I recently watched this acceptance speech by Tim Michin who had just received an honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Western Australia… I highly recommend you watch it too.
I just love Tim’s idea that ‘searching for meaning to be a meaningless venture’ – rather, live now, more intentionally mindful in more moments, more often, striving to make the most of what you have, being grateful for what you have already experienced, and being attuned to the peripheral of opportunities that you might miss if you are too focused searching for the purpose of your life.
What’s really important here is the paradox that is being reported through the research of positive psychology. There is a volume of research that suggests that people who self-report to have meaning in their lives, also tend to self-report that they experience higher levels of happiness, well-being and life satisfaction.
However, the paradox is that message is being picked up by some well-intentioned public speakers, motivational gurus, coaches and leaders around the world, and telling people they should ‘search for meaning’ in their lives.
Tim’s observation, that searching for meaning is meaningless is not trite… it’s genius. It’s like searching for happiness will lead you to be wondering when and with what will make you happy. How about just ‘be happy’. How about just ‘be in the moment’.
While I know it’s not as easy as it sounds… it’s a better blue print that searching for something that you might never discover.