Day 273: To Create Meaning

September 29th, 2010

“The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it.” -Carl Gustav Jung

I have always attributed my most intelligent thinking to the ideas that helped me extract meaning from my days. One of my primary goals is to make meaning out of my experience. I want to understand my choices within context of the world I live in and I want my actions to be consistent with my beliefs. Preferably, I hope my actions to matter somewhere. Like many before me, I want to make the world a better place.

This search for meaning and purpose is a universal thread that crosses history and cultures.  Often the meaning is tied to being awake to the experience of life itself.  Committing to staying present and feeling the highs and lows of our days is how the meaning of our actions is molded by us, rather than discovered. The discovery of meaning comes from recovering and embodying the daily experience of life to the fullest.

Recent research demonstrates that finding  personal meaning in life is also a highly attractive attribute. “Meaning is a powerful and independent predictor of interpersonal appeal,” reports a study titled, “Meaning as Magnetic Force,” which was just published in the journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science. “People seek interpersonal connections with those who have found meaning in life.” This is not that surprising. For example, it is said that what you focus on multiplies- like attracts like.

This magnetic effect is another clear benefit in support of seeking meaning in life.  According to the studies, a sense of meaning in life was equally attractive as external appearance and more attractive than extroversion. It also scored higher than perceived happiness and self esteem levels.  A purpose-driven life is attractive because it values a strong connection to other people. Marc Chagall’s comment that, “In our life there is a single color, as on an artist’s palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love.” This could well be the draw.

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