Dr. Henry Cloud is a writer and speaker I admire.  I recently found this list of attributes that he says are apparent in people living meaningful lives.

  • Gratitude: People who actively develop an attitude of gratitude and express gratitude regularly are happier people.
  • Positive Thinking:  People who guard their thinking and whose thinking is rooted in faith are happier than pessimistic, negative thinkers.  They are also more successful.
  • Purpose and Calling:  People who recognize and develop an internal calling and purpose in their lives are more fulfilled.
  • Talents: People who invest themselves in developing their real talents and strengths and then put them to use are more fulfilled.
  • Humility: People who are humble enough to receive correction and feedback become wiser and improve over time.

I wonder to what degree these approaches are chosen by people, as compared to being forced upon them from the outside.

Being grateful, being humble, embracing a purpose, and dedicating yourself to improving your skills are inside jobs.  I can encourage you to do them, but I can’t endow you with those attributes.  It’s up to you.