20 Meaningful things to do in life – simple and realistic

From the day we’re born, our journey through life begins. Through our lives, we continue to search for purpose, significance, and fulfillment.

The search for “meaningful things to do in life” engages our hearts and minds in the journey of discovering what truly brings us satisfaction and fulfillment.

Meaningful things to do in life

This relentless search for “meaningful things to do in life” is a powerful force that causes us to explore different things that can actually bring meaning to our lives. It’s not out of the ordinary to crave for activities outside the regular – after all, we as humans, and insatiable!

While the definition of “meaningful” changes from one person to the next, there are certain universal experiences that bring a sense of purpose to us all.

20 Meaningful things to do in life

Here are twenty actionable examples of meaningful things to do in life. They range from personal growth, to aiding others, to embracing once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Let’s jump in!

Pursue Your Passion

Your passions are the things that ignite your soul. They may be unacknowledged, but they are there. Find them. Dig deep into your heart and decipher what it is that you love doing. It could be painting, writing, dancing, teaching, coding, etc. Whatever it is, pursue it with all your might.

Embrace Learning

Knowledge is one of the few meaningful things to do in life, because it remains immaterial to us forever. Make learning a lifetime goal. Take a course in a subject that intrigues you. Learn a new language. Education opens up our minds to new perspectives and expands our horizons.

Travel the World

Traveling is like reading a book. It opens your eyes to different cultures, people, and ways of life. From sampling different cuisines to enjoying beautiful landscapes, every trip enriches your life memories. Travel far, travel often.

Volunteer Your Time

Volunteering not only helps others but adds richness to our own lives. Whether it is at a local soup kitchen, nursing home, or animal shelter, giving of your time and talents will leave you feeling fulfilled.

Maintain Healthy Relationships

Relationships are the cornerstones of a meaningful life. Cherish your family, build your friendships, and love honestly and deeply. Life becomes exceptionally meaningful when shared with the ones you love.

Foster Mindfulness

Stay present as you go about your day. When washing the dishes, pay attention to the warm water on your hands and the soothing scent of soap. Notice the way the suds glide over each plate, carrying away debris. As you drink your morning coffee, savor the rich aroma wafting up and the first sip that warms you from within.

The more you focus on the current moment, the less scattered your thoughts will feel overall. Reduce anxiety about the future and regrets over the past by anchoring yourself in the here and now. Each small mindful act welcomes an inner calm that ripples through your whole day.

Set Personal Goals

You know that feeling when you have clear objectives driving you forward each day? Whether it’s training to finish your first 5K, saving up to buy your dream home, or finally writing that novel you’ve had in mind for years – having goals gives your life direction and purpose. 

When you live intentionally, putting one foot in front of the other on the path toward your goals, you make life a lot easier and fun. Each milestone and achievement builds your confidence to envision and manifest bolder dreams. Make sure to pause and celebrate each accomplishment along the way – you’ve earned it!

Stay Active

A healthy body nurtures a healthy mind. Exercise regularly. Join a gym, practice yoga, take up dancing. Whatever you choose, keep your body active and agile.

Read Widely

Books are our gateway to different worlds and diverse minds. Read widely and diversely. Read non-fiction to learn. Read fiction to imagine and entertain your mind. Books ignite thought, inspire creativity, and provoke empathy.

Practice Kindness

Make the choice to be more thoughtful, caring, and compassionate toward others. Say a kind word to the cashier at the store. Smile at strangers when you pass them on the street. Give genuine compliments whenever you notice something you appreciate about someone.

Light up someone’s day with random acts of kindness. Send an uplifting text to a friend going through a tough time. Bake cookies for your elderly neighbor. Volunteer at a local charity. Donate clothes and goods you no longer use to those in need.

Start a Hobby

If you do not know how to start a new hobby, pick something you’re genuinely interested in. Don’t worry about being an expert right away. The joy is in the process of learning.

Start by researching different hobbies online. Pay attention to what sparks your curiosity, even if you have zero experience. Get excited about the possibility of developing new skills and meeting people who share your interests.

Once you’ve settled on a hobby, make a list of everything you need to get started. Don’t go overboard buying a bunch of expensive gear in the beginning. See if you can borrow stuff from friends first. You want to make sure you enjoy your hobby before spending money on it.

Reflect on Life

Reflection allows us to appreciate how far we’ve come and where we want to go. Take time from your busy schedule to introspect and journey within.

Care for Nature and Animals

Small, thoughtful actions ripple out in caring ways. For example, you could plant a tree in your neighborhood, providing shade and clean air for years to come. Or you might adopt a rescue dog or cat from your local animal shelter, offering a furry friend a loving home.

Taking time to pick up litter in a nearby park can make the space more beautiful for all who spend time there. These simple, selfless acts are so rewarding. As you reach out with care to the creatures and places around you, your heart feels full. You tap into that human instinct to nurture life. Being of service brings out your highest self.

Conquer Fears

Facing and overcoming fears is a life-altering experience. It may be phobia-based like fear of water, heights, or personal fears such as public speaking. Overcoming these fears instills confidence and gratification.

Uphold Truth

Integrity is the cornerstone of a meaningful life. Uphold truth even in the most tempting situations. It earns respect and builds character.

Explore Creativity

Creativity is the human mind’s playground. Paint, write, knit, build – express yourself creatively. It not only stimulates your mind but also soothes your soul.

Nurture Simple Pleasures

Life’s simplest pleasures often mean the most. Enjoy the sunset, take a long walk, savor a cup of hot tea, and listen to your favorite song. Meaning often goes unnoticed in the hustle and bustle of life. Slow down and savor it.

Restrain Materialism

A simple and content life breeds happiness. Limit your wants, appreciate what you have, and resist the urge for unnecessary consumerism.

Broaden Your Mind

Expose your mind to new ideas, cultures, philosophies, and sciences. Diversify your thought process. A broad mind is a treasure trove of wisdom.

Appreciate Art

Existing since the dawn of civilization, art communicates human emotions and ideas beautifully. Appreciate various forms of art – music, painting, drama, literature, cinema, and sculpture, to name a few.


Life is an incredible journey, filled with ups and downs, realities and dreams and everything in between. In this journey, meaningful activities amplify our experiences, fostering fulfillment, enrichment, and ultimately, happiness.

You should start today!

Try any and more of these twenty meaningful things to do in life and see the difference they make. Feel enriched as you add dimensions of meaning and purpose to your life, because in the end, a life well-lived is the most meaningful pursuit of all.