column meaning

Finding Meaning, Creating Meaning

"People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life…I think that what we're really seeking is an experience of being alive so that our life experiences on a purely physical plane will have resonance within our innermost being and reality, so that we can actually feel the rapture of being alive." - Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell said we are all seeking meaning. I see this in my daily conversations with people. I ask myself, where does one go to seek meaning? Where does one look to find meaning? And how would one recognize it if one “found” it?  Meaning is spoken of in terms of being lost or found like it is an object outside of us. If it is outside of us, if it is something to be found, then what happens when we cannot find it out there?  Does that make our lives meaningless? And who decides whether your life or my life has meaning or not?

Imagining myself in that final moment asking myself these questions. In that long moment I recognize that no, there is no meaning to be found because meaning is not lost, not to me. There is nothing to be found for I have not lost nor searched and found meaning – I have created it for myself. It is not something outside of me, it is within me and it is not lost but perhaps sometimes forgotten or taken for granted or shrouded in a kind of fog. I do not “find” meaning; I “create” meaning. And in that statement is an inner force much stronger than the raging waters of a tsunami or the shaking of the earth. I am at choice to decide what is meaningful to me and how or even if I will spend my life directed by that which I value and I have created for myself as meaningful. In that statement I decide how I will live my life, each and every moment – even until that final, long moment.

How are you living all your moments? Have you taken the time to understand yourself well enough to create and then to live your “meaning”?  Don’t look for it as if it were lost out there. It is not out there – it is within you, created by you. You and only you decide. Uncover it now, remember it now or re-create now. If not now, when?

By Alicia M. Rodriguez.

Alicia is the founder of Sophia Associates, Inc., an international executive and leadership coaching practice dedicated to enhancing leadership competencies, strengthening executive performance levels, creating opportunities for personal learning and developing high performing teams. More info

Visit her site at

Image: Jordan McQueen / Unplash

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