Life lesson: Finding meaning vs. making meaning

simply, the active, daily practice of choosing with intention, where we place our attention and invest our time


Today I was listening to a talk (How to Create Fearlessly) by creativity coach Eric Maisel. He said something that really got my attention. He was talking about the difference between “searching for meaning” and “making meaning” in our lives.

The difference is that in the former, we are looking outside of ourselves for something that might bring a sense of intellectual understanding. The latter, puts the responsibility directly on us, to examine our daily choices, and actively choose things that provide meaning.

He suggests making a personal list (menu) of meaningful things upon which to draw from, to ensure that we’re creating the meaningful life we desire.

For each of us, our lists will look different. The idea is to become conscious of our daily choices and recognize that choosing to talk on the phone with a good friend might provide a more meaningful experience than scrolling through social media or clicking through headlines promising 100 ways to become thin, attractive and rich.

I plainly realized that all of my life I’ve been searching for meaning. Although I’ve encountered mountains of collective wisdom, none of that will make my life as meaningful as the simple daily practice of choosing with intention, where I place my attention and invest my time.

I love that we can learn from each other. By sharing stories like these, I hope that a ripple of goodness will extend from me to you and beyond.