How to Be Creative in a Mad World: Meaning

What is the meaning of life? We all have our favourite answers to this question, but it’s a mistake to think meaning exists out there in the world somewhere, just waiting for you to discover it. Of course, you can take your sense of meaning from outside yourself, in family, career or accomplishment, but this leaves you wide open to disappointment and disillusionment.

Whatever you invest with meaning has power over your life. If you invest meaning in something outside yourself, you render yourself powerless. You will constantly be thrown back on yourself, never feeling the master of your life.

Meaning puts your life and experience into context. It is built from the narrative you create in your head, the stories you tell yourself about who you are and why you live as you do.

FootstepsTo be creative and live creatively, this process of contextualisation, of making meaning, must be engaged with deliberately. It must be willed. To make a meaningful life you must have self-knowledge.

Socrates said the unexamined life isn’t worth living. A bit harsh, I think. I would say the unexamined life is a tragic life.

You are not making meaning when you’re living passively – drifting from one experience to another with no attempt at understanding. This can only lead to chronic boredom and a kind of living death. You become a cipher for every empty sentiment the culture throws at you. A puppet. An automaton.

If something is meaningful it is worth engaging with. If it’s meaningless, it’s worthless.

Being creative is always meaningful.

What is the meaning of your life? Share your reason for being below… Next time: Doubting

>Read the rest of the series here

Image: Footprints