There are a lot of notions out there about what it means to live a meaningful life. I think the standard idea that comes to mind is a life in which a person deliberately does good for others, even if it means sacrificing some of their well-being, time, or comfort. The typical notion of a life that has meaning is one in which it is utterly apparent to an outsider looking in, that the person living the meaningful life is “doing good.” However, life with meaning—just like most other things—encompasses a lot more than what first meets the eye. Meaning means purpose, and no individual has the same purpose in life as the next.
Living a life with meaning without a doubt means that somewhere along the way the person living does good for, impacts, inspires, or betters another individual. However, the basis on which one judges another life as meaningful or not cannot be formed on the visible, nor can even necessarily be determined by a person other than the one living. A life with meaning means a life brimming with passion and love, driven by an insatiable thirst for more, and the undying knowledge that more can always be done. Where there is passion, in whichever form, there is life. Where there is life, there is meaning, and where there is passion there is no wasted effort, talent, nor time.
A life with meaning may not be obvious at first. It may not be the life of a martyr, a saint, or even a good Samaritan. But rather, a life with meaning can really only be judged by the person living it, and can only be judged through passion. When someone can find something in life that makes them come alive—something that is able to move their insides the way nothing else can—that person has a life with meaning. At present time, many of our lives may consist of finding that meaning. Never be discouraged if the search takes long, for as long as there is a heart beating underneath your chest, you have a purpose.