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Quiz: What's Your Pillar of Meaning?

What's your primary source of meaning in life?

While I was researching The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life that Matters, I spoke to many people about what makes their lives meaningful. Four themes came up again and again both in those conversations and in the psychology research on meaning. They are what I call the four pillars of meaning: belonging, purpose, storytelling, and transcendence. Some people lean on certain pillars more than others to find meaning in life.

What's your pillar? To find out, take this quiz.

I have important long-term goals that I’m working toward

Absolutely describes me
For the most part
Somewhat
Only a little
Doesn't describe me at all

I am very close to my family and/or friends

Absolutely describes me
For the most part
Somewhat
Only a little
Doesn't describe me at all

I feel easily moved by beauty, whether in music, nature, art, or literature.

Absolutely describes me
For the most part
Somewhat
Only a little
Doesn't describe me at all

I’m always thinking about paths that I could have taken in life but didn’t—the “what ifs” and “what could have beens”

Absolutely describes me
For the most part
Somewhat
Only a little
Doesn't describe me at all

I love forming meaningful connections with other people, whether the barista at the coffee shop, my neighbors, or my family members

Absolutely describes me
For the most part
Somewhat
Only a little
Doesn't describe me at all

I go out of my way to make other people feel cared for and happy

Absolutely describes me
For the most part
Somewhat
Only a little
Doesn't describe me at all

I devote a considerable amount of my free time to activities like meditation and prayer, yoga, and being outdoors

Absolutely describes me
For the most part
Somewhat
Only a little
Doesn't describe me at all

I have very a good sense of what my interests and talents are

Absolutely describes me
For the most part
Somewhat
Only a little
Doesn't describe me at all

I have had profound experiences where I’ve felt connected to something vast and much bigger than myself

Absolutely describes me
For the most part
Somewhat
Only a little
Doesn't describe me at all

It’s very rare for me to feel unmoored or unmotivated, like I’m drifting

Absolutely describes me
For the most part
Somewhat
Only a little
Doesn't describe me at all

I often reflect on my childhood experiences and how they made me the person I am today

Absolutely describes me
For the most part
Somewhat
Only a little
Doesn't describe me at all

I am very involved in my community and civic organizations.

Absolutely describes me
For the most part
Somewhat
Only a little
Doesn't describe me at all

I’ve had adverse and/or traumatic experiences that I spend a lot of time processing and trying to make sense of

Absolutely describes me
For the most part
Somewhat
Only a little
Doesn't describe me at all

Novels and movies can inspire me to think more deeply about my life and what it means to be human

Absolutely describes me
For the most part
Somewhat
Only a little
Doesn't describe me at all

I consider myself a religious or spiritual person and am always cultivating that side of me

Absolutely describes me
For the most part
Somewhat
Only a little
Doesn't describe me at all

I knew from an early age that I wanted to make the world a better place

Absolutely describes me
For the most part
Somewhat
Only a little
Doesn't describe me at all

Your pillar is:

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