Psychology of Meaning: Sources of Meaning
What are the possible sources of finding meaning in life? I suggest that there are seven
basic sources of finding meaning in life. Below are definitions of seven possible sources
of meaning from my book, Finding Meaning (3rd edition). (1)
Authenticity: Experiencing events in a genuine manner and behaving in a manner
that is consistent with one's inner self.
Coherence: The feeling that one's life makes sense and has an underlying order.
Connectedness: Feeling a sense of social connectedness, connectedness with one's
past, and connectedness with nature.
Continuity: The feeling that there is continuity to one's life and experiences.
Creativity: Expressing oneself in a creative manner.
Purpose: The feeling that one's life has direction and purpose.
Wholeness: The feeling of a sense of wholeness in one's experiences.
1. See my book, Finding Meaning (3rd edition), for more information about the
possible sources of meaning. The authenticity definition above reflects more than
consistency between one's behavior and one's true or inner self. In other words,
it involves more than simply being real or being yourself. The definition of authenticity
also reflects whether one is experiencing events in a genuine manner, and this would
include the authenticity of the behaviors of others.
Bell, B. (2007). Finding Meaning (3rd ed.). Portland, Oregon: Blue Fox
My book, Finding Meaning (third edition)
contains ideas about finding meaning in
life, adversity, and work.