Pretty ambitious title huh? And the answer I have is perhaps anti-climactic: the meaning is whatever you say it is, for that is what becomes real for you. Once it’s real for you, your words and actions make it tangible in the external world also, impacting others. So choose wisely and with good intention.
Sounds simple enough, right? But it’s taken me a while to really come to this realization. As I’ve mentioned before, I was always searching externally for something to change my mind and my life, to impact me in a transformational way and was frustrated when it didn’t happen. I read a lot of books people had claimed to be ‘life-changing’, heard motivational speakers and so forth, and while I found those things interesting, and resonated with them to some degree, it didn’t go much deeper than that.
What I’m learning now is that there is no inherent meaning that exists – not in anything. Not in words, not in actions or objects. We experience the world as we choose to. For example, language. These words do not inherently mean anything – their meaning has been assigned ovet time by a collaborative understanding of society. Various words take on various meanings in different cultures, slangs, times, generations etc.
Likewise, the meaning of your life, the meaning of god, the meaning of fill-in-the-blank, comes from you and what you choose it to be. Your purpose in life can be whatever you choose it to be. Some people have a very strong push toward something in particular, as determined by their talents – artists, musicians etc and that might help them decide that that is their purpose. Me, myself I don’t really have those tendencies, much to my dismay. I’ve often felt that it would make things easier to have that outstanding talent which seems to lead down a clear path. So I’ve often felt at a loss for what my calling is or what my purpose is, and that’s an ongoing discovery. I’ve chosen that my guiding principles are to provide value in whatever I do – whether that’s a great promotional service to my marketing clients, trying to share my experiences here on this blog, promoting great music in other outlets I’m involved with etc. The more I decide what I want the meaning to be, the more meaning I find in it. It comes back to that wonderful quote from Dr. Wayne Dyer “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” The more you consciously practice this, the more truth you find in it.
And perhaps all these things are leading me toward something else I do not currently see, and perhaps I WILL have that ‘a-ha’ moment when I find the thing that I believe I’m supposed to do and see that all this was a path toward it, but whether that happens or not, I can choose to make meaning of everything that I do, and in so doing, create a richer existence for myself.
You can be passionate and excited about the smallest things if that makes your life meaningful. Much of this is tied in with gratitude. Feeling grateful for small things, or things that we typically take for granted increases your joy in life as a whole. If you can be grateful every day that the sun is shining, or the trees are growing, or that the sky is blue, you end up applying that same kind of thinking to the small details of your life, and finding more meaning and happiness in them.
At the moment, the thing I struggle with is that, while the above may be true, am I satisfied with providing value in the ways I have mentioned? I feel that I perhaps should or could be doing something on a bigger level, or something more immediately valuable to other people – more directly improving the quality of life. I’m just trying to figure out in what form that is going to happen.