What is a Meaningful Life?

You can do well in school, get into a great school, do well there, get a well-paying job, but still miss out on building a meaningful life. It happens all the time. 

But what is a meaningful life?

Through years of research and work with tens of thousands of students, educators, and parents, we've developed a keen perspective- building a meaningful life is the point, but it's not what the system is currently designed for. It has to be intentionally designed. 

There are three pillars to building a foundation for a meaningful life:

  1. A clear identity
  2. A compelling purpose
  3. Authentic relationships.

For each pillar, we've identified a series of questions to guide your interactions with students. If a kid is able to articulate their own answers to these series of questions, we believe they will have a strong foundation for constructing a life that's both poised for success as well as prepared for meaning. 

  • Foundational Question #1: Where have you come from and how has it shaped your life?

    You can’t start writing a meaningful story with your life until you make sense of where you come from and how it’s shaped you. If you explore your past, a few important things happen:

    • Direction: you’re able to see where your life is headed and the path that you’re on- it’s called trajectory
    • Social: you’re able to tell your story in a more compelling way, become more persuasive, & become someone others can trust and count on
    • Integration: you’re able to heal from past wounds so they fuel who you become rather than act as anchors
    • Agency: knowing your backstory will empower you to pick up the pen to write a life story that’s consistent with your true self

    In our work with students, we've discovered how vital it is for adults to be healthy models. So, how has your past shaped your lifeAnd, how will you use this question in your interactions with students?


Do you know?

For years we’ve been studying what a young person needs in order to transition into a healthy, thriving adulthood.  

They're uncommon sense ideas, really.

Download this checklist and use it with your students (or kids).

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