to Find the Meaning of Life
Steps In An Inquiry Into The Meaning of Life
From Philosophical Counselling: Theory and Practice.
why this question is being asked: what's wrong? Then work on resolving
· Examine desires, hopes, and
wishes that have been/have not been met as pointing to meaning.
· Revisit past personal accomplishments
at work or in the family as giving meaning.
· Consider your relationships
and connections with others as giving meaning.
· Consider your personal values
as suggesting meaning. Then examine the values you share with others in your
community as indicating commonly
· Consider meaning as not something
life intrinsically has but as something which you can produce or create and
give to life.
· Differentiate between the
meaning of life in general and the meaning you find in your life.
· Differentiate between meaning
· Inquire into where the meaning
or purpose of a life comes from:
Outside: God, religion,
significant others, community, the media or
· Survey your life backwards to find a possible thread of choices
you have made that give meaning to your life.
· If meaning can't be found
in the whole complex structure of a life, consider meaning as arising from simpler,
· Consider your purpose as going beyond yourself and doing good for
· Consider the desire for meaning as an aspect of humanness (to
be celebrated, not agonized over).
· Consider meaning as simply
being; living in the moment.
· Consider the perspective that
contentment in and with life is a person's natural state of affairs when
life is good, in which the meaning of life
is simply living it.
· Consider the concern over
finding the meaning of life as unnecessary for happiness in life.
· Imagine that the search for
the meaning of life is itself the purpose and meaning of life.
© 2001 by Dr. Peter B. Raabe
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