How to Live a Meaningful Life as an Introvert

4 min

I was about 16 when I came across the word: meaning.

Before that I only knew it as a word defined by the dictionary.

But the day I understood its philosophical meaning, it gave me a whole new perspective on life.

If you’ve ever found yourself awake at 2 am thinking about how to live a meaningful life, today you might get a little closer to the answer.

Look, I understand that living a meaningful life is different for everybody. But there’s always a fundamental core to it that’s shared by all human beings.

It’s like making a pizza. You can make it in a hundred different ways, but every pizza goes on a crust. It could be thin or thick or stuffed, but there is no pizza without a crust.

I was lost and confused for years thinking about how to live a meaningful life. What does it even mean to live a meaningful life?

Then one day, I came across this profound quote by Mark Twain,

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect”.

Mark Twain was a very smart man. He’s one of my favorite American writers. I’ve read almost all of his novels.

But it took me years to understand what he was talking about.

Now you may question, what that quote has to do with living a meaningful life.

And I’d say – everything.

Let me explain.

What stops you from living a meaningful life?

We’re born with certain tendencies already written inside our brain.

To put it scientifically, 20% of who you are comes from your genes and DNA and all that. In other words, 20% of who you are is because of your ancestors.

And you can do nothing about it.

But the rest of the 80%—now that’s what causes all the problems.

You learn that 80% from the world. Through parents, friends, childhood experiences, media, and the whole environment that you grow up in.

Our mind is like a sponge. Soaking in all the data, facts, and information so you can live the best life possible.

For example, if you’re interested in Eastern philosophy like meditation, detachment, yoga and all, you weren’t born with it. It’s your circumstances and curiosity that led you to explore that path.

If you touch on the negative side, if you’re addicted to drinking, social media, compulsive eating, or any bad habit, that too you picked up from your environment.

My point is, 80% of what happens in your life happens because directly or indirectly, you allowed it into your life.

So, if you’ve ever felt that you’re not living the life you want to – you have the power to change it.

Having said that, let’s dive into what Mark Twain said,

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect”.

As I said earlier, Mark was a very intelligent man. Just like his writing, his wisdom is subtle but deep.

And just in one sentence he gave you wisdom for a lifetime.

Let’s understand the first half of the sentence,

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority…”

He’s not just saying on the surface that you should never blindly follow opinions, but it goes way deeper.

Because in the second half, he asks you to pause and reflect.

Now notice that he’s not asking you to stop or change, instead he’s asking you to PAUSE & REFLECT.

He’s asking you to find out: “Why did you do it?”

And when you start enquiring the ‘why’, you transcend into a different dimension of life.

A dimension that will show you how to live a meaningful life.

The Key to Living a Meaningful Life

Socrates once said,

“The unexamined life is not worth living”.

When we don’t enquire the belief systems that were fed to us in childhood, we keep on living life on autopilot.

It’s like a pre-programmed robot. It doesn’t have the capacity to think. It only follows the code that was fed into it by the engineers who made it.

But on the other hand, you, as a conscious human being, have the capacity to think and reflect and more importantly change your default programming.

There is always some part of you that rebels against that default program. Because as a human being you were born to grow and evolve mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

And when you keep on ignoring that inner calling and keep on following the majority (as Mark said), you experience suffering.

A void.

And when you’re an introvert, that void can consume your entire life.

Following the ways of the world is what gave me anxiety and a sense of void that I kept trying to fill by poisoning my mind and body.

My complete lack of self-control and meaninglessness was a manifestation of starving my soul of what it longed for.

I’m not asking you to quit your job, leave your family, shave your head, and disappear into the mountains.

All I’m saying is – to experience a sense of calm and peace and stillness in life – listen to that inner voice.

For example, for almost a decade, I wore a mask, bottled up my feelings, and pretended to be an extrovert.

Inside I was dying. I felt rotten.

I got sick both mentally and physically.

But one day, I said to myself, “Fuck it. Fuck everyone. I’m just gonna do me.”

I removed all the extroverted soul draining shit from my life. That’s when I understood what I really needed in my life to feel happy and content.

It was always the little things…

– Drinking a warm cup of tea
– Staring at the stars
– Long hot showers
– Cooking my favorite meal
– Reading a good book
– Going for long walks in nature
– Deep conversation with a like minded person
– Watching classic movies
– Solo trekking into the mountain

That’s all I needed to be happy and fulfilled.

And the funny thing was, I always had it.

For all those years I kept searching and suffering, but it was right there.

It’s just that the world drifted me too far away from myself.

The key to living a meaningful life, dear friend, is not to go looking for it outside, but to turn inwards and think deeply about what your soul longs for.

Stay blessed,

– Karun

P.S: In ‘Awakening’, I have shared all the practical methods and techniques that helped me find my true self. That helped me heal my mind and body. It’s a compete system that can help you master your thoughts and emotions, build self-control, and live a life of meaning and purpose.

So, if you’re someone who struggles with self-control and genuinely want to change, it can help.