The Meaning of Life
At some point in all our lives, we will ask the question of “what is the meaning of all of this”? I don’t believe it’s meant to be a deep, philosophical question but rather to figure out why we are going through a tough time or to find out what really makes us tick. Often, we come back empty and with more questions than answers. As Victor Frankl put it “For the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment”. I agree with that quote and love how it reminds me to stay present, but I do believe there are three areas that everyone should focus on to get the most out of every day.
If you were looking for something more academic, I apologize. The great news is that Aristotle, one of the most famous philosophers of all time said, “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence”. We all want to be happy, and I don’t ever recall being unhappy while having fun. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have unhappy moments and that life is all “fun and games” but I certainly aim to always inject fun into my life. I want you to ask yourself a simple question. Do I want to be happy or unhappy? It almost sounds silly saying it aloud but it’s a stark reminder to enjoy your time on Earth. Find ways to have fun daily to boost your happiness.
Is there a better emotion in the world than love? It’s sometimes hard to define what it is and why it exists with a person or a thing. According to a quick Google search, the definition of love is “an intense feeling of deep affection”. That can be applied to being or an activity. Finding what you love is paramount in this search for meaning in this life. Love can make you feel whole and transcends any logic that you try to apply to it. As Wayne Dyer said, “Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life”. There is another quote by Thomas Merton that is more applicable to finding love with another person, “Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone we find it with another”. Perhaps you are lucky enough to find love in both regards but if not, continue to search as you are worthy of both.
It has been said many times that each of us has a gift and it’s a matter of finding that gift and bringing it to the world. “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away”. Pablo Picasso who is regarded as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century said that. He found his gift early on and spent 80 of his 91 years devoted to artistic production. Not everyone will find their gift at the age of 11 and some will find it even earlier than that. My hope is that you continue to search for that gift, until you have found it. The level of fulfillment and energy you get to experience, and share is challenging to describe.
The intent of this article is to simplify life, not make it more complex. I have asked myself many times and thousands of people around the world that same question, “What is the meaning of life”? There have been far too many answers to possibly document but the overwhelming categories have always come back to Fun, Love, and Purpose. Check in with yourself and make sure you are filling those buckets. If you are not, then pursue them with vigor and don’t quit til you have.
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JM Ryerson founded and sold 3 businesses and is now helping leadership teams do the same. He is an Author, Leadership & Performance Coach, International Speaker, and host of the Let’s Go Win podcast who has been building companies and leading sales teams for over 20 years. JM is the co-founder and CEO of Let’s Go Win whose mission is to increase leadership, enhance culture, and help teams achieve peak performance. JM’s great passions are inspiring people to live their best lives and become open to what life has in store for them. His ultimate goal is to give others the tools that will allow them to transcend their self-limiting beliefs. JM was raised in Montana and lives in Boca Raton, Florida with his wife Lisa and their two amazing boys.