It has been said that the world is forever heading toward entropy, but in the midst of chaos, there is a natural order which gives sense to all things.

Personal recognition of this order is the idea behind a study conducted by University of Missouri graduate students Samantha Heintzelman and Jason Trent under the guidance of advisor Laura King.

Posted at, the study theorizes that finding meaning in life through interconnectedness of people, places, seasons, and events may be responsible for people having a higher quality of life.

For the study, volunteers were asked to look at nature photographs which had clear indicators of seasons before answering a survey on how meaningful life was for them. Those who saw the seasons in order reported finding a greater sense of meaning in life than those who were shown photographs in random order. In a separate trial, a group of participants were shown word clusters associated with a keyword, while another group was shown random words. Those who saw the related words reported having a greater sense of meaning in life than the others.

So when a situation seems to chaotic, learn to step back and look at the bigger picture. Finding connections and relationships may help in finding solutions that are impossible to see up close.

(Photo by Greg Peverill-Conti via Flickr Creative Commons)

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