Many years ago, when I was still pursuing graduation, a friend lent me a copy of It Was on Fire When I Lay Down on It by Robert Fulghum, whose uncomplicated outlook on life, together with his fresh and funny style of writing, quickly made him one of my favourite authors. Over the years, his books made a profound impression on me, besides influencing my writing.
In the aforementioned book, there was a chapter on how we mix up our identities with the work we do professionally. It was a hilarious read—so funny that I laughed at nearly every sentence. And yet, there was also a very powerful message contained that made me question my priorities. Fulghum wrote, “I often say that I don’t worry about the meaning of life—I can’t handle that big stuff. What concerns me is the meaning in life—day by day, hour by hour, while I’m doing whatever it is that I do. What counts is not what I do, but how I think about myself while I’m doing it.”
These words of Fulghum sum up the essence of our 8th anniversary issue. No matter what anyone does, we are all yearning to live a life of meaning. But, there is no formula to decode life, nor is there any universal meaning of life—that single answer to the great quest of humankind. Meaning is personal and comes from within each individual. That is what Alex Pattakos and Elaine Dundon, two bestselling authors, have come together to help you understand.
“Meaning is the life energy or fuel that motivates us to achieve our highest potential as human beings. In fact, meaning is an integral part of our innate humanness, and it is the search for meaning, our primary intrinsic motivation, that distinguishes us from other living entities,” they write as they share practical ideas to help you to discover, and apply, meaning in your everyday life and work.
I urge you to read this month’s cover story slowly, and then read it again. Absorb its message fully. It contains pointers that will help you answer the ultimate question we all ask. And once you find your own unique answer to this question, your life will be filled with the only wealth that counts—meaning.
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