What is the meaning of life? Vs Who am I? These are two big questions, but with different implications. The kind of questions we ask can reveal our attitude towards life. It is important we ask the right question because the kind of question we ask also determines the kind of answer we get. For seven years I have been working with women and youth. You can distinguish those who have clues about their direction in life and those who are frustrated from the kind of questions they ask. From the abundance of heart, the mouth speaks. When one is caught up in the web of confusion, one can bring certainty to his or life by the kind of questions he or she asks. Today I want to X-ray the implications of these two big questions: what is the meaning of life and who I am?
What is the meaning of life?
When one asks the question, what is the meaning of life, it generally reveals that one is becoming awaking, but also there is an undertone of confusion, lack of direction, frustration, despair, fatigue and tiredness in people who ask this question. Inasmuch as it is a provoking question, many have considered such question as a misleading question.
What is the meaning of life? Some would say life has no meaning, individuals give meaning to life. The human person is a meaning making machine. He/she attaches meaning to all his/ her experiences. Sometimes the meaning we attach to these experiences can be right at some other times, can be wrong. According to Kain Ramsay, “One of the issues people have is that they do not know which direction to look in for purpose and meaning of life…every different person in the world is going to have a different opinion and different perspective, different thoughts, different views when it comes meaning of life and life’s purpose”
People who have had bitter experiences in life and those who have gone through very many different misfortunes in life, the meaning they attach to their experiences going down the memory lane can bring them into depression which can lead to suicide. For those people, given all that have happened to them, they find it difficult to find meaning in life. Unfortunately, such people forget that we can only assign meaning to things that have happened in the past not to things that will happen in the future. The meaning people assign to their life can either move them into the future with confidence or get them stuck in the present. Life becomes meaningful when you are driven by a purpose and one becomes purpose driven by asking the question, who am I?
Who am I?:
This question is not about your skills and abilities because they will one day become redundant. It is not about your physical looks, remember, as you advance in age, your physical looks will change. It is not about how many likes you have on facebook or how many followers you have on twitter and instagram, this may only give you a false image of who you truly are. It is not about success, you can be successful yet unfulfilled. It is not about how well you can articulate yourself and it is not about your confidence, it makes you feel good only for a short moment.
The question is about one’s core identity— that which remains despite one’s negative or positive, good or bad experiences in life, that which remains whether life has meaning or not. The question, ‘who am I?’ opens one to the fact that life is larger and deeper than one’s experiences. Attempting to answer the question, helps one to be established on a foundation that will bring one freedom. When one becomes grounded in the truth of who he or she is, one becomes free and learns to become himself or herself. One will no longer try to impress others but rather live to express himself or herself.
The Biggest Question
Do NOT dwell on the question, what is the meaning of life? You can never move on in life if you do not have a mental picture of who you are going to be in future despite your experiences and the realities around you. Spend your time and energy asking the question Who Am I? This question reveals your core identity, detaches you from your experiences and reveals to you your true life’s purpose. If you correctly answer the question whom am I, all other questions are answered including the question about the meaning of life. Until one adequately answers the question who am I, all other questions are hanging without answers. To help you know who you are, ask yourself the questions: What can I do? And How well can I do them?
The biggest question is who am I? This should be the leading question for your life if you wish to move on.
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