The request for my thoughts about the meaning of life came at the same time that I received a frightening medical report. Both focused my attention on why and how one lives a life of meaning.
When I think about the immensity of the universe and see pictures of distant galaxies, I realize that any one of us is less than a grain of sand, but when I hold my grandchildren in my arms I realize I can and do make a difference. I am delighted when clients tell me I have helped them solve a significant problem in their work, and that brings me joy.
For me, the meaning of life is soothing someone’s pain, making their life better or easier and finding personal joy in relationships and causes I believe are important.
A friend once told me that her self worth comes from feeling sure that after a conversation with someone else, they feel happier than when the conversation began.
At the same time, I see a world that finds meaning in things that do not interest me or causes that frankly concern me. Each person chooses his own path and assigns meaning in a different way.
A well-lived life, then, is one that allows for tolerance and efforts to understand differences. It brings personal gratification and opportunities to celebrate, and it leaves the world a better place than you found it.
Life is understood by looking back but lived fully by looking forward.
~Lyn Boyer is a leadership coach, author of Connect: Affective Leadership for Effective Results and a new book called Intentional Joy: Choose a Life of Happiness and Contentment. She is also President of Leadership Options, LLC and a co-founder of Women’s Learning Studio.
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