People have a need to find meaning or a calling in life whether that is through work, hobbies, a role you have at a stage in life (parenting), or volunteer activities. Sometimes it is easy to know what is meaningful in your life and what is not. Other times it can be very difficult.
Psychologist Michael Steger and his colleagues at Colorado State University created the Meaning in Life Questionnaire (MLQ). This inventory measures the presence of meaning in your life as well as how much you seek to further your understanding of life's purpose. The inventory below is to stimulate your thinking and help you have a productive conversation with your coach or mentor. There is no manual for interpreting the inventory. If you have questions and want to better understand the inventory, please contact Dr. Steger through his website: http://michaelfsteger.com/MLQ.aspx.
The Meaning in Life Questionnaire (MLQ)
Take a moment to think about what makes your life and existence feel important. Then take the following Meaning in Life Questionnaire.
Using the following scale, respond to the 10 statements on the inventory as truthfully and accurately as possible. Keep in mind that each statement is subjective, so there are no right or wrong ratings. This is useful for your own clarification, and to open up discussions with your significant relationships, coach or mentor.
1 absolutely untrue, 2 – mostly untrue, 3 – somewhat untrue, 4 – can't say/unsure, 5 – somewhat true, 6 – mostly true, 7 – absolutely true
1. _____ I understand my life's meaning.
2. _____ I am looking for something that makes my life feel meaningful.
3. _____ I am always looking to find my life's purpose.
4. _____ My life has a clear sense of purpose.
5. _____ I have a good sense of what makes my life meaningful.
6 _____ I have discovered a satisfying life purpose.
7. _____ I am always searching for something that makes my life feel significant.
8. _____ I am seeing a purpose or mission for my life.
9. _____ My life has no clear purpose.
10. ____ I am searching for meaning in my life.
You can create two sub scales from this inventory: "Presence" of meaning and the other for the "Search" for meaning.
Presence: Statements 2, 4, 5, 6 and 9 (reverse-coded)
Search: Statements 2, 3, 7, 8 and 10
Passion and Purpose
There are no definitive methods for discovering what really matters to you. However, passion and purpose go hand in hand. When you discover your purpose, you will normally find that it is something about which you are tremendously passionate.You will be energetic and experience positive emotions.
In reviewing your life, you will find that you have already invested considerable time and effort in pursuit of what really matters to you. Responsibilities to others, however, often sidetrack and distract you from focusing on your core purpose. Eventually, your purpose may evolve over time. It just takes longer. In the meantime, look for recurrent themes and core interest. You will be glad you did as the benefits are many and will continue throughout your life.
Leave me a comment below, and tell me what you think about this.
Until next time,