Life is not primarily a quest for pleasure, as Freud believed, or a quest for power, as
Meaning and purpose are two fundamental aspects of a fulfilling life. While they are interconnected, they represent distinct dimensions of our existence.
Purpose primarily addresses the question, "Why am I here?" It encompasses our aspirations, life mission, and the pursuit of becoming the best versions of ourselves as leaders and individuals. While our past experiences can inform our purpose, it is through active engagement with our purpose on a daily basis that we can truly live it. This involves setting goals, taking action, and continually striving towards our chosen path.
On the other hand, meaning has a retrospective orientation. It requires us to pause and reflect on our life experiences, seeking logical connections and interconnections that make sense of our journey. By doing so, we construct a coherent narrative that adds personal significance, understanding, and clarity to our identity, values, and principles. Meaning helps us identify the experiences that have shaped us, both positively and negatively.
The title question may seem rhetorical, as striving for personal growth and self-realization necessitates both seeking meaning and creating it.
A meaning-seeker dedicates time to reflect on their past, seeking insights and wisdom from their experiences. This introspection allows them to uncover the underlying significance behind their actions and choices, providing a deeper understanding of themselves.
However, being a meaning-creator goes beyond reflection alone. It involves using the knowledge gained from introspection to identify and clarify one's purpose. Armed with this newfound understanding, the meaning-creator embarks on a daily journey to intentionally create more meaning in their lives. They approach each day with a purposeful, mission-driven mindset, actively seeking opportunities to align their actions with their core values and aspirations.
To become the best version of ourselves as leaders and individuals, we must embrace both roles: the meaning-seeker and the meaning-creator. We need to reflect on our past experiences, extract valuable insights, and weave them into a coherent narrative that provides a sense of purpose. Armed with this clarity, we can then actively and purposefully infuse our daily actions with meaning, constantly evolving and growing as individuals and leaders. Ultimately, the integration of seeking meaning and creating meaning allows us to live a more fulfilling and purpose-driven life, making a positive impact on ourselves and the world around us.
Have an amazing journey today!
Alan Mikolaj is a coach and leadership development consultant with 15+ years of experience. He is passionate about helping leaders transform their leadership, their teams, and their organizations. Impactful, professional approach driven by a passion for meaning and purpose, a growth mindset, and a commitment to excellence and service in order to drive change and results.
Alan maintains the ethics and standards of behavior established by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), including the standards regarding confidentiality. You can learn more about them on the ICF website.
Transformational change starts with a conversation!
Schedule your free, one-hour session by clicking here: Discovery Conversation with Alan
Or call or email me: Contact Page
Alan Mikolaj is a a professional, experienced, positive, and passionate speaker, leadership and organizational development consultant, change agent, author, and coach. He holds his Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from Sam Houston State University. He is a certified graduate coach from Coaching Out of the Box and holds his ACC and membership with the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
Free Discovery Conversation!
Impactful change starts with a conversation! Schedule your free, one-hour session by clicking here: Discovery Conversation with Alan
Or call or email: Contact Page
In his third book, A Travel Guide to Leadership, Alan offers you simple, fundamental, and powerful lessons that have the power to transform you, your relationships, and your career.