The Life Worth Living programme offers a deep learning journey for all us, facilitators and participants. It brings a lot of deep questions and provides space for deep answers.

Teachers and school leaders from Bulgaria, Greece, Iceland, Italy and Belgium have the opportunity to engage in a heartfelt exploration of their own meaning of a life worth living. The starting motivation for us, LWL partners, was that at the end of this months-long journey they will graduate the programme with clearer understanding, which will empower their mental and physical flourishing in their personal and professional lives.

But is it really possible? Can we measure one’s journey to deeper connecting with one’s own and unique vision for a meaningful life? Can we rely on more than personal testimonials that we have already been receiving from participants, saying they are having a really meaningful experience?

Luckily for us Michael Steger has been posing similar questions for many years.

He is a Professor of Psychology, and the Founding Director of the Center for Meaning and Purpose at Colorado State University. His research and workshops focus on how people flourish through building meaning and purpose in their lives and in their work, and on learning more healthy ways to connect with Nature. He has published more than 140 scholarly articles and book chapters, and his published works include two widely-used measurement tools, the Meaning in Life Questionnaire (MLQ) and the Work and Meaning Inventory, as well as three co-edited books.

We decided to utilize the already tested tools and asked all our participants in the beginning of the programme to fill in the MLQ. We will ask them to do similar exercise at the end and compare the results.

The Meaning in Life Questionnaire is a tool designed to help understand two important aspects of life's meaning. It consists of 10 statements. People respond to these statements on a scale from 1 (completely disagree) to 7 (completely agree). There are two main parts of this questionnaire:

  • Presence of Meaning: This part checks how much people feel their lives are filled with meaning.
  • Search for Meaning: This part examines how much effort and motivation people have in looking for more meaning or understanding the meaning in their lives better.

The questionnaire shows that feeling a strong sense of meaning in life is linked to being happier, more outgoing, and agreeable. It also tends to mean less anxiety and depression. On the other hand, actively searching for meaning is connected to a more questioning and sometimes anxious state of mind but is also an important part of personal growth and understanding oneself better.

Completing the questionnaire takes about 3-5 minutes. It does not give a score like a test for mental health issues might. Instead, it helps map out where someone might be in their journey of finding meaning across all aspects of life. This tool is for exploring your perspective on life's meaning and is not meant for diagnosing any psychological conditions.

More about Michael’s work and access to MLQ in different language versions:

Project Number: KA220-SCH-39808481

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.