Is a happy life the same as a meaningful life?

Research shows that a happy life and a meaningful life are related, but not the same – here’s how: 

Happiness involves being focused on the present. Meaningfulness involves the past, present, and future, and the relationship between them.

Happiness is fleeting, while meaningfulness lasts longer.

Spending time with friends is more linked to happiness. Spending time with loved ones is more linked to meaning.

Self-expression is important to meaning but not happiness.

Despair is not a lack of happiness but is a lack of meaning in your life.

Authenticity is key to both meaning and lasting happiness

Discovering your meaning can improve your health, wealth and happiness—but the act of striving for happiness can actually make you unhappy.

Dis-covering your meaning is a key topic in my new book: Dancing with fear and confidence: How to liberate yourself and your career in mid-life. Out now. ( (

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