In your moments of quiet contemplation have you ever wondered what the meaning of life is? Or perhaps had long discussions on the topic with friends late into the night?
We’re born, we live, and we die... there might be some meaning behind all of this, you may have perhaps thought to yourself.
Ever since I was young, I’ve had a deep longing to understand what life is all about. I had many questions about life, death and everything in between. Is what I am experiencing real or is this a dream - is just one of the questions that crossed my mind many times while I was younger.
Finally, once I stumbled upon The Conversations With God books, it provided me with answers to many of the questions I was seeking while I was a kid. The books also offered me a very interesting perspective on what the meaning of life is all about, which I’d like to share with you in this blog post.
So without building up suspense and having you read pages and pages before I finally reveal what it is, I’d like to go ahead and say – Life is meaningless. But first allow me to explain. Now what exactly do I mean by that statement?
We as humans have the tendency to automatically attach meaning to most everything that happens in our lives. However, if you ponder over it, all the events in our lives are merely neutral. Nothing is inherently positive or negative, nor have any in-built meaning; it all depends on the perspective with which we are viewing any event.
As Shakespeare profoundly remarked, “there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”.
Take the case of Steve Jobs. More than half a decade after he began Apple, Jobs was forced out of the company he had started.
He was angry at what had transpired and for a brief while even considered running away from Silicon Valley. As he said in his Stanford Commencement address “What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating…….I was a very public failure."
He admitted "I really didn't know what to do for a few months and felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down, that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me."
However the very same event took on a different meaning when he looked back upon it decades later,
"I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter into one of the most creative periods of my life," he said.
Now in truth, there was no inherent meaning behind him getting fired. Only Jobs himself was assigning a meaning to the event and not life itself. The event had not changed, only his perspective did, which goes to show that all events are neutral.
In the same way, there is no hidden or solitary meaning to be discovered in life, because nothing has any meaning save the meaning we give it or allow it to have. Or to put it differently, life does not assign any meaning to events, only we do through our own thinking and perspective.
This is liberating for it gives us the opportunity to create meaning.
So the real question is not what is the meaning of life, but rather what is the meaning you want to give to your life?
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