Who hasn’t been lonely sometimes in their lives? I think we have all experienced this nagging feeling of being lost and unable to gain any meaning in our lives. Most of us think that this comes from the outside — something outside of us isn’t making us feel content enough to feel peaceful and happy with what we have and where we are in life. However, that isn’t always the case.
Pat Love and Jon Carlson are both relationship and behavioral experts, and even they found themselves to be plagued by loneliness at one time in their lives. Loneliness is a state of mind. It has little to do with the outside world or how we get along with others. When Love and Carlson met the Dalai Lama, they began to develop an effective approach that would recalibrate how they viewed loneliness and relationships in their lives forever. This process is what this book is all about.
According to the authors, we attract loneliness by being attached to the wrong things. We must start examining our lives piece by piece. The core of loneliness hinges on five key questions. The first question is “Who am I?” At the innermost core of all loneliness is a deep and powerful yearning for union with one’s lost self. Second is “Am I connected?” We should try to be genuinely empathic towards others in our daily lives. Learning to live in harmony with others can change our dance of life.
The third question we should ask, Love and Carlson note, is “Am I living in community?” We should try and get involved in our community in order to feel less lonely and to live a more meaningful life. The fourth is “Can I utilize my talents in meaningful work?” We must strive to have labor and work that uplifts humanity. Our work shouldn’t contribute to our loneliness. For many of us, we work such long hours that we seem to be lost in our work. This can create a lot of loneliness.
Finally, the last question is “Am I living the purpose of my life?” People who live a life of purpose are like energy magnets. They attract others and bond easily around a mutual interest. When we’re following a life of purpose, we’re so energized and not lonely.
In conclusion, Love and Carlson believe that if we can find happiness and purpose in our lives, we can put an end to loneliness. If our purpose in life is to be happy, then we will care for others, because this is what ultimately creates happiness and personal well-being. Truly happy and content people know who they are and live out of their core values. They invest time and energy in relationships so that they could develop and maintain close connections with significant people. They avoid negative people as much as possible. They have fun, and they enjoy life. They believe that their lives have purpose because each day their actions have meaning to them and others.
We all need this kind of advice. We tend to be the most lonely people in history. We don’t have a lot of genuine contact with others. We tend to focus on the negative and we live lives that aren’t fulfilling and that have no purpose. It is important that we strive to live a more purposeful and happy life. After reading this book, you too will never be lonely again.