The Meaning of Life vs. the Purpose of Life

The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it.

You may have seen this quote about the meaning of life on social media. Most often it is attributed to Picasso, although I understand the source is debatable.

But the sentiment is simple. And as a guide for life, it is profound (in my opinion).

For most of us, this gift is revealed and honed over the course of life.

My intent is not to focus on the gift right now. My topic for this month is the challenge of the dance between the questing and the giving, which the quote implies.

As Joseph Campbell, author of The Hero with A Thousand Faces puts it, we become a Master of the Two Worlds.

As I see it this journey of mastery is actually about both mystery (the feminine aspect of this accomplishment) and mastery (the masculine aspect.) Mastering the two world requires attention to polarity.

Too much emphasis on mystery and you may frustrate your purpose. Too much emphasis on mastery and you may lose touch with life’s meaning.

The two worlds have differing demands. Without maintaining some sort of dynamic balance, it can be easy to get stuck in either world. When we do, we encounter stresses.

If the demands and responsibilities of the ‘real world’ are the sole focus, your  ‘quest for meaning’ may stagnate.

If you have spent a long time questing, your challenge will be to find an appropriate way to engage with mundane practicalities in a world that you no longer consider to be so real!

Now, it’s time to engage in a new quest to discover the right business structure and market for your gift. Failing to do so can frustrate your life’s purpose and legacy.

It is tempting to avoid the effort to master both worlds.

It is not well charted territory. But there are maps.

The value of great maps, like Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey (applies to Heroine’s too) or the spiritual maps of esoteric mystery schools is that they not only help us to find our place on life’s journey, they can helps to find new direction when lost.

Whether your current questions are about meaning, purpose or both, one of my coaching offerings may be just what you are looking for.

To learn more about my own journey and unique gift, click here.

Happy New Year!

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