It’s an age-old game: kids, and even dogs, running after and trying to catch shiny bubbles made from soapy water. And just when they catch one, it disappears.
I wonder if today you feel like someone chasing bubbles, or chasing things that seem like they are uncatchable.
There’s no doubt that one of the things humanity tries hard to catch is meaning. We all find ourselves at one point or another chasing significance, and the more meaningful point to our existence. Often, we find at those times, the more we chase, the more frustrated we become.
I believe we are meant to be people who use life to create meaning, purpose and significance, rather than endlessly search for it.
To use the example above, we are not created to chase bubbles, we are created to blow bubbles, to inject life and meaning into our very existence.
How do we do this? Find a cause to live for.
Your cause in life will give meaning to your life and will determine who you become in life.
As a young man, I was obsessed for many years trying to become the person who I thought I needed to be. This put a lot of my own focus on me: on what I needed, what I wanted, what I thought was of value to my process of “becoming.”
The more egocentric and self-seeking I was, the less I knew about my own purpose and meaning for being. The more self-help books I read, the more introspective I became. As funny as it sounds, I was my own cause.
However, I’m learning more and more that life is not about me and who I do or don’t become in this world. Life is about finding someone else I can help become all they can be.
In other words, if we can find a cause where the focus is on others and not self, then we, by default, “self-actualise” (that is, we become the person who we are meant to be).
In the search to help others, we discover ourselves. The cause creates a road to meaning which leads us to becoming who we are.
Find a cause greater than yourself and own it, make it your own.
Focus your attention on meaning and you will become meaningful, or full of meaning. Fulfilment is found when we find meaning.
When we are busy with a cause, along the way we discover meaning and who we are. Even more than that, it has the power to create a better me and a better you. You may even find within yourself many attributes that you were unaware you even had.
The more I look at the successful and significant people in my world, I notice that their focus is not in becoming a successful or significant person as much as it is about creating a better world for someone else. Giving meaning to others gives them meaning as well.
The Bible puts it this way (Philippians 2:3-4):
Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead.
Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
You will find your life when you live a life for others, for a cause that you have made your own.