Ionut Grecu

Ionut Grecu

agilist by vocation | lightly-seasoned seeker by nature

Turning A Meaningless Life Into A Meaningful One

As you probably have noticed, it has been some time since I have seriously applied my energy towards writing here. The time has come…

“What’s the point?” a friend of mine, asked me the other day as we were hanging out having a beer after a long, hot day. “The point of what?” I responded. “You know. Living. Everything.”

He asked quite cheerfully with no tone of existential despair, but after a short dialog his conclusion was something like: Life is just a strange comedy of errors that has no purpose behind it.

My answer lingered…

I know it might sound a little bit nihilistic, but I think that actually there is no meaning of life. Life out there doesn’t have a meaning. There’s no meaning of life radiating out from life.

It’s Up To Us To Give Life Meaning

The meaning of life is what we make of it. We provide the meaning of life, or the meaninglessness of life. Life doesn’t provide its own meaning. The meaning of life it’s up to us, it’s not up to life.

We’re not just a victim of life, passively waiting for life to have some meaning. We can become an active participant in our lives.

In fact, we’re responsible for making meaning of life. Nobody can make our lives meaningful except for us.

We’re Looking For Meaning In All The Wrong Places

Unfortunately the choice that most of us have made throughout most of our lives it’s to follow like sheep our own society, our own culture. Basically our culture is telling us that our lives are meaningful; the culture that we live in has drained meaning out of live. We took the specialness out of live. We have drained anything special from life.

That’s one of the features of modern society. Nothing is really special anymore. We killed the specialness and we’re trying to recover it. But we’re looking it in all the wrong places. We try to find something special in the mall, in the entertainment experiences and so on. We’re attracted to that kind of stuff, we’re attracted to the idea that it isn’t just all ordinary, normal, not special.

Where are we looking for specialness in life? Where are we looking for meaning and happiness?

Money And Things

Do money and things provide meaning and make you happy? I know that you would say “No, of course not!” But do you act like that, do you live like that? Some of us are kind of confused on this, actually. We say: “I know that money and things don’t make me happy, but if I had another gadget, I’ll be happier!”

If money brought you happiness, every dollar, let’s say, would be one unit of happines. So if you’d have one billion dollars how happy you would be? If you would be Warren Buffett how happy would you be?

Well, every time you’d saw Warren Buffett, he should radiate happiness. Am I right? And every time you saw poor people, they would always be unhappy, because they don’t have enough units of happiness. It would be impossible to be poor and happy and it would be impossible to be rich and unhappy.

I know you would argue: “Yeah, but if I had Warren Buffett’s money I will be happy!” C’mon! That’s just ignorance!

The money will not make you happy! The things will not make you happy! We have more things that we could possibly use. People buy houses for their things! Believe me! I know people that bought 5 rooms houses for pianos, couches and stuff like that. They bought houses for their stuff! But happiness can’t be coming from things, it can’t be coming from money…

Jobs

It’s the job the cause for happiness, purpose and meaning? Some of us say: “If only I get another promotion, then I’ll be happy.”

But what’s the proof that the job can’t make you happy? Well, what about retirement? Best case scenario is that at the end of your long career, somebody will come along and tell you: “Please go home, have a retirement plan and don’t come back!” They won’t miss you. They used up your all life and they just throw you away. Do you think you’re indispensable? Believe me that nobody is indispensable. Your job can not make you happy.

So it’s not in the money and it’s not in the profession. What else?

Relationships

If only I found Mr. Right or Ms. Right, then I’ll be happy. But does somebody has the power to make you happy? Of course not. Your happiness isn’t someone else’s responsibility. Other people can’t make you happy or unhappy. They have no power to do it. If you think that other people can make you happy, or should make you happy, you’re setting up for failure.

And there is failure if you’re seeing the things this way. Have you noticed? How unsuccessful other people are in making you happy?

But stop blaming them. You happiness or unhappiness is not up to them. Take responsibility for your own happiness. It’s not in their hands. Stop victimizing yourself by thinking you’re a victim. You never were a victim, by the way. You’ve always been in control. You chose to be a victim. So the meaning of life isn’t in the hands of somebody else, it’s in your hands!

Entertainment And Leisure

“If only I got to see the new movie with Keanu Reeves, I’ll be happy and I’ll feel that my life is special”, we say. And we pay money to go and put on 3D glasses so we can be special. “It’s so magical!”, we say. And then we have to take the glasses off and come back to our crappy ordinary lives.

We just try to keep ourselves entertained all the time which obviously is a losing proposition. As soon as one new movie comes out, we start thinking to a next one. We’re never satisfied.

Physical Health And Body

If you think that your body is designed to bring you happiness, you’re wrong. When we get sick, when we lose our health, the problems arise for us.

But what we don’t want to understand is that these problems, these elements of life are coming from us. We make them problems. The sickness is not problematic in itself, but we problematize it, we turn it into problems. And that’s because we don’t see it in the correct manner.

The reason that we find sickness to be a problem is because we assume that health will last forever. Then when things change and we lose our health, because we resist the change, we feel that we’ve lost something that we should have been able to keep forever. And we suffer…

…. And it doesn’t have to be that way.

Start Squeezing The Juice Out Of Life

Unfortunately we don’t see the meaning of life because we’re not living life. We’re always thinking about some other time or some other place. We’re daydreaming about being somewhere else, some other time instead of being in the only time that exists and the only place that exists for us: here and now. Then we can actually have meaning of life because we’re living life.

As we wrap up, I want to leave you with one final thought.

We can resurrect the specialness of life. We can project something meaningful in life. How? I’ll be aiming to provide some solutions and some food for thought in the upcoming posts. Till then remember that our experience of life is coming from us not at us. If you just try to see the specialness in your life it’s amazing how much of it there is to see.

I appreciate you taking the time. Best of luck! I’m out.

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