Okay, now we come to this very interesting aspect in everyday life. You find yourself high of spirit, light-hearted, and life is great. This feeling that things are just great has persisted for a week, or a month, or even for the last number of years, perhaps even decades.
Our Life Has Meaning When Things Go Our Way
From this feeling you experience, we feel that our life has meaning.
But is this really the case? Maybe you’re feeling this way just because things have been going your way. Especially if you’ve been working hard at ensuring things go your way, your life actually seems to have meaning.
But is this really about meaning? Or, is it about being in the euphoria of things going your way?
Let’s look at this another way. If things stopped going your way, what would your life then be like? What if you lost something that was important to your ongoing elation? Something like . . .
……the high-powered job
……the glamour of your job
……the honeymoon phase of your new relationship
……the massive profits you’re making in business or the stock market
……the great house you purchased
……the continuous training your company sends you on or other perks
……the great things you can buy at whim because you have the funds
……the admiration you receive from your peers, boss, subordinates
……your well-known beauty or physical attractiveness
……your acclaimed stylishness
……your adeptness and success in sports
……your winning many awards and accolades
Say that one or more of these things ends for whatever reason. What then? Well, we can be sure that if a person loses any one of these things, almost any high will most likely end. It’s also likely that the meaning these things brought to our life might come into question.
But what are we to make of it?
And is this really about meaning? Or, is it about us being in the euphoria of things going our way?
Let’s consider that when we lose something, just maybe the elation and joy we felt about gaining it initially wasn’t about meaning, but just about the euphoria.
What, then, is meaning?
Our Life Has Meaning, Or Does It?
Whenever we find true meaning, it most certainly won’t come from something outside ourselves. Any meaning we find in life isn’t derived from what we do. Whenever we do things, they either work or they don’t work. When they do work, we get a high. When they don’t work, we have a low. And as mentioned, it’s highly likely that the euphoria we feel when things do work out, comes from the high of things going our way. On the one hand, our life has meaning, or this is what we understood, on the other, we feel our life has no meaning.
Yet, this is all external stimuli. And external stimulus is not about meaning. It is when we look internally and uncover our meaning that we bring our meaning to what we do. That is meaning. This is when our life has meaning. That is a fulfilled life. That is also usually when we are creating. Not necessarily creating as in artifacts we create when doing activities like carpentry, sewing, painting, sculpting and so forth. These things aren’t excluded, but aren’t necessarily about manifesting our meaning. Rather, manifesting our meaning is about our life . . . about what we create with our life . . . our first-choice existence.
When we’re living a first-choice existence, when things don’t go our way, they just don’t go our way, and we recognize that eventuality. When things do go our way, we recognize it’s just that—things went right. Neither of these outcomes conjures up any meaning in itself. They are merely a by-product of our activities. It might make us feel great when things go our way, and we might feel heavy-spirited, even awful when things turn out different from what we would have preferred.
But these by-products don’t define us. And it isn’t that our life has meaning. When things don’t work out, we’ll merely dust ourselves off and look for other avenues, or even drop that particular endeavor, knowing that not achieving something doesn’t mean failure, and it doesn’t define us; it’s just something that didn’t work out. When our endeavor does work out, then it’s just that—something that worked out, and that, in itself, doesn’t define us.
Because something worked out doesn’t mean we’re better than another person; it doesn’t mean we’re greater than others in any way; again, that something worked out doesn’t define us. It’s merely a by-product of an activity we undertook that worked out. This distinction is worth repeating, when things work out, has nothing to do with our life has meaning.
Aha! But with things that either work out or don’t work out, we seem to insist that it must mean more than that. And why is that? Is it because we don’t live our meaning, but instead derive meaning from the outcome of our activities? Again, not indicative that our life has meaning or does not. In What Is My Purpose in Life?, even though the author was living the American dream, he states: I was deeply impacted by the scene where the clouds in the sky part and Mufasa’s spirit appears to his son, Simba. Mufasa’s fatherly voice booms, “Simba! Remember who you are. You are more than what you have become.”
Once we uncover our meaning, we will notice we do things for different reasons—definitely not because what we do defines us, but perhaps just because it’s something that we do. And that “something” we do might just work out or might not work out, nothing more, nothing less!