A Pathway (路径) to Meaning in Life
When it comes to a meaningful life, we might think of love, happiness and health. A life filled with meaning is what most of us want for ourselves. Then, what makes a meaningful life?
Many researchers agree that a meaningful life comes down to three factors (因素): having long-term goals, believing that one’s life matters, and feeling that one’s life fits together and “makes sense”.
But we believe there is more to consider. Sometimes life enables us to experience small moments of beauty. When people are open to appreciating (欣赏) such experiences, these moments may improve how they see their own life. We call this experiential appreciation (EA). EA is about the person feeling connected to events and being able to appreciate the value within the connection. It shows the discovery of and admiration for life’s beauty.
We recently set out to better understand EA in studies. We were interested in whether EA was also tied to general judgment of meaning in life. If so, it could be a factor for meaningfulness.
In the first study, we had people rate (评估) their support for different methods of reducing stress. We found that people who managed stress by focusing on their appreciation for life’s beauty also reported experiencing life as highly meaningful.
In the next study, we asked people to rate the degree to which they agreed with various statements, such as “I appreciate the beauty of life” and “I appreciate little things in life,” as well as other statements that related to the three factors and a general sense of meaning in life. Our results showed that the more people reported that they were “appreciating life” and its many experiences, the more they felt their life was valuable.
In the following studies, we further looked at the connection between EA and meaningfulness. For example, we found that people who were asked to look back on the most meaningful event of the past week generally reported high EA in those moments.
All the results proved our theory (假设) true. But putting it into practice can be difficult. Our fast-paced lifestyles fill the day with goals. We try to get the highest output both at work and in spare time. This focus on future outcomes makes it all too easy to miss what is happening right now. We should slow down and let life surprise us.
30. You were most probably in the EA condition when _________.
A. you made a travel plan for the coming holiday
B. you hurried to serve the customers in the store
C. you practiced hard to become the best violinist
D. you stopped to admire the roses by the roadside
31. What can we learn from the studies mentioned in the passage?
A. Thinking back to the past weakens our sense of meaning.
B. Enjoying small things can influence our attitude toward life.
C. Proper stress management is the key to living a satisfying life.
D. Good judgment on beauty improves connections among people.
32. What does the last paragraph mainly tell us?
A. It is easier for results-driven people to achieve success.
B. We often turn a blind eye to the present moment.
C. A fast-paced lifestyle helps us reach our goals.
D. Future life will bring us many more surprises.
33. What is the writer’s main purpose in writing this passage?
A. To explain how to discover beauty in life.
B. To discuss what the true meaning of life is.
C. To introduce a new factor for a meaningful life.
D. To compare different factors for meaningfulness.