White Paper – thirdlady226

Organized Content Descriptions

  • There isn’t inherent “meaning” in anything.

We tend to let life pass us by, accrediting everything that happens as part of some “bigger picture,” and we tend to think that if our lives feel empty and without goals, it’s supposed to be that way. But life is more specific than that. “Meaning” is a term in and of itself that’s up for interpretation, and how we create meaning in our lives is how we interpret what meaning means to us. Our specific talents and goals and what we do to work for them create purpose in our lives. We alone give ourselves purpose; that is no one elses’ to give or take away from us.

  • Meaning – and therefore happiness and fulfillment – can be created even among the worst situations.

No matter what goes on around us in our lives, whether happy or tragic, we can stick to our personal goals by focusing on what they mean to our lives and our state of existence. By giving ourselves goals, and a bigger personal picture to paint, we can give ourselves focus, priorities, and a purpose. We won’t get dragged down more than necessary, or get blown around to the point where we lose sight of everything we’re doing in our lives, just because something different gets thrown our way.

Working Hypothesis 1

Happiness doesn’t exist in and of itself. It only comes into being in each person’s individual life. No one can give it to us, no one can take it away. We create it for ourselves, and it only comes through finding our meaning and/or true calling in life, and creating goals that thusly help us reach that meaning.

Working Hypothesis 2

It is entirely possible to go through life without ever reaching a state of true happiness. Even with a job, a car, a nice house, a family…everything that can be normal dreams and goals, an individual sense of purpose might not be achieved if one is not willing to put in the work and the effort to create an optimal life.

Topics for Smaller Papers

  • Finding Meaning Starts with Loving Yourself

We cannot fully form our goals to find our meaning in life if we don’t fully accept who are. We can’t accurately assess our personal talents, needs, and wants, if we are clouded with self-doubt.

  • Our Meaning Should Spread Beyond Ourselves

Once we hopefully accomplish the task of creating a well-balanced, purposeful life, we shouldn’t keep it to ourselves. True happiness will spill out, motivating others to then create their own meaning and happiness.

Current State of the Research

I have my ideas pretty well outlined, I’m in the process of finding more sources to back up my claims as this could be seen as somewhat of a cliche topic. I do believe, however, that it is an important one. I really want to stress that a purposeful life entails hard work, especially in today’s world of instant gratification.

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3 Responses to White Paper – thirdlady226

  1. thirdlady226 says:

    Feedback was requested.

    Feedback provided.


  2. davidbdale says:

    Inherent Meaning.
    There isn’t any. Judging from your natural writing skills, I have some confidence that you may be the first student ever to make this topic work, thirdlady. While it’s still vague, this first paragraph comes close to making sense out of the jangle of abstract terms that afflict the discussion of happiness, contentment, fulfillment, and Meaning In Life. Encouraging.
    Worst conditions. Hopelessly vague.

    Hypothesis 1.
    Our true calling is our meaning in life? Finding and pursuing our calling achieves happiness? Or is it reaching that goal that provides happiness? Accomplishment or pursuit? You must at least make that choice, thirdlady; otherwise, you don’t have an hypothesis.

    Hypothesis 2.
    Certainly agree with the beginning premise. Plenty of “successful” people lack happiness. But the next step, “creating an optimal life,” is the tricky part. How does it differ from “normal dreams and goals”? Also, does it worry you at all that this thesis might have been created by a self-help guru whose “optimal life” consists of selling dreams of true happiness to motivational speech audiences and book-buyers?

    Smaller Papers.
    I’m pretty sure there are solid psychological premises beneath the arguments of the self-help industry, thirdlady, but I haven’t seen anything in this White Paper so far that qualifies it as a research paper. You’ll find lots of people making claims about what “we must do” to achieve “our true life goals,” but those claims simply can’t be proved or disproved, making them poor candidates for academic argument.

    Quantify and verify if you want to avoid the vagueness and abstract conclusions of your predecessors in this topic, thirdlady. You’ve demonstrated writing ability here. Now show your academic rigor and reasoning.

    Reply, please.


  3. thirdlady226 says:

    Thanks for the compliment. I agree that a lot about this white paper is vague, I have (hopefully) made some sense out of these ideas since I wrote this, and will hopefully communicate more clearly in the portfolio paper.


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