“Is my life meaningful?” When I ask the question this way the perspective is very different. Now my happiness will no longer depend upon my never getting sick, or upon my not getting lonely, or upon my never being misunderstood, or upon my never making wrong choices, or on somehow being exempt from death’s shadow. Life can be frustrating and still be very meaningful. We can be lonely, sick, sorrowful about wrong choices, over-worked and unappreciated, staring old age and death in the face and still experience deep meaning. Happiness will be a by-product of that.
Are my symbols working? Does my life have a meaning?
The question about happiness comes after that question.
Ron Rolheiser, Happiness and Meaning