A listener messaged in this week explaining that they have been in therapy and that their counsellor had asked them to explain their meaning of life. This left them a bit stumped and so they asked us to discuss it. Most people at this point (Ed did) quote from the Hitchhikers Guide To The Universe…
…the number 42
In the Hitchhiker’s Guide they are told…
So now that you know that the answer is 42 you now have to find out what the question is.
I like the concept of 42 because it has as much meaning as any other reason that I have heard about.
Belief and religion seem to put a spring in people’s step
In the work that I do in both private and public organisations the issues of purpose and direction are strongly associated with stress. Those that feel that they do have a clear direction are more energised and even dynamic. Those that feel that they have a direction suffer less from stress related conditions. Though the direction and reason to be does not have to be religious, I often find that this is the case. To believe that you want to save the world, the whale, turn all the world vegan or believe in reincarnation can be reason enough to give your life meaning. We all need a direction
Having a direction is having a purpose, having a purpose creates meaning.
What is the purpose of your life, what is your direction and what meaning do you give to life?
The big questions are…
Why are we here? What is life all about? What happens when we die?
However you answer that the deal is that we all need to fill in space between birth and death. We can either find a meaningful way to live life so that we feel we have a purpose or we can blunder around and try to cope and survive this thing called ‘life’.
My thinking is that if the things that you do with your life make you happy that is about as good as it gets. Feeling happy and fulfilled is the only place to be, I think. Yet, very few people really get there. Often lives are dominated by the expectations of others from parents, and teacher, through religion, culture and relationships.
If you are really honest with yourself what is it that would make you really happy?
For me it is simple, working with people as a psychotherapist, playing music, cooking and being with Rie and Robert and the extended family makes me happy and puts a smile on my face.
Working with people is my life’s work, it is the only thing that makes any sense to me out of this mad thing called life…
If we all look after each other we will all be ok
This is eternally true and would solve all the world’s problems in an instant.
The extensions of joy
The weird thing is that when you do connect with your purpose it is really just a beginning. Now that you are on your path it leads you to other places, ideas and things? My music world has taken me to so many places and been such a joy and an inspiration and it continues to do so. Working with other people has taken me through various areas of academia to writing books and appearing at conferences, working all around the world and doing the podcast and this blog. And being with Rie has given me joy, love, fun and fulfilment.
Life is a long thing and even now I play with the idea of what will I do when I grow up. Hopefully I never will grow up and will carry on enjoying this thing called life.
Whatever you decide to do with your life let it be joyful.
Take care and be happy.