We often talk about wanting our lives to be meaningful. We constantly and consciously (or unconsciously) seek meaning. When we can’t find meaning, we get depressed. The problem with this seeking is that we place meaning outside of ourselves. We make it into an object. We expect somebody or some divine power to bring meaning into our lives.
If you are to live an authentic life, you don’t need to seek meaning. Meaning is right here where you are. You just need to decide what meaning is to you. You have to decide to make meaning every day. You already have all the tools and skills to make meaning – wherever and whoever you are.
For me, creative life is about taking charge. It is about being brave enough to say: I know what’s meaningful for me and I’m going to do it. It is often the case, however, that what is meaningful to us is not meaningful to others (hence we receive criticism) or it isn’t seen as prestigious, profitable or cool enough. But deep down you know that it is meaningful to you. You also know what you’ve got to do to start (or continue) making meaning in your life.
Here is the 3rd element from the Creative Life Manifesto:
Making meaning is crucial to living a creative and adventurous life. You can start making meaning by responding to your calling (I am certain that everybody has one; you could also call it life’s purpose). Your calling is authentic to you. You don’t have to be a priest or a writer to have a calling. A good lawyer has a calling. A good teacher has a calling. A good entrepreneur has a calling.
To make meaning you have to use your natural talents and stand up for your values. Making meaning is synonymous with living a creative and adventurous life, especially if you help others to make their lives more meaningful too.
To add to my ideas about meaning, a true gem from Joseph Campbell:
‘What you have to do,
You do with play.
Life is without meaning.
You bring the meaning to it.
The meaning of life is
Whatever you ascribe it to be.
Being alive is the meaning.’
How do you understand ‘making meaning’? How do you make meaning in your life?