A meaningful life isn’t based on having more of the things that we want, but rather what we do with the things that we have.
Money, success, Rolex watches, business class plane tickets… while all of these things may sound fun and exciting to have, heck they may even bring a brief bout of momentary happiness, they will never create a meaningful life. They will never justify your happiness, your level of fulfillment, or your life’s purpose. What will lead you towards living a more meaningful life, however, is what you choose to do with what you have.
Filling Our Own Emptiness
I am just like everyone else. Often times I wonder what it would be like to have everything that I everything that I ever wanted, hoping that my wants and desires will fill every void that I feel. But as I get older and the more I try to fill these voids, the more I realize that material items simply can’t and won’t fill these voids.
What helps me to fill them, is knowing that I am trying to make the world a better place, knowing that I am positively impacting the lives of others, and knowing that I am helping to create a change for more than just my own good — even if that change is miniscule.
I have realized that it’s not about having more in life. It’s about what we do with what we already have.
Do Something Good With What You Have
In an old post of mine, I had talked about a friendship that I have been growing with the sweetest lady in the world. She comes into the same coffee shop as I do every single day, asks how I am doing, and sits in the same exact spot and reads the Quran. She is Muslim.
In a recent conversation with her, she told me how her daughter was leaving for her first semester of college and was going to be going to a school in Hawaii. She wanted to go with her daughter and help to get her settled in, but the plane ticket was simply not in the budget.
A week had passed and she came in telling me that her son had flown to Hawaii with his sister while she stayed back and worked. She told me that she found a flight to join them for a few days, but the $450 plane ticket was stressing her out.
There was just something about the look on her face that hit me, and at that point, I knew that I both needed to and wanted to help. Every parent deserves to drop their kid off at college, and every kid deserves to have their parents by their side for such a big step towards adulthood.
Right next to the coffee shop that we go to is a little grocery store. I went in, got a card, pulled out some cash, and wrote a little note for her. I told her that whether she knew it or not, she has positively impacted my life, and now I wanted to do the same for her.
I walked back from the grocery store, found her sitting in the same leather chair that she always sits in, and handed her the card. As she looked up at me, I told her that there was only one rule… that she couldn’t open the card until I left. I walked away quickly and immediately began shaking. Not because I was nervous, but because I knew that the money would go a long way for her.
As much as I stress about money, I am blessed in the sense that the amount I put in the card doesn’t really affect me. Money for me isn’t the issue, I just don’t like spending it on stupid things. Well, this wasn’t a stupid thing to spend it on. This, this just felt right.
I haven’t seen her since this day, but I know that she is in Hawaii with her family where she needs to be and is able to breathe just that much easier. I don’t know her financial situation entirely, nor is it any of my business. But I do know that the money definitely made a large impact.
She wasn’t the only one who benefited from this. I did as well. The amount of happiness, pride, and joy that I experienced from this is one that can’t be matched. Not a new car, a thousand views on a blog post, or the biggest paycheck could replicate this feeling. And it is all because I tried to do something good with what I already had.
I didn’t write this as a way to praise myself. Rather, I wrote this to help inspire you to do something good with what you already have. Maybe it’s not money. Maybe it’s giving your time or even your attention to others. Whatever you have available to you, do something good with it. The feeling you get knowing that you are doing something good will be well worth it!