“Why is there a void in my heart? I never feel satisfied and I constantly find myself looking up to more materialistic things than just being content with where I am.”
Do you know what this is?
This is known as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
That void you’re feeling is generally stuff in the top 50% of the pyramid.
- The need to feel that you belong to a tribe of people that “get you” and appreciate you.
- The need to like yourself and have self-esteem
- and, Self-actualization, which you can think of as mission, purpose, and legacy
When your survival and security needs in life are generally sorted, but the upper half of the pyramid isn’t, you feel that void. That “something is missing”, or “is this all there is to life?”
It’s painful, in a kind of indescribable emptiness kind of way, and we’ll fill it with things that feel good. Shopping. Sex. Alcohol, food, drugs. Things that distract us, and give us temporary pleasure ( but not lasting joy ).
So what’s missing, exactly?
Well, I’d dig deep on two questions.
- How are your friendships & relationships? Are they fulfilling? Are they challenging and growing you, or are you just coasting through life comfortably?
- What drives you passionately? Is it creative things? Learning things and being curious about life? Being compassionate and connecting to people? Exploring and discovering and adventure?
The first one described the middle 1/3 of the pyramid and helps you find any weaknesses in your social world. The second is the top 1/3, and helps you identify your core values, which drive your passion in life.
You have to explore to find them, go meet new people, and go try new stuff.
For the mission & purpose, I recommend;
Write down a list of everything you’ve ever liked or been interested in. What makes you go wow? Is it people who can rebuild a car? Is it artists, musicians, dancers? Is it writers, scientists, sporting legends?
Now, why do those people make you go wow? What is it about what they do that stands out? Is it their level of creativity? Their confidence in public situations? Is it their depth of curiosity?
Follow this like of inquiry and you’ll see your core values stand out more clearly.
Now go try those things.
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