3 Simple Steps to Move Beyond Asking “Is This All There Is?”

Craig Stanland
3 min readMay 23

If you consistently ask yourself, “Is this all there is?” you’re living superficially.

And when you settle for living superficially w/o ever going deeper you:

  • Feel empty
  • Feel stuck
  • Feel lost

Here’s the thing:

You’ll never find a rich, deep, and meaningful life on the surface; it requires excavation and exploration.

It requires a deeper connection to the version of yourself that exists below your numb, superficial life on autopilot.

If you don’t know where to begin, here are 3 simple techniques to start your journey, cultivate that connection, and ultimately fill that void.

1. Contemplate Death. Morbid? No, it’s not. It’s a fact. You will die, and you don’t know when. The sooner you genuinely understand the limitations of time, you’ll stop spending it on the superficial and instead start investing in meaning. The quote below exemplifies the importance of this practice,

“You act like mortals in all that you fear, and like immortals in all that you desire.”

— Lucius Annaeus Seneca

2. Journaling. Journaling is the greatest tool I’ve used to connect with myself and cultivate meaning. I started in prison 9 years ago, and I don’t miss a day; it’s that important to me. Don’t know where to begin, here are 3 prompts to get you going,

What do I want less of in my life?

What do I want more of in my life?

When do I feel most in tune with myself?

3. Be Vulnerable: Embracing vulnerability cultivates a deeper connection with yourself. Because when you no longer turn your back on the things that haunt you, the things that haunt you no longer control you. It’s from here you’ll create meaning.

An easy place to begin? Share your answers to the questions above with someone close to you.

One of these steps will crack the surface of a numb, superficial life and start you on your way.

All 3 combined?

Craig Stanland

I write about my journey from corporate success to federal prison and finding joy, mission, meaning, and fulfillment beyond professional and financial success.