Turning the covid experience into positive joy
Following on from recent podcasts this week I want to look at the meaning of life. Many of us see ourselves as not who we but by what we do, which takes me back to the idea are we human beings or human doings. In lockdown, furlough and absence from the work place many people have lost that sense of identity on the basis of, if I am what I do and now I am not doing it who am I? It is a short step from having no identity to feeling that life is pointless. What is the point?
In the work that I do in both private and public organisations the lack of purpose and direction, during lockdown, has created stress that leads to a lack of motivation and feeling of what is the point? Those that feel that they do have a point have managed to maintain a clear direction and purpose, they are more energise and even dynamic. Those that feel that they have a direction and a purpose suffer less from stress related conditions.
Having a direction is having a purpose.
This can takes us to the fundamental questions of life. When life feels meaningless and we feel we have lost our purpose in life our value can feel diminished. Many people question their own validity and why they are alive.
Question: What is the purpose of your life?
That is a big question and is the one that can create a lot of stress and can lead to…
Why are we here? What’s is life all about? What happens when we die?
The deal is that we all need to fill in space in between birth and death. We can either find a meaningful way to do that or we can blunder through and try to cope and survive this thing called ‘life’. Often we have no need to think about these deep issue. We are born, we go to work, raise our families and eventually retire. Unless something happens to make us question life then it simply just is.
When we ask the questions why I am alive and what I am supposed to be doing with my life we will get a variety of answers. Biologists tell us that our role is to reproduce. Some scientist tell us that life is just a chance mistake and that we should just put up with it. The religious lobby tells us generally that life is hard and life is earnest and that we are here to learn and grow in a spiritual way and, that if we are good we will get our reward in heaven. One priest told me that we all have “our own cross to bear” and that we should see suffering as a good thing. Hey ho.
It seems to me that life is supposed to be happy thin and that each of us is entitled to our own fulfilment. Suffering to me is a bad thing but there are those who believe that we all have to suffer. Suffering is a bad deal, I don’t like that and don’t want it, you can keep it.
So, my thinking goes this way. If we are going to live a happy life then we need to devote time to doing things that make us happy. The question for all of us is what is it that makes us happy? I guess this is another question point.
Question: What is it that would make you happy?
Despite Covid and lockdown and travel restriction and all the rest of it that will, in all likelihood, go on for a long time yet, we need to find our own happiness.
My life is simple I am happy when I have a supportive family and I can playing music and work with people. Working with people is a large part of my life, it is something that makes sense to me out of the mad things going on in life…
If all look after each other we will all be ok
Working with other people because it makes me feel good, it makes me smile and it gives my life a sense of purpose. If I got more joy from collecting stamps, being in the army or being a mortician I would be doing those things instead.
As I talk to people as we are going through the Covid experience I see that the change in the way we have been living has made many people question their life. I have seen relationships created or strengthened and damaged or destroyed. I have seen people create their purpose and start, or plan to start, new projects and businesses. It is as though the suffering and stress of the covid experience has shaken people into making decision and facing up to life.
The extensions of joy
Right now in this Covid madness it is good to take some time to consider your life purpose and meaning and decide what you are going to do with it. The weird thing is that when you do connect with your purpose it really is exciting and creates joy and inspiration.
What ever you decide to do with your life let it be joyful, and it is wonderful if the life that you are now living creates your purpose and your joy, cherish it.
Take care and be happy.