By Bayo Ogunmupe
    Self reflection is good but you should not indulge in it. The question of happiness haunts us because at every stage of our lives we hope to seek meaning in everything we do. In an age we're encouraged to daily evaluate our position in the world and how we feel about being it; the search for happiness not only becomes tedious, it becomes discouraging. Thus, self reflection becomes a forced part of our culture, compelling us to reevaluate our relationships, homes and lives ever so often.
    Actively looking out for happiness only creates feelings of unhappiness. Psychologists found that the more people value happiness, the more likely they will feel disappointed. Even when life changes for better, we still continue to feel hopeless and lonely. Then, what's the solution to this problem? The solution, a study found, is not to pursue happiness but meaning. People who pursue meaning end up being more positive in life, acquiring  better attitudes for everything pleasing- from pleasurable relationships at home and at work to outright happiness in life.
    While searching for meaning may be less a task as pining for happiness; experts say there are significant differences between them. Indeed, it is easier to establish meaning early in your life by following these steps: One,controlling your perception of life. Often when you sit down to reflect, you become more unhappy; then you retreat and feel defeated. But when you strive for meaning, you instead look beyond the current situation and look at the bigger picture. As life is filled with ups and downs you get yourselves riled up by the bumps in between moments of happiness creating feelings of despair in your lives.
    However, finding meaning in your life depends on whether you are happy at the moment or not; which allows you to find a solution that will keep you happy from time to time. That makes you look beyond the present knowing fully well that how you feel now does not define your entire existence. The second step is in finding things bigger than yourself. When you look at things bigger than you and what you know, you seek transcendence. Transcendence isn't anything spiritual; it is in allowing yourself transcend being self centred by blending into a bigger reality.
    Transcendence is experienced by the elation of belonging to a higher vision. Transcendence would then plunge you into reflection and self awareness. You evoke transcendence by placing yourself in situations that juxtapose you and the world, allowing you to clearly experience a bigger reality other than your own. Three, surround yourself with love. By so doing you attain happiness. We often turn to the people around us for happiness and with meaning, there wouldn't be any difference. While you might not be able to test yourself against the universe, there are ways to assure yourself of a sense well being  through belonging to  your family.
    With friends and loved ones and by surrounding yourself with people who love you, you are able to realize that your existence has meaning. Of course this is different from being popular because of things  you have or places you belong in. Deep connections go beyond actions and thought. By establishing kinship with someone, you are able to relate to people outside your world view  and find meaning  beyond the ordinary.
    Finally, by creating a purpose for your life, you gravitate towards the universe of things and public figures.A purpose isn't defined by your paycheck or schedule or any agency. Your purpose is defined by joyful ability to give to others and change lives. It isn't strange to find purpose in our jobs; as long as we can contribute to the common good and the well-being of others. On the other hand, finding channels where we can affirm our sense of well-being, where we can passionately help others find direction in life are worthy purposes.
    However, the goal of finding meaning in things isn't tied to finite things. Jobs can end, relationships often disappear; money fades away; what is left when all else collapses is your sense of purpose which no one can take away from you. This residue constitutes meaning in your life and ending up to making yours a happy life.