Embracing a holistic measure of life

To increase our happiness, we need better questions than “What accomplishments should be on my scorecard?” Let me suggest a few that will lead to answers that can deliver authentic well-being.
1. Who has the intrinsic characteristics that I admire and want to emulate?
2. What do people most need from me, and how do I provide it?
3. What is my life’s purpose?

– Arthur C. Brooks

I was inspired by this article from Arthur C. Brooks that tackles questions of meaning and happiness.

Imagine standing at the edge of a vast playing field, peering down at a scorecard in your hands. You’re trying to measure your life’s achievements, the traditional markers of success — promotions, awards, and recognitions, maybe a fancy car or two in the driveway. But are these truly the milestones that shape happiness? I bet you already know the answer is a resounding ‘no’.

Let’s toss that old scorecard away, and instead, let’s sculpt a new set of questions, questions that carve pathways to authentic happiness.

First, ponder this: “Who has the intrinsic characteristics that I admire and want to emulate?” Seek not the loud voices of the world, but those who inspire through actions rather than words, who make compassion and courage their life’s work. Strive to mirror these qualities in your own actions, and your happiness will no longer be tethered to fleeting accomplishments.

Next, ask yourself: “What do people most need from me, and how do I provide it?” It’s about serving others, not to win accolades, but because aiding others enriches our own souls. By focusing on how we can contribute to others’ lives, we create a ripple effect of joy that reverberates back to us.

Lastly, consider this: “What is my life’s purpose?” Life isn’t a series of tasks to be checked off, but an opportunity to explore and manifest our unique purpose. This isn’t about hitting targets or reaching the top, it’s about unearthing that burning ember within us that brings light to our lives and the lives of others.

By reshaping our questions, we transform our game. Life isn’t a contest, it’s a journey of self-discovery and shared humanity. This new scorecard, filled not with shallow victories but with deep, meaningful quests, will lead you to an authentic well-being that outshines any trophy.