The BIG Question

Have you ever asked yourself what is the true meaning of life?  Most have.  Most don’t know.

Of course, the ultimate answer is very individualistic.  We all have our own values, priorities and end goals.  Life’s true meaning is a personal choice.

The last couple of weeks have been challenging.  A lot going on.  Really busy.  Physically and emotionally draining.  It seems like there is always a “burning platform.”  Another major issue to solve.  Being an executive takes a lot of energy.

The other day, in the midst of the latest challenge, I was pondering life’s meaning.   A book I read many years ago popped into my mind, Tuesday’s with Morrie by Mitch Album.  Album, as you may recall, is an author, journalist and screenwriter.  His books have sold over 39 million copies.  Tuesday’s chronicled his time spent with Morrie Schwartz, his favorite college professor, during Morrie’s last months before dying of ALS.  If you’ve not read the book, pick it up.  It’s great.

Regardless, we’ve often heard how people in their old age reflect back on life and see things through a very different lens.  The big challenge we all face is to use that reflective filter while still in our “prime.”

Here are a few thoughts that might help transform your today and your tomorrow.

Care for Yourself

It’s pretty hard to help others if you’re not taking care of yourself.  I know it’s trite, and frankly something I can do more of, but get some exercise.  Caring for your physical self can help you sustain the energy needed to be your best.

As Steve Jobs offered in his final essay, “eat your food as your medicine, otherwise you have to eat medicine as your food.”  Yep, it’s good to eat more fruits and veggies.

Finally, get some sunshine.  Spend time in nature.  Stare at a tree.  Pay homage to the beauty of a flower.  Revel in the power of a river.  Mother nature is a grand caregiver.

Care for Others

It’s been said nothing really matters unless you can share it with others.  Balancing life’s demands can be difficult.  We’re tasked with working, earning, providing, yet, we must also be caring, collaborative and great communicators.

The tension between making a living and designing a life can be a challenge at times.  How to best deliver results while demonstrating compassion for those that matter most.  For starters, strive to honor the differences in others.  Celebrate conflict.  If everyone was identical, life would become extremely boring.  Genuinely seek to see life from other’s perspectives.  Internalize the strength of their paradigms.   Compromise to reach collective benefit.

Celebrate Common Values

When core alignment exists, the “little things” can become less troubling.  Openly communicate on a regular basis.  Share how you think and feel.  Truly listen to understand and take actions to leverage commonalities.

Finally, embrace life’s creative process.  To find true meaning in life, one must create it.  There is no one answer.  Regardless, true meaning can only be created with and through others.

Love who you are, love those closest to you, love what you do and love those you have the privilege to serve.  By loving well, life will be filled with meaning.

What are your thoughts this Tuesday?  I’d love to learn how you create meaning in this “crazy” experience we call life.