Meaningful Paths

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  35. Sean

    A well written, thought provoking look on finding your why and more purpose in life and I am excited to learn more from Meaningful Paths.

  36. Olya

    The book can help you find yourself, open your mind, find your way in life, to reconsider your values. Simple to understand yet gives you a lot to think about

  37. Lee Simms

    Very insightful. The Labyrinth chapter particularly resonated with me. The audio and sketches really bring things together.

    I love the vision of Meaningful Paths; inspiring to build kindness and well being for communities and our planet.

  38. Kamila

    Read it and loved it! Really recommend it.. especially during these special times at home.

  39. Joe Brown

    Dave, my day to day life is feeling empty and meaningless. I just lost my closest relative. I googled a bit and saw your website. I live in the USA, so you’re pretty far away, but I felt drawn to you especially after seeing who contributes to this. Thinking about the Pursuit of Happiness told me that I should probably react to how I actually feel – all I do is think about what I should feel and what everyone thinks 🙁

    It’s so great that you quoted Barbara Fredrickson. She was actually my supervisor at Uni of Alabama (where I grew up)! Never expected someone from the UK to quote her lol! She taught me a lot about how to think and feel, but I never knew she worked globally with people like you. She definitely taught me to appreciate the world around me, but I still feel stressed given my loss recently 🙁 I don’t think I should feel positive or anything, but I need some guidance.

    What’s a good way to enhance the tiny little positive things I experience? Grandpa always told me to put my money into things I really care about, but when he left me, there was a gap. Maybe that’s how God brought me to your website. Over here in Alabama everyone thinks you’re important if you buy a truck, but my Ford F-150 is just a drain on my finances 🙁 I want to find something better to put that money into.

    Any advice, Dave? I’m torn between helping my friends – giving them rides every day in the back of the truck, etc – vs trying to do something more useufl for the world. What do I do?

    • David

      Hi Joe, thank you so much for your humble and heart warming message. Firstly I am truly sorry for your loss and thank you for the courage to share your story here. I have been very moved by this and will email you to do a few free email sessions to share some thoughts. Please see my initial thoughts here.

      There is no right or wrong way to think and feel in a time like this and we can often feel ‘guilty’ for not feeling a certain way. People sometimes laugh at a funeral and it is an involuntary reaction to repressing feelings. There is no way you should or should not feel and what is important is focusing on your well-being. Thoughts are just thoughts like clouds in the sky and it is important that we learn to detach ourselves from them and then take action based on what is good for our own well-being. Emotions teach us what needs and values we have and it is important to learn how to read our emotional changes. For example we can use the metaphor of a captain of a ship who is about to hit a storm (the captain being you and the storm being the feelings you will have from losing a loved one). We can choose to actively surrender to this storm as it is quite likely inevitable that the storm of feelings are coming. The captain accepts the storm through emotional focused coping and he chooses to learn meaning and values from the storm and also he knows that post storm a clear blue sky and a rainbow will emerge. In comparison someone who surrenders by accident (not through choice) or pushes back against the storm will likely lose out and fall into further negative emotion. Barbara Fredriksons concept on the downward spiral theory is a good theory here. We can accept certain negative emotions and find meaning in them and take positive action for our future or we can let the situation take over us that leads to a further negative emotions in a downward spiral. Don’t control your feelings but instead take control of the situation and choose to build positive constructs around you (daily habits, social interactions, meaning) and choose the way you in which you think as opposed to controlling your actual thoughts (“I feel lost but I know this is a process and I will take action to find my out” is very different to denying you are lost and fighting against it).

      An example of finding meaning in a traumatic experience could be rather than saying “I have lost someone I love”; we can instead say that “I have gained an important human being in my life for a time span and I am better for that chapter.” We have been partially shaped by that person and our future actions can allow that individual to live on. Also changing our wording from “I am depressed” to “I feel depressed” or “I am sad” to “I feel sad” is of great benefit as we are not defined by our thoughts or our emotions.

      A great ambition is to be the strongest person at a loved ones funeral so you can help others. Please not it is important that you find one person you can confide and vent too though as you are only human.

      Writing down three gratitude notes each day can be a tremendous help and is very powerful when written down. Write down anything from being grateful for someone making you a cup of tea all the way to being grateful for seeing a beautiful bird in a tree. There is a free course 90 days to a better you on our website which you can find by clicking on my ‘my account’ and then ‘my online courses’. These daily tasks can help to keep you focused on positive aspects in life. We are also launching a free course on finding meaning around August/September 2020.

      We have Daily Meaning and Greater Meaning. Daily Meaning is a good start to work up to Greater Meaning and is also what I would call the foundation of our well-being. Daily Meaning can be practiced via mindful thinking and examples of this could be sitting in a garden and being fully present minded of the greenery, animals and the sun or wind on our skin. There is a theory we should work towards that when we see a view; we always see this view each day as a new view due to being present minded. Another example is when coming home from work you hug your child and in those ten seconds instead of thinking about work or dinner we are completely embracing the moment with our child.

      Greater Meaning is something bigger than ourselves and we could argue is spiritual. For example you may setup an orphanage on the other side of the planet for the human good. You may coach teenagers in your community. There is very strong evidence that true altruism exists and Greater Meaning would be something bigger than you and for the good of community and the planet.

      Money is not good or bad but is a fuel for change. Sadly we often chase money and live a life of over working for shiny items at the end. It is far more beneficial for us to live a life of meaning and extensive evidence in scientific literature is showing how this impacts or mental and physical health and can also be a factor in how long we live.

      We have our own narrative and story to tell. Begin by finding daily meaning and take your time exploring what brings you meaning each day and then build on this. What strengths and resources do you have that can help others and what skills could you work on to do more good in the world.

      We should not pursue happiness; as happiness is an emotion that comes and goes; but instead we should seek meaning and build up an environment for our own well-being and the well-being of others.

      David Chorlton

      Founder

  40. Sean

    I don’t work from home but I read a lot of personal development books and I wanted some new exercises for well-being.

    Really easy to use format and layout.

    Very unique exercises on mindset, relationship management and finding meaning in your work.

  41. Sean lindsay

    insightful read on the ego!

    • David

      Thank you so much Sean. Please keep an eye out for more thoughts on the Ego and up coming products around the Self & Ego.

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  46. Sandra

    This is such an interesting read – so true that the buzz from material things is so short!

  47. Jessica Paton

    This is fabulous! The way you describe how breathing like this changes our mind and body is so clear…I might have to share in my group and quote you. Really chilled me out today…thank you 🙂

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  49. Jan Dary

    Thank you for the offer of such a lovely prize.

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  52. Jessica Cindrich

    Excellent tips! Keep up the good work. You are a fantastic resource for our teens. 👍🏻