What Brings You Meaning?

Day 98 homework from OYNB – what brings you meaning?

To me meaning and purpose are kind of interchangeable. In fact, I probably prefer purpose as it seems a little more focused and changeable. Meaning feels a bit finite and fixed to me.

This is my take on this big tough question.

My kids

Jakes, Mia & Fordie – all bring huge meaning and purpose to my life. A large part of my life is dedicated to making sure that their little lives get up and running properly and they have a loving, warm and nurturing childhood with lots of great memories from family holidays too.

My job

This is a tricky one because for a long time, I believed that my job was meaningless. Now I can see that my 9-5 job is the sustainer job. It’s the job that brings the income into our household so that we can live the way we live. That’s the baseline but on top of that now I see meaning and purpose in my job to make other peoples jobs better also – my team, my mates in the office, my other colleagues. I try to make the atmosphere in the office better with humour and energy. This job is no longer my identity, it is just something that I trade my free time for to generate money, and I try to have some fun along the way too.

Travel

Part of my role as a Dad and parent is to show my children that there is a big wide world out there and that they should explore it. In my life, travel has added so much value to both my own sense of self and worth but also helped me build friendships in a deeper way. Part of my role as a husband is to contribute positively to my marriage and to live the best life we can for myself and my wife. We both share a love of travelling.

Reading & Writing

These two activities bring me so much joy. They are the reason I write a blog. They are the reason I collect books. They are the two activities that seem to fill me up with contentment in a way that nothing else really does. Writing, especially, gives me the opportunity to create something that was not there before and to leave something behind me that others can benefit from.

Summary

A lack of meaning has been highly correlated with addiction, which I can totally understand. A few years back when I was in a much darker place, I had managed to take the meaning out of nearly everything – my job didn’t matter, my family, my hobbies, my friends …. it all just seemed pointless to me back then.

Thankfully now I can see clearer and can infuse meaning and purpose into things like jobs, family and other activities.

Yours in health and happiness,

JP

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