Training your mind to find meaning in everyday life

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When was the last time you felt truly fulfilled? When your life felt meaningful and rewarding, or aligned with some deeper purpose or motivation? Take a moment to really think about that and observe what comes to mind. Most of us remember specific events when we think of life’s meaningful moments: the birth of a child, a major accomplishment, a rare moment in nature when all felt right with the world. These are the peak moments of life, and it’s true that they are also often the times when we feel truly fulfilled.

But these moments are aberrations.

We remember…

What scientists have discovered about human flourishing

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I recently caught up with an old friend who shared an experience that many of us can relate to. A few weeks ago, she got up in the morning and listened to a news podcast, like she does every day. And like every day, the news was filled with ominous stories and dire predictions. More and more coronavirus deaths. Political chaos. Lost jobs and school closures. She’d been hearing similar reports day after day for months, but on this particular day, her mind just snapped. She couldn’t take it. The thought of helping her kids get through the school day…

Cortland Dahl

Cortland Dahl is a leading expert on the science of well-being. He is a scientist and Chief Contemplative Officer at the Center for Healthy Minds at UW-Madison.

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