• Tony de Lacey

The Meaning of Life; Responsibility

The ultimate question is; what is my meaning, my purpose on this earth? Underneath everything including physical and mental fitness, the pursuit of genuine happiness lies this great question. The great wheels of our minds, our motivations, our actions and our reactions turn amidst this question. Rather than make you read to the end to get the answer i'll lay it out now. If you want to assess the meaning of your life including your direction, your value to yourself and the world then count the things in life you feel responsible for.

Simply put the responsibility you have placed on your life is what defines your meaning. The less you feel or are responsible for in your life the less meaning you will have and so you will often find yourself asking 'what's the point of everything?' The more responsibility you have in your life the more you will find and feel meaning and direction.

This great question and its answer transcends happiness. Responsibility doesn't imply controlling things to make you happy; though that is always a considereation because we are human beings. Happiness comes in many forms and arguably happiness and feeling content are similar in so far as when we feel we have meaning in our lives and don't feel lost or wandering 'just what the hell am i doing' we will be certain of where we are going and with that certainty comes a happiness that doesn't mean you are forever smiling. This happiness manifests itself in the feeling that every single minute of your life matters to you, to people you care about and to whatever you are responsible for.

So what is responsibility? Well let's talk basics and in fact the most important aspect of taking responsibility; being responsible for yourself. This is where so many people actually go wrong. Many people skip this part and become responsible for other things externally. Don't put the cart before the horse. You have to first be responsible for yourself. This means being responsible for your health, your wellbeing, your decisions, your wants and desires and your actions and reactions. Don't blame anyone else for not being in the personal way you want to be; take control of yourself and be responsible for yourself. If you live your life feeling responsible for everything you say, do, believe and act then you will find the basis of meaning in your life; that's a fact.

Then and only then can you let out a tiny finger to touch the outside world and take responsibility for other things. Being responsible for things such as helping other people's health, education etc are just a few things you can look for. In the end what you should aim to be responsible for are the things that can do the most good that you can realistically do and want to do. Life is suffering so when it comes to what to do in the world to gain responsibility try to help reduce it! Don't go overboard and try to be the next Jesus, just try and let the light nearest to you shine rather than the dimly lit one far away. This is the basis of building a meaning that is unique to you.

Without responsibility or when it is taken away from us because of reasons such as a grievance, a break-up or something we feel responsible for stops or goes away we can feel lost, not knowing what to do in our lives. This is because the meaning in our lives takes a hit. This is why starting with a great feeling of responsibility of yourself is so crucial and should not be overlooked for the sake of something or someone else. Losing responsibility is tough on anyone but it gives us a clue about what to do next; get some more! Find a way to do the most good with what you have and you will have the direction you want to take; and don't waste time wallowing in grief, confusion and dread. There's no point living unaware of the great mortality we all face when feeling down. Time spent gaining responsibility and therefore meaning in our lives is paramount so use whatever you can to draw yourself back up and to carry on developing your meaning in your life.

This simple answer to a great question isn't just some whim thought up in a bar in London; this has been told to us for thousands of years. Its roots can be seen in the most fundemental texts like the Bible, prophets and statues all over the world. Visualise a statue of the Virgin Mary holding her baby. A great weight of responsibility is on display; that's the meaning of life. It's right there in front of you to see. Psycho-analysists such as Carl Jung, Paul Roger and Maslow all point towards the individual gaining meaning from what they place upon their lives. The integrity of the individual supercedes everything because from that we can acheive meaning individually rather than some collective doctrine that has only led to violence in our brutal history. Learn from the history of our planet to realise that individual meaning comes from our ability to take responsibility; a brave but required leap into making our lives on this planet worth while.

Give your life meaning. Take responsibility for yourself and then the things and people around you. Use what is most important to you to help make things better and whilst that is happening you will gain further clarification of the meaning of your life. It starts with you, and it carries on with you. Be the greatest you can be, because you can be great. Your potential is more than you think it is and you can be braver than you ever thought possible right now. Discover it, accept responsibility and find that meaning you always wanted to know.


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