you consider it a critical part of your ongoing mental health? I’d love to share your responses in an upcoming issue (with or without your name, of course!) Tap or click reply–and let me know!
The spotlight's on you now. Go for it.
The spotlight's on you now. Go for it.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Become a member for $10 per month
Don’t miss out on the other issues by Jordan Brown - Mental Health Newsletter Writer, Poet, Social Worker, and Advocate
Jordan Brown - Mental Health Newsletter Writer, Poet, Social Worker, and Advocate

The Mental Health Update provides you with authentic mental health articles that make mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and OCD meaningful AND accessible.

This is different from typical mental health newsletters and articles.

It's not just an Anxiety Email Newsletter or a Depression Email Newsletter - It's three weekly articles packed with timeless mental health wisdom and inspiration to start your day in a thoughtful, uplifting way.

I was tired of other newsletters blasting out generic lists of links and articles. And I was especially tired of them not focusing on the everyday reality of mental health issues.

So I decided to come up with something I wanted to read.

This health newsletter is like a caring friend that just wants you to feel better.

Mental health awareness articles don't need to be all doom and gloom and filled with jargon.

With The Mental Health Update, you'll get practical mental health information, tips, and new ways to view the world. Especially now, with people reeling from the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic, we need trusted voices telling it like it is.

We discuss topics like anxiety, depression, OCD, the mental health to mental illness spectrum, social and communication skills, and much, much more.

This is what a few subscribers had to say about The Mental Health Update:

"If you haven't yet subscribed to Jordan's mental health newsletter, you absolutely should. It's chock full of good stuff to read and will help make your day better. Not unlike a daily vitamin for your mental health and soul..." - JR

"Encouragement from someone who has “been there” when it comes to mental health struggles. Comes in the form of stories and simple, actionable tips for reframing and working with - and through - your issues. One of the few newsletters that has survived my ruthless inbox decluttering sprees. Highly recommended!" - Kelila

"Jordan's mental health update is a welcomed email in my inbox. It often provides me with a chance to break from the mundane tasks of working in an office and take a moment for myself to hear his thoughtful and well put together thoughts on many aspects of mental health. As someone who works in the psychology field it's often a nice reminder and way of grounding myself to all the great work that's going on and the journey we all must take in supporting mental health. Thank you Jordan!" - Rob

I take my no-spam policy very seriously. I consider it a mental health obligation to not abuse your trust.

Newsletter articles sent on Monday and Wednesday.

Members receive detailed information from those articles on Tuesday and Thursday AND an exclusive Friday email as well.

You can manage your subscription here
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Powered by Revue
Missoula, MT