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A Meaningful Story

     Depressed? No direction or meaning in your life? What can you do to create some real meaning in your life? Here are 3 things you must have or do to feel as though you are living a meaningful existence.


     First, you must have a reason to get out of bed or an objective that you can focus your attention on. It is your “why”. Ask yourself what it is you are trying to achieve in your life story. For me, changing my career to fitness and helping people became my “why”. Prior to that I worked in a nice Wall Street job that paid well with benefits and some security. No corporate job is ever completely secure but at least I felt secure. The problem was I working in an unfulfilling job that I felt was meant for someone else. I would never reach the level of success I wanted because I truly hated what I did for a living. I looked into the future, to my retirement age, and asked myself, “How does this story end?”. The answer wasn’t pretty. I saw myself walking out of this office where I sat behind a computer for 25 years and realized there was nothing to leave behind. No legacy. No mark or evidence that I was there. I felt no significance in the world as I would eventually exit the career and life. Would my children be proud of me? Sure. I would work hard and do my best to provide a good future and raise them well.           This is what the culture demands of us. My father and mother did exactly this. They relinquished their future to provide one for us. Except, they both left this world without a true legacy. If you ask about them, people will say how wonderful they were. What I wanted for my legacy was to be remembered for how many lives I changed. Some would say taking care of your family should be a good enough “why”. However, as it was proven with my parents, this was not the path to prosperity or greatness. My parents are in Heaven and I’m grateful for them. If they had a much greater “why” I know they would have done amazing things. If your “why” is simply to feed and raise your family, I submit to you that you’ll leave this world with very little to show. But, what if your “why” was something much greater? What if your reason for waking up was something most people cannot imagine? What if your objective was to create your own jewelry brand, feed one million people, or create a national fitness franchise to help end obesity?  These are grand objectives. If you can achieve these objectives and the greater “why”, then taking care of your family, wealth, prosperity, and a legacy will take care of themselves.

     Second, you need some way to express yourself in the work that you do. In my fitness studio, we have created an amazing community and a culture that allows me to interact, motivate and inspire people. If you are an artist, you must use your art to reach the people that are inspired by your work. If you are a chef, you can use your culinary skills to express the love of your work and touch many people. If your story is missing an avenue for a natural expression of yourself and who you are trying to be, then your story will cease to have the meaning that you wish for. I have always been a people person, and an extrovert. I love meeting people. I love making friends and new connections. I love to help people because it helps me feel fulfilled. I also love staying active and fit. Working out has been a passion of mine ever since the age of 12. At the age of 50, I came to the realization that my “why” had to change. I decided to become a personal trainer and open my own group fitness studio. Every day after that, my objective has been to create a business that can have a positive impact and inspire change in people.

     Finally, to create a truly great and meaningful life story, a person needs to be able to endure a great deal of suffering. As I have written in a previous article, the ability to endure suffering ironically has healing qualities. Suffering breaks you down and can bring you to your knees. This ability is like any muscle. The more you suffer, the more your character will strengthen. When a person fails while attempting to achieve an objective, it’s a test. How quickly can this person get up and make another attempt after having learned a valuable lesson? How many failures can a person absorb and continue to try again? How far back can you be pulled and still be willing to push towards the same objective? How much physical, mental and emotion trauma can a person endure and keep focused on the end goal? My personal experience of suffering came in January or 2021 when I lost 3 team members. I had to absorb and do their jobs while also running a fitness business. It was the most physically and mentally demanding time of my short entrepreneurial life. 18-hour days for 12 months straight, 3AM to 9PM. It was soul stealing but I remained focused on the objective. One year later, I’m still doing 18 hour days. This time though, the hours are part of the job. It has become normal. I can go 18 – 20 hours and running at high speed all day long because I have been trained through suffering. I feel my character has been sharpened and my endurance is higher than it has ever been. There are no thoughts of quitting no matter how difficult it becomes, no thoughts failure. All I have now is an expectation of success. A person must accept suffering as part of the journey. Suffering, though painful, is necessary for growth and sharpening of the character. It must be accepted.

     Having these 3 things is the key to manufacturing a meaningful life story. Depression such as the one I experienced, will be lifted. I’ve had bad days and I’m sure I will continue to, but I also experience deep sense of meaning in my life each day ever since I discovered these 3 things.

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