The Meaning of Life . . .

In conversations I’ve been having recently I’ve observed a lot of ‘conflict’ in peoples’ lives.

Apparently, there’s this thing called ‘work life balance’ that many people seem to struggle with.

And there’s another thing; many people want to keep their ‘personal’ and ‘business’ lives ‘separate’ – a sort of self-imposed schizophrenia.

But you and I know that our ‘life’ is our life – we only have one; and we also know, often from bitter experience that attempting to compartmentalize our existence always leads to confusion or maybe worse.

Of course, the ‘normal’, ‘employment’ paradigm encourages the idea that life and work are separate.

Politicians obsess about ‘minimum’ and perhaps ‘maximum’ ‘wages’ because, to them, ‘normal life’ is based on the idea that people should go and ‘work’ for someone else doing something that they can usually just about tolerate so that they can ‘earn’ enough money to go home and do what they really want to do in the small amount of time that their employers often grudgingly make available to them.

Unfortunately, most people in this situation are so stressed or tired when they get ‘home’ that they don’t do much at all other than the essentials of ‘keeping house’.

It’s a sad story, because at the end of the day, whatever people say about their priorities, if ‘the boss’ says they have to be ‘in work’ at particular times and on particular days there’s not a lot they can do if they don’t want to risk ‘losing their job’.

And then you hear them say “there must be more to it than this” or “it will all come right when I retire”.

You and I know that, yes, there is more to it, but also that ‘retirement’ is not the answer.

For most people retirement means that they don’t have to go to ‘work’ any more and that they can “put their feet up and relax” – but that’s the route to, at best, slowly fading away.

Of course, there are many people that remain very active and even entrepreneurial when they retire – they always have something to do and something new to look forward to – but the majority, in my experience of my family and friends, have simply ‘sat in a chair waiting for God’. Sometimes for a very long time.

I’ve never thought that giving up control of my life to an employer was a good idea, I’ve only done it for about 8 years out of 52 after I left University, and I know many people who’ve never been ‘employed’ at all.

The popular media would assume that was a ‘bad thing’ but many of those people have highly successful businesses and make a great deal of money.

More to the point, as you and I know, those businesses are an integral part of their lives. And we know that the same is true for those people who are actually employed but are dedicated to their work in the same way.

For you and I, what we ‘do’ is (or at least should be) an integral part of our lives.

Everything you and I ‘do’ should be embedded in our ‘life purpose’ – that which we have decided we want to be, do and have.

You and I don’t compartmentalise or make compromises with our lives.

We ensure that everything we do, which may, and usually does, include spending some of our time serving others in one way or another, is consistent with our purpose, our ‘meaning of life’.

Everyone is here for a reason.

The trouble is that most people haven’t either realised that, haven’t worked out what their reason or purpose is; or worse, have been misled into believing in and supporting someone else’s purpose often at the expense, one way or another, of their own lives.

I was asked this week what the ‘purpose’ was behind my writing these weekly messages. To be quite honest I had to think about that; but then the conversation developed (there were four of us) into considering not just our visions, dreams and goals, but our overall life purposes.

I’m re-evaluating, what I do, how I do it and why I do it. What is my life’s purpose?

How about you?

Have a purposeful week.