Many of the books I have read toss about the topics of happiness and finding meaning. We each have to decide what these mean to us based on our own feelings. These are two topics rarely discussed in school as we grow up. We heard from our mentors what it is we are supposed to do. I don’t think my parents ever discussed being happy. They wanted me to be productive and survive.
I followed that path. I worked hard for grades. I found employment. I survived and even saved money. I started doing well in my career and could purchase the basics like a home and some fun toys. Along that path, I could feel accomplished and take pride in that, but happiness and meaning seemed to be elusive.
The more money I made the more nice toys I bought. That only gave me short term perks of delight. There was always more. One of the discoveries I have made since retiring from my first career is that I was previously in it for me and I have since been working to serve. I went from what’s in it for me to abide my employers agenda to what could I contribute that would make others lives better.
Contribution and service have been found my many to be very rewarding and give life meaning. We often don’t find our unique talents and contribution until we have engaged in pursuing them toward mastery. Many authors guide us along this path as they urge us to turn interests to passions. Sometimes our interests become passions after we endeavor to become masters.
I teach surfing and when I engaged anew as an adult, I found that the better I became, the more I loved it. My small talent of building websites enabled me to post about how to surf. Google liked my instructions and growing audience and propelled me to the first page for surf instructions in my town. Soon I had a business. The most rewarding part of the business, is I love to teach people how to surf.
In my book, Limitless: How We Rise Above Change, I offer six different practices I have found to lead a meaningful life. We might each have our own, but they each require dedication, commitment, and practice. In this age when 5 billion devices are connecting us, it is becoming more difficult to stand on top of the pile. The path more authors have found to reach success is finding our unique talents and those in which we want to engage to plunder through the resistance.
Our passions are the strongest tool to enlist the iron will of which we are capable. Finding meaning which drags happiness along for so many is exploring and optimizing who we are while expressing it to others as we share. If we get caught in the tediousness of running the tread mill while we fulfill other people’s agendas, we might be asking ourselves, what is life all about.
More people are cracking the code. As they develop their special talents or commit to building special talents toward mastery, they can then offer them to employers, peers, customers, and followers. Independence is very rewarding. Making a statement about who we are and how we want to see things different can be very meaningful.
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