Of course, in and of themselves, the meal and the songs and all the other sentimental things we do have no meaning except for that which we project onto our personal world of events, objects, relationships and traditions. Meaning, as well as a sense of purpose, are subjective inner currents that are sculpted in us as a result of our experiences in the larger arena of life. But in addition to our exterior field of influence, what gives our life meaning and purpose is derived from experiencing the inherent creative power contained in our own capacity to make a choice and set a consequence in motion. Becoming truly aware of your own ability to actually set the wheels of creation in motion because of a choice you've made is the essence of what gives any life meaning and purpose. We long to create. It is the universal passion of the human being. We are driven to experience our place on the wheel of creation, to add our weight to the way it turns and spins. We yearn for our independence not just so we can go where we want to and speak up when we want to, though that feels good. But that's child's play and ego-driven. The deeper part of us yearns to create, to fulfill whatever it is we were born to do—and that requires we take charge of our own power of choice. Meaning and purpose is driven by the engine of choice, make no mistake about that.

Further, a sense of meaning and purpose evolves into something masterful when a human being invests his or her power of choice into the service of others in order to make the world a better place. Numerous people have inadvertently realized that they were living a meaningful and purposeful life, having never had to search for it. Purpose and meaning found them as a result of their having found a cause greater than their own problems to solve. In trying to help solve the problems of others, they drew upon creative inner resources they did not know they had and in the process, changed the lives of others as well as themselves. One example among so many comes to mind of a man named Ken who was going through a very dark and difficult time in his life and decided to volunteer at a hospital in order to take his mind off of his own problems. He told me that his decision was actually selfish; he wanted to be with people who were worse off then he was.

While he was doing volunteer work, he began chatting with some of the patients, sharing with them that he was actually a psychologist. Though he never really articulated it, we could say that this psychologist was on a search for meaning and purpose. His vulnerability seemed to create a trust bridge as a handful of patients over the couple of months Ken was volunteering shared identical stories of having had near-death experiences as a result of accidents or their illnesses. He had never heard of such experiences nor had any of these people, none of who knew of the others, told any one else. Ken decided to pursue research into the near-death experience and from those two months eventually came the Institute for the Study of Near-Death Experiences.

Wisdom to guide you in your search


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