I think that this statistics is off by a lot.
- There are people who don’t have meaning in their lives, but they don’t miss it, they live an animal existence and they don’t need, don’t want anything more.
- There are people who don’t have meaning in their lives and therefore they don’t have any backbone, don’t have any organizing principle, and they don’t know what’s missing, they only know that they are miserable.
- There are people who don’t have meaning in their lives, so they use some societal meaning, like money or a social cause to organize their lives, but while they are doing this their soul is starving, and they are finding out that neither money nor a social cause does it for them, however good or bad they are at money or about a social cause.
- And then there are people who know their lives lack meaning, and they spend their time seeking meaning in religion, in science, in relationships, hoping that something will rub off on them.
You fill your life with worries, slights, upsets, to at least justify the miserable emptiness you feel.
My mother used to say when I cried: Continue crying and I’ll give you reason to cry! lol
Meaning is not inherent in things. All meaning is added… by you. All meaning is invented… or borrowed.
Some ‘favorite’ meanings: Life is short and then you die… or Let’s have fun!… or let’s make money… Let’s hurt as many people as we can… or Let’s rule over the world…
The quality of meaning you invent will give you the quality of your life.
Your meaning can be based on desire to receive for the self alone (evil) or on desire to receive for the sake of sharing. (Kabbalah)
Meaning doesn’t come from the things you do, the people you love, meaning is what you add to the things you do, to your relationships.
You can’t fulfill on something that you don’t have.
A meaning is like a mission, like a challenge you give yourself, and thereafter you honor it as your life’s meaning.
Seekers, opportunity seekers, happiness seekers, relationship seekers, share one characteristic: they think meaning comes from the outside.
In my coaching practice of about 35 years, I have coached countless people to a meaning they could embrace and rally behind.
It is not an easy task. The coach’s, my standards, ideals, cannot influence the coaching, or people won’t be able to access their own meaning.
This very morning I had a conversation with a friend/client who has been living without a meaning in his life. And not surprisingly his life experience has been being tugged and jerked, and pulled, and forced by everything that happens to him and around him.
I, as a coach, listen for what lights him up. Books, quotes, ideas… to guide me to his soul’s yearning.
A person without a meaning is much like an infant: they depend on you, the coach, the friend, the spouse, for nourishment, for meaning, for a validation of their existence… but once you help them see what is already there as a potential meaning, they grab it, like at some point the baby grabs the bottle and then he can feed himself.
Nothing is more rewarding than helping a person find and claim their meaning.
I am not an expert at it, although I am good at it. As an empath I can feel the joy, the happy sigh, the happiness of the soul when certain sentences are said, when certain ideas are spoken of… and that joy guides me.
Personally, I have the most affinity to mission type meanings. Why? Because my meaning is mission type.
I have always lived that unless I give what I have to give, what is uniquely mine to give, the world will be a lesser place. So that gets me out of bed, that makes me become better and better equipped to do what I do better and better.
Can I help you with inventing a purpose? Possibly. How? I don’t do 1-on-1 calls for this purpose, because it takes a whole lot more than just one call.
Be prepared to pay a lot… and, of course gain more than what you pay.
A purpose, a meaning, is also often called: the context… The context inside you ‘do’ your life.
George Bernard Shaw wrote the following sentence in a letter prefacing his book “Man and Superman: a Comedy and Philosophy” which can be used as a guide to living a meaningful, productive and joyful life:
This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.
~George Bernard Shaw
In the What’s Missing Workshop, in the last step, we look and invent a missing beingness… Beingness is the proper language of meaning.
Most people know nothing of beingness, or what they know is sketchy and inaccurate.
I have spent years distinguishing all the beingness words I had no idea or only a sketchy idea about. Compassion, integrity, generosity, curiosity, loyalty, dignity, kindness, authenticity…
One beingness, thanks to Landmark Education, that is better defined than most, is integrity.
In my humble opinion, every single person I deal with would do a whole lot better if they created a meaning for their life: A life of integrity. The most important and crucial element of this definition is that even if you do everything you said you would do, everything you didn’t say you would do but can be expected, and on time, without cutting corners, if you do it with a disempowering context… Disempowering is when it takes away your power, leaves you feeling powerless… dutiful for most of my students, or doing it because it’s your job, or doing it to please someone, or doing it to make money, you are not in integrity.
- Nothing hidden,
- being truthful and honest,
- doing complete work,
- working from an empowering context, and
- doing very well what you do; doing it as it was meant to be done or better, and without cutting corners.
- Integrity is being true to your values, standards and ideals.
- In other words, HONORING ONE’S WORD:
- Doing what you know to do,
- doing what you said you would do and on time,
- doing what others would expect you to do even if you haven’t said you would do it, and
- saying when you are not doing this as soon as you realize you won’t be doing it or won’t be doing it on time.”
- honoring your word as your Self
Integrity is often thought of as moral uprightness and steadfastness—making the “good” choices, doing the “right thing.” In fact, it is far more than that. Integrity is actually a phenomenon in and of itself. It has to do with authenticity—being true to ourselves—and it is the foundation for power and effectiveness. It is a home, an anchor, a continuing commitment—a way of being and acting that shapes who we are.
In an almost two hour long workshop two years ago I delivered to a select few of my students, you’ll discover that integrity resides in the ability to constitute yourself as your word, to be true to your principles, and ultimately, be true to yourself. You’ll learn that integrity is not constrained by, nor does it reside in, rules, prescriptions, or imposed demands. Integrity creates an environment of freedom, power, and joy.
You can watch that workshop and learn more about integrity, how to grow it, how to notice it… and a little bit on how to create a context for every area of your life… Context is a more sophisticated word for meaning and purposeWatch the Integrity Workshop