What is AMeaningOfLife.org?
This website is a Swiss army knife for living well. We provide depth and breadth:
- Read inspired, informed, actionable wisdom for living a life you love.
- Find instructions and inspiration for the life you wish you had growing up (or for your children)
- See Positive Psychology applied to everyday life with practices, exercises, frameworks, knowledge, and skills to help you lead your best life.
- Gain clarity of mind, depth of heart, and potent purpose.
We provide tools to empower meaningful, optimal living.
Science-based Wisdom, Models, and Resources to develop your answers to life’s biggest questions.
This site does not advocate any particular spiritual (or non) tradition.
We are a 501 (c)(3) Nonprofit (NGO), unaffiliated organization
Directed by PhD Psychologist, Claremont Graduate University
This website — its models, collections, and presentation — are a project of Dr. Randall Grayson.
The contents and ideas here are a culmination of his:
- 25 years of professional psychology, focus on human development
- Taught at 3 universities
- 1000+ books on human development, and meaning/purpose/happiness
- Level 2 (of 3) certified in the Gottman Method
- Countless journal articles / dozens of workshops and professional trainings, post-doctorate
- 3000+ people interviewed about themselves and their meaning; teens to 90+, dozens of countries
- Reading over 130 magazines per year, mostly from subscriptions, and some random retail shelf picks as well
- Reading dozens of blogs each month
- Daily, intentional, lived-experience with dozens of adults and children
- WORKING on meaning and happiness
Living well is no small task. Helping YOU live well is no small thing either.
There is no one-way route through the website’s content. Think of being here like entering an interactive museum: There are many exhibits, each curated and informative. The exhibits help you practice what you’re learning, and there are even resources to take home. You can keep coming back—the museum is diverse and always worth practicing—and each time you’ll grow a bit wiser.
The site aims to be well-informed on research, humble in the face of diversity, and compatible with the many modes of human flourishing. If you have any feedback, please share.
A few of our hopes for our readers:
- Understand and apply the science of purpose
- Create a deeper, more joyful relationship with yourself and others
- Touch the depths of gratitude, awe, and forgiveness
- Befriend your fear, yourself, and others to create connection, options, and awesomeness
- Utilize the science of friendship, dating, and long-term relationships to deepen the love and joy in your life
- Become more intimate with grief, death, loss, and dying before you’re in bed with them
- Visit the “town of challenge” and tour it as a visiting scholar and practitioner so you’re more capable next time life throws you a curve ball (or a boulder)
- Get clear about your relationship with money, so you can use it without it using you
A few ways to think about the site:
- An interactive encyclopedia of wisdom.
- A road atlas for the diverse challenges of life.
- A compendium of scientifically informed, psychological insight.
- Personalized solutions for a modern wide-scale crisis of meaning.
- A collection of resources that optimize for a ‘happy,’ meaningful life.
- Understanding and tools to utilize positive psychology to live life to its fullest.
- A guide to productively, scientifically approaching “the question,” cuddling up to it, and wisely and courageously CREATING a life worth living.
Your tax-deductible donations help us expand our offerings and reach a wider audience. Thanks so much for considering donating to the project!
The Story of the Site
A note from Dr. Grayson:
“In the 8th grade, I wrote a paper called “Psyched Out by Psychology.” That title referred to the 14 more years of education ahead of me to obtain a doctorate. I persisted as the inner, social, and existential lives of humans continued to fascinate me.
About 20 years ago, I began asking people from all walks of life and countries what made their lives meaningful, and what was a life well-lived. Working intensely, often residentially, with thousands of adults and even more children, my theoretical and grounded research became rooted in experience.
When my children were born and my father died in short succession, I began the process of putting together the structure and content of this website:
- the guide I wish I had while growing up, and through adulthood
- a guide/gift to my children
- an honoring of my father’s work and life
- and hopefully a service to humanity
The journey of creating this website lasted nearly a decade, and continues to this day.
I hope that these science-based meta-frameworks, ideas, practices, and worksheets enable you to:
- Frame and understand your experience of life
- Organize your experiences
- Inform your choices
- and Bring meaning and purpose to your life
Some trivia about Dr. Grayson
- I have never originated a text! I’ve also never owned a cell phone. That said, I am pretty guru-like in my tech knowledge, from hardware to software, and I send/receive about 100 e-mails a day. I can physically and software build/repair any computer from scratch.
- I broke my neck when I was 16 years old (C 4, 5, 6), and was completely quadriplegic. It took about 18 months to largely recover; numerous limitations remain, although they would not be readily observable.
- I’ve spent nearly 3 years traveling to over two dozen countries
- I went on 100 dates a month while also working full time, sleeping well, eating well, and exercising.
- I’ve officiated 5 weddings by special request
- I enjoy archery, broad-sword fighting (German tradition), native flute, balloon sculpture, and ferrets.
- I was involved in two high-speed car chases (not from police), one over 100mph in L.A.
- I enjoy haunted houses, but I have yet to find a really good one, so I create my own experiences.
- I owned a 9-foot boa named cuddles, and once took a 3-foot alligator I owned to show-and-tell at school.
- I’ve read over 4000 short stories (from classic to modern), and have collected 100 favorites into a personal anthology by theme, which will one day be published.
- I have held 32 jobs and have worked since I was 12 years old. Some of my less typically professional jobs include: massage therapist in fitness club, direct-care worker with autistics, computer systems engineer, training coordinator and crisis manager, camp counselor, crew on a hundred-year-old tall ship (I fell 8 stories from the upper yard into the ocean and survived. Think this), mattress mover, office associate, computer applications instructor, program evaluation research with massage, street artist with balloon animals, hypnotist, Pizza Hut delivery driver (was once invited to a Wiccan ceremony while delivering a pizza), cowboy on a ranch, landscaper, software sales person, house painter, and sheep shearer.
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The information on this website is not a substitute for the knowledge, skill, or judgment of qualified healthcare professionals. If you have any health or medical questions or concerns, please consult a physician or other healthcare professional. This site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any condition.