When the little chatterbox living in my head says the words The Meaning of Life, it immediately conjures up images of Mr. Creosote sat in that restaurant as the Maître’d says, “And finally a wafer thin mint.”
“F&$k off I’m full!” Said Creosote.
It is not even peculiar that my mind chooses a Monty Python sketch when I ask myself one of life’s most pertinent questions. This is because of the power that television has over the decisions that one makes in ones life…another story for another time.
The Meaning Of Life is a phrase that I believe should be discussed from a very early age. Not only should parents discuss the phrase with their children, but I also believe the subject should form part of our school curriculum. I am not talking about Darwin, God, The Big Bang, The Garden of Eden or Monty Python. I’m talking about the fact that each of us is important…that we are needed and that our lives count for something.
To know we really count is the most powerful and vital piece of information we can ever have – Susan Jeffers
I always had an uncomfortable itch hidden away underneath the surface of my skin. As conceited as it may sound to some, I always thought that I was special. I used to dream that I would one day be famous and people would look up to me as an inspiration. I now believe that this was my sense of meaning trying to knock some sense into me. Unfortunately, my sense of meaning was struggling to wake me up because instead of using a sledgehammer it was tapping me on the head with a pin hammer.
If society is not going to help you find your sense of meaning, you are going to have to find it yourself
As I grew up my sense of meaning would show itself to me like a ghost in a haunted house. When it appeared I was never really sure if it existed, or whether or not it was a figment of my imagination? When I was younger all I thought about was football and for those 90-minutes my sense of meaning would reveal itself to me. Later as I progressed into business I would also bump into it from time to time. But each time I would start to feel like I had a sense of meaning someone would come along and take it away from me.
It is not what we get. But who we become, what we contribute…that gives meaning to our lives – Tony Robbins
The critical point in my life came when I decided to give up drinking alcohol. I had reached my breaking point in life and was so tired of doing what everybody else told me to do. I decided that my days of conformity were over. It dawned on me that as life had moved on so had my ability to affect a greater number of people around me. When my mum would run up and down the line screaming at the referee as I ran the football match at the age of 12, I was able to influence those 10 people playing with me. Later in business as I climbed higher in the managerial chain I was able to influence a hundred people. Now after successfully quitting alcohol I felt like I could influence thousands of people.
As I waded through life there were signs that I was ready to wake up from my slumber. I needed to sit on a pin and that pin came to me in the shape of alcohol. Out of one of the worse addictions to inflict society came my true sense of meaning. I no longer had any doubts that I was important, that I was needed and that my life counted for something. I had a whole lot of emptiness to fill, and I was about to go on a voyage that would change my life in ways that previously I would have been too scared to even dream. But armed with my new sense of meaning was not enough. I needed to find something else. I needed to find my sense of purpose…
“One more wafer thin mint Mr. Davy?”
“Why don’t you just leave me the box sir?”
Photos courtesy of Lel4nd & Sean MacEntee (cc @ flickr)