For the visually inclined, presented here is a metaphor for some of the resources available throughout this site.
This is a collection of some of the key subject matter throughout the website, metaphorically made to represent a human body.
Click on something that interests you for a brief explanation, with a button leading to that section of the site. If you’re curious about why we chose that part of the body for the metaphor, hover over the text for a brief explanation.
For a more straight-forward (text-based) and comprehensive overview of the website, check out the Site Tour page.
The Cornerstones of Meaning
These 4 cornerstones make up the foundation for meaning and purpose in life. Chances are, if you feel a sense of meaning, there is some combination of these 4 cornerstones involved.
Within each section, you’ll find pages written to explain the cornerstone, bringing you in touch with it and sharing tools and practices for improving your well-being with that cornerstone.
Follow each button to visit the section for that Cornerstone, and prepare to live a more meaningful, joyful life!
And if you’d like to understand more about how the cornerstones fit into our models of well-being, check out this page:
Discovery is one of the four pillars that contributes to the creation of meaning in our lives. While it can be meaningful in and of itself, Discovery does not constitute a meaningful life without being complemented by and interwoven with the other three experiences of purpose: Love, Service, and Expression. These other elements of meaning aside, Discovery itself is fulfilling when done with the intention of growth and understanding something larger than the self. While introspection is a large aspect of the process and it is important to see that Discovery concerns not only the understanding of self, but the understanding of self in context. By questing to comprehend ourselves to a greater degree through exposure to the unknown and diligent self-reflection, we can connect with and live into multiple ways of being that feel meaningful to us.
Love is vast. Love is mysterious. It is nuanced and multifaceted. And it is packed with meaning.
Our section on love will give you many sections in and of itself. From Forgiveness to Compassionate Communication, this cornerstone will offer you ample wisdom on relationships, friendships, communication, and more.
These questions and more, in great depth, reside here. Click the button to check it out.
You are unique. No individual person has ever been exactly like you. In this way, almost by proxy, there is meaning in what you put out into the world.
Expression is a source of meaning for the artist, the activist, and…well, everyone. This section will explore the subject in depth, providing case studies and psychology regarding expression and meaning, barriers and solutions to harnessing meaning in this way, and even lists of resources for you to take personal expression to the next level.
“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” — Rumi
This section will detail Service as a cornerstone of meaning. You’ll see inspiring examples of service, learn how to better live in service, and even find resources for jobs, volunteering, and more.
“Enablers” are the skills, tools, and practice that give us the means to live well. They are wisdom, awareness, perspective, and so on.
Here, you’ll find sections providing detailed insight and resources on subjects of living well, intentionally, like Mindfulness, Communication, Perspective, and more. Click through and find what’s calling to you. Each section is a hack for become a bigger, better version of yourself, more capable of living a joyful life of purpose.
And, note that there are many more enablers than what are listed here on the Body Map.
Superficially, it’s being touted as a stress reducer and performance enhancer. But those more familiar with the practice notice a radical shift in the way they pay attention to the details of life and the way they relate to their everyday experience.
The practice of mindfulness can be summarized as the faculty of voluntarily bringing a wandering mind back to the present moment. It is a technique and practice for better understanding perception. Through consistent and long-term practice, it provides a deep understanding of the transience of all things, resulting in remarkable psychological and health benefits.
Optimism / Growth Mindset (Hope)
Hope is the skill of how we approach life. It is a combination of our willpower, our waypower, and our goals.
Hope is often confused with Optimism, but in the section you’ll learn that optimism is one subfactor of Hope.
The hope section is stacked with practices and exercises, both on-page and as printouts, and there are even several free quizzes to assess your dispositional hope.
Power of Perspective
This single page presents an almost limitless tool for all the challenges of life. When we change how we contextualize something, we change almost everything.
With these insights, you’ll be equipped with methods that can remove the sting from your anxiety, humble your misconceptions, and empower your insights.
Let’s take a look together at one of the most important modes of life. Play, though often ideologically sequestered to children and young adults, is important for people of all ages to lead a healthy life.
What’s the science behind it? What are the benefits and the challenges?
What forms of play can I delve into next? 🙂
This section is a collection of communication ‘hacks’ which aim to bring your speaking skills to another, vastly more powerful, level.
Within, you’ll learn some simple tips for Removing Judgment, Enabling Collaboration and Accuracy, and Preserving Power and Autonomy. All of these will apply not only to how you present to others, but also to yourself.
We are all subject to physical limitation. No matter the flexibility of our perspective, we reside in an objective reality. We cannot will ourselves to re-grow a limb or reverse time.
And there are countless insights to how our physical health interacts with living a joyful life. How do we stay healthy in old age? What are the relationships between physical health and life satisfaction? Visit this section to find out.
One of the most direct-effect happiness hacks, practicing gratitude is like exercising a muscle which, when flexed, improves your health, happiness, and life-satisfaction.
Inside, you’ll find techniques, types, different levels of awareness, and more resources to ensure progress on your practice of gratitude.
It could be one of the most misunderstood interpersonal dynamics in world history.
This section will hold the secrets of forgiveness, breaking myths, and revealing a more intrinsic power we all hold to move through the trials of life with grace and sincerity.
Several section reside within ‘Freedom’ as an enabler. Each share a theme of Freedom from Inauthenticity.
In Freedom from Suffering, you’ll find a directory of Antidotes and Poisons to pain and attachment.
100% Responsibility is a philosophy that illuminates our radical capacity for choice.
Clean Communication calls out the ways we’re passive aggressive to others and inauthentic to ourselves.
Right and Wrong is an insightful section that details our tendency to project and saves us the trouble of expecting the world to work for us.
Additionally, Your Storied Life, Social Comparison, and Integrity are each sections worth reading if you’re interested in taking ownership of your life with full conviction.
What’s on the other side of all this? Where can we expect to be after reading and practicing the tools on this site?
What effect does Meaning and Purpose have on life?
These pages will show the reasoning, and the science, behind this website’s focus: the importance of living a life full of meaning.
What about the other side of it? What are the negative outcomes?
This page details the research on what happens to us when we don’t have meaning in our lives. It’s a bleak condition.
Understanding the toll it takes on the human psyche to be without a sense of purpose, we can see the necessity of practicing and sharing the insights of meaning in life.
Also widely known as Nonviolent Communication, this section is a must-read.
The CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, gave his managers one book that quickly changed the company’s culture from cutthroat to creative. Which book? Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg.
This section is a comprehensive, curated presentation of the philosophy that’s served millions around the world, opening a power in their language to effectively empathize and accurately understand and relate their feelings.
You may have already read on this site somewhere how ‘Happiness,’ colloquially, is not the same as Joy. It’s an important distinction we want to drive home.
And, when we talk about ‘happiness’ in society, there is further delineation to be made.
This section will break down happiness into 4 distinct Elements: Ephemeral Pleasures, Flow/Engagement, Perspective, and Meaning and Purpose (Joy).
You’ll find loads of book recommendations, articles, and videos in this section. This collection will be a launching-off point to deepen your understanding of the breadth of ‘happiness’.
Perhaps the greatest threat to experiencing joy in life is fear. It stops us before we start. It keeps us comfortable, never touching our growth zones. Along with happiness itself being a hindrance, fear is, as Frank Herbert called it in Dune, “the mind-killer.”
This section will detail what role fear plays in our lives, from its essential sides to its unfortunate limits.