In a culture that's fixated on finding joy, New York Times columnist David Brooks has another take on living a meaningful life -- and it might surprise you.
"We want to not live a life of just good experiences, but a life of meaning...and we’re willing to give up some happiness for some holiness, whether you're religious or not," Brooks says. "People are willing to endure suffering for something they really believe in."
Brooks says he found this to be true among both the richest and the poorest, and he explores the theory in depth in his book The Road to Character.
Ultimately, the thing that gives our life meaning is not happiness, but suffering.
“If you ask anybody, ‘What’s the activity that you had that made you who you are?’ no one says, ‘You know I had a really great vacation in Hawaii.’ No one says that. They say, ‘I had a period of struggle. I lost a loved one. I was in the Army. And that period of struggle or that period of toughness made me who I am.'"