Next to building positive relationships, is the human need for meaning in our lives. This is no simple thing. None of us have the same perception as others of what represents meaning. One person’s meaning may not mean much to another. And we need to be mindful of this in our interactions with others. We are what we perceive and our perceptions are through the prism of our own past. It is difficult, not impossible, to view things through new eyes, and with an open mind. It is wonderful to sit with very young kids who don’t have much of life’s baggage to colour their thinking and to ask them their views on topics that most adults already have a fixed opinion on! It is a refreshing and often surprising experience.
Detaching oneself from one’s past is extraordinarily difficult to do. And the older one is the more difficult this is because over a lifetime we develop entrenched habits that are almost impossible to dislodge. These habits most certainly have an impact on our perception of meaning. It may be that these habits are at the heart of some of the disillusionment and depression that comes with growing older.
Oftentimes we attempt to seek meaning inside ourselves. This is an exercise in futility. Isolating oneself will not assist in helping to find the meaning in the world for oneself.
We are in and of the world, therefore meaning will be found in that context not somewhere else.
We develop our sense of self by internalising what other people reflect back at ourselves who we are.
In essence, we are who we allow other people to see of us. The more we open ourselves up to external scrutiny the easier it is for people to reflect back to us our own personas. This is not easy.
But it is at the heart of finding meaning in our lives. Meaning will come to us from and by others.
We will find meaning by giving back to the community from whence we came. It is a critical part of the process to try to give back as much as we derived from that community and at the same intensity. Our very identity depends on this process of receiving and reflecting. It helps us to understand what we stand for; what our values are, and how we can better serve those around us. The more we give the more we will receive back.
an essential tool in the process if the development of the real ability listen actively. listen for understanding, deep understanding before trying to infuse the conversation with your own opinion and contribution. the more you understand, the more meaning you will expose and uncover in your environment.
This is what is at the heart of meaningfulness in life. You give meaning to others and thereby they are empowered to give real meaning back to you! Meaning about you and for you!
The most certain way of creating meaning in your own life is to serve others by helping to create meaning in theirs!
Written by : Sirocco Strategy Management
Sirocco was established to work with organisations to guide them in their strategising, and to ensure effective the implementation of their strategies. Implementation depends 100% on the buy-in and commitment of the people in the organisation.