04 Feb Purpose, Intention, Meaning, Significance

I usually think of things I want to write when I’m by myself.   I’m only truly alone when I’m hiking, running or cycling, and I decided I would capture a short video clip of when that “writing epiphany” occurred.  Today that epiphany occurred after a tough snowshoe trek in three feet of fresh powder.  Click on the picture to see the 2-minute video.

The four words in the title of this post seem to be getting more attention than in the past.  Maybe it’s a sign of the times, maybe it’s a generational thing, or maybe there is greater level of self-awareness among us?

Michael Steger, PhD, from Colorado State University is conducting fascinating research on whether life needs meaning, and the Denver Post recently ran an article on his work.  James O’Toole wrote a booked called “Creating the Good Life: Applying Aristotle’s Wisdom to Find Meaning and Happiness.”  It seems one of life’s ultimate questions has been around for quite a while.

For me, creating Meaning starts with purpose.  Do you know where your passion intersects with your interests and skills?

Can you fuel your intention with the required passion and energy to give your purpose some legs?

When it comes to giving your life meaning, how do you want to feel when you’re pursuing your goal/purpose?  Is there any reason the journey itself can’t provide those positive feelings as a feedback mechanism that you’re on the right track?

Lastly, do your interests, skills, and passion benefit others in a significant way?  Does your life’s work (purpose) make a positive difference in the lives of others?

I heard Governor John Hickenlooper speak recently.  It was interesting how in his brief remarks he touched on purpose, intention, meaning, and significance.  He had just returned from the Word Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland, and was surprised to hear how strong the Colorado brand is when it comes to our entrepreneurial and collaborative culture.  He wasn’t just describing the past; he was using future-based language to transform how circumstances occur to people.  His intention appeared to build on our Western heritage of rugged individualism by giving meaning to those laboring to create a better life for themselves and their families.

What about you – is that how you see it?

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