A summary of the topic of meaning based on the material

  • Meaning is personal
  • Meaning doesn’t have to be fixed – it can change over time, and we may have more than one ‘thing’ we find meaning in
  • Clues about what we find meaningful may come from our strengths, values / beliefs
  • Close relationships are important: tend them, active-constructive responding, listening, sharing
  • Things we find meaningful may not create positive emotions (at least in short term) and things that give us positive emotion may not be meaningful.  Combining them is possible, but isn’t always a requirement
  • Meaning supports both wellbeing & resilience – in my view, with a leaning towards resilience

Values & Strengths

Our values (core beliefs) and our strengths (helpful autopilots) can give us clues about what we find meaningful.

We can identify our strengths in ‘anything’, e.g.:

How does Meaning fit with Wellbeing & Resilience?



In the TED video “There’s more to life than being happy” by Emily Esfahani Smith – she proposes that meaning includes four pilars:

  1. Belonging: being in relationshsips where you are valued for being yourself
  2. Purpose: what you give
  3. Transcendence: moments where you sense of self fades away and you feel connected to a higher reality
  4. Storytelling: the story you tell yourself about yourself


References from this Module



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