Your Better Self > Our Primal Quests > Practical Aspects > Meaning in Practice

Seeking Meaning: RH'L2 in Practice

Up-Side

Happiness comes from living a life of purpose, and having clear values guiding your personal development, career and social life. Understanding and relating to others around shared values can be immensely gratifying, especially if it leads to shared activities.

However, not any activity nor any purpose will suit this Quest. The intrinsic challenge in seeking meaning-RH'L2 is «to make a difference». Not necessarily in a grand sense or to the whole of society, but in relation to yourself and a relevant group or the local community: «Think Global—Act Local» and, in this Internet era:  «Network Global—Co-create Focal».
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Because of the social nature of the benefits in seeking Meaning, others are usually only too happy to provide support and encouragement. Some will certainly join you (or you will join them). The sensitivity in the group can, however, mean that despite best efforts to understand, intense potentially disruptive emotions come to the fore. If that happens, the strategy is to work through such experiences in open discussions.

Any significant project is an unknown quantity. However many positive aspects it has, there will always be difficulties. At the extreme, that wonderful opportunity may be impractical, unwanted or excessively onerous. Typical means to put the Quest on a viable path involve inquiry-RHL2: exploration and refining of goals via visits, reading around the subject, questioning assumptions, and dialogue with tough questions for key people.

Down-Side

The diversity of personal needs and obligations is the inherent problem for the seeker after Meaning. You must select courses of action that are meaningful for you, and that can also mesh with your other needs (e.g. for remuneration, for family time, for recreation, for personal development). There will always be compromises to be made and it may often feel as if too much is being sacrificed for gains that may be difficult to see.

The necessity for effective pursuit of this Quest is focus and specialization. We all get good at what we do. The temptation here is that the personal importance inherent in the Quest leads to an over-valuation of what is being attempted. This may result in ●over-involvement ●inappropriate bias, ●blinkered views, ●'do-goodism', and ●refusals to recognize what the larger context allows.

Unhappiness certainly occurs. Meaninglessness, or the seeming absence of any way to focus and realize an ideal, is distressing. When paths seem blocked or overly difficult, or show counter-ideal features, a negative state can develop. You become confused and ambivalent, feeling both attracted and repelled by the prospects ahead.


Originally posted: 29-Jun-2012




All posted material is part of a scientific project and should be regarded as provisional. Visitors are encouraged to think through the topics and propositions for themselves. Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016.
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