finding your life's purpose & meaning


Have you ever felt like there’s got to be more meaning to what you’re doing? Or tried to discover your life purpose?

You can keep squeeezing your brains as much as you want, you just won't "get it" that way. In fact, chances are you'll feel defeated by this fruitless exercise.

So what’s the problem? The word “meaning” is an abstraction. So is the word "purpose". When we deal with abstractions, we get away from the reality of our experience. We get lost in words.

Let's talk about "meaning" first. When you complain that something "lacks meaning"… this abstract expression seems to imply that there’s a way to add meaning, the way you could add a pinch of salt to a dish that lacks salt. So you keep looking for ways to add meaning. And, of course, it doesn’t work that way.

How can you avoid the pitfall of turning "meaning" into an abstract thought? I suggest you change the wording of your question to something more concrete. Listen to your emotional intelligence, and get in touch with what specific things actually mean to you.

A similar comment applies to "purpose". If the issue is defined as a "quest for purpose", you can be tempted to think of "purpose" as something that can be found outside of yourself.

As a matter of fact, the Purpose Driven Life that Rick Warren writes about is a life that follows some preordained divine precepts.

This need not be the case.

My definition of the purpose driven life is: you're vibrantly aware of what you want out of life, and you go for it.

In other words, finding meaning, and discovering your life purpose, are consequences of being in touch with your emotional core. Which is another way of saying: experiencing your life through your emotional intelligence, not just your intellect.

When I work with you, I pay attention to what goes on behind the words you say - the emotional content, the charge some words may have, all of the subtle elements that are a gateway to deeper meanings.

Connecting with you at this level helps me turn the coaching session into an experience that you can learn from, much more powerfully than you would from a simple discussion or from advice giving.

What you learn from such an experience, you learn from inside. It's not the words that are important, it's the experience itself. Remembering the experience is what gives meaning to the words.

As you get more connected to your emotional core, you get more of a sense of purpose - and this sense of purpose energizes your life, from inside out.


Serge Prengel
Coaching in NYC
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