Finding Meaning In Life | Dear Alexander #42
What does it mean to feel like I’m living a life of meaning?
The most obvious answer I have found is to dedicate myself to the pursuit of my personal legend — my ikigai— the thing that provides me ultimate fulfilment and purpose in life.
Another new component that was illuminated by Sam Harris is the idea of being fully engaged and present in the moment.
If one is continually searching for meaning in life they are essentially disengaged from the present as their eyes are set way ahead of them instead of in front of them and around them.
If I am consistently attempting to hunt down ‘the next thing’ — the next idea, project, challenge — mountain to climb — then I can lose my attention and focus on what is happening right now in front of me.
Finding meaning in life is what many look for. But meaning is not something to have, it is a state to experience and feel. In our effort of looking for it, it can evade us.
This is not a problem I ponder when I am captivated by the most important things in my life. Perhaps then, much of the meaning in life can be found by being fully immersed in the sights, sounds and feelings of the current moment.
Perhaps ‘meaning’ is not something we ever grasp. Maybe it’s a state of mind that we enter and exit through like the dance of life. It’s a hyper-engagement with reality and our consciousness.
How can I support this present state of mind?
- By removing environmental distractions that pull my attention away.
- Encouraging myself to linger and stay still within the small moments of nothingness (some would call bordem) that occur when I’m engaging in any action.
- Practising mindful breathing and meditative states that train my mind to be in the moment.
As a result, I can cultivate conditions that allow my mind to engage in a present state of awareness and flow where I forget everything that’s happening around me. To experience more of these moments may be a fundamental meaning to life.