How to find meaning in life in three simple steps

Knowing how to find meaning in life is important right now. As the actual world changes, having the certainty that you can create a rich private world will get you through with something in the tank.

Knowing how to find meaning in life is important right now. As the actual world changes, having the certainty that you can create a rich private world will get you through with something in the tank.

Because the great thing about meaning is we can learn to cultivate it in our life regardless of what’s going on outside.

There was a time about four years ago I had 5000 friends on my Facebook account. I don’t know 5000 people—but they were out there somewhere, counting me as a buddy and sharing their holidays and snaps of their weeknight meals with me.

I looked again at the number and wondered not just how many I knew but how many I had a deep connection with. It’s easy to get addicted to the number of followers and likes vs the level of depth we actually experience with invisible approval.

These days I rarely check on my Facebook account because what I need in 2020 is a deeper sense of meaning in my life (I'll be talking more about how to get that at The Coaching Institute's virtual two day life coaching summit 'How to Coach Yourself and Others Through Changing Times' on August 8 and 9.)

To find it, I’ve narrowed it down to three things you can implement for yourself or to teach someone else.


A lot of people misunderstand purpose and make it into a really big deal (“I’m searching for my purpose”).

I’ll break it down into two really simple points. Number one, know yourself. Look within. Put aside external goals like having a new car or amazing job and spend some honest time working out your internal goals.

For me, that’s the fundamentals like what I’m great at, how I’m developing more gratitude and peace, knowing my emotions, looking after my health.

The more I know about how I work, the more awareness and sense of purpose I have. Without it, I will most likely be overly reactive and anxious about things going on in the world.

The second part of purpose is simply living our life in a way where we decide it’s not all about us.

You don’t have to open a charity in another country and save the lives of millions of people.

You can just be the best brother, sister, mother, father, teacher, coach, business owner, team member. Just be someone who decides when you leave your house, you’re going to make other people’s lives better just by being there.

There’s a gazillion ways to do that. Just have fun with it.


Autonomy is simply that I am responsible for myself, and not you. You are responsible for you.

Instead of autonomy, a lot of people have this thing called enmeshment. It’s where they feel they’re responsible for other people so they get overly anxious and depressed when others don’t do what they want them to.

We need to let go of that idea. It's not about being selfish, it's about being responsible and it leads to great side effects like clarity and goal setting.

Of course, if you have kids or elderly parents relying on you, you still take care of them. But you also make room for you. Self education is a great way to start—learn a new skill and see how when your competency, develops your self respect does too.


What you need to know is that you matter to yourself and someone else. And the only way we can do this is to focus on developing quality relationships.

While our healthy dose of autonomy is vital, we need to bring others with us or we’re going to have a very lonely journey.

There’s been studies done that show the number one thing that drives meaning and purpose and satisfaction in our lives is the quality of our relationships.

I’ve talked a lot before about this, and it goes back to my Facebook thoughts. The way to experience great relationships is to focus on intimacy, speaking our minds, being honest.

Love, care and respect are what makes up an amazing relationship.

Want to hear more? I'll be talking about coaching, relationships, the whole shebang at the August 8 and 9 two day life coaching summit. Click here to find out more—see you there.

Matt Lavars is one of Australia's leading coaches, trainers and speakers, and head facilitator at The Coaching Institute. In between mentoring thousands of coaches and leaders all around Australasia and helping others build incredible culture, Matt is passionate about fitness and music. His healthy office lunches whipped up in five minutes are the stuff of legend.

Matt Lavars
Dream TeamThe Coaching Institute