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HOW TO FIND MEANING IN LIFE

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HOW TO FIND MEANING IN LIFE. Why Do We Need Meaning?. Economic downturn /Uncertainty Dwindling natural resources / Can innovation save us Global unrest /Can we use it to create positive change Fear - Greed based society Too much stress, bad news, pressure Critical moment in time.

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why do we need meaning
Why Do We Need Meaning?
  • Economic downturn /Uncertainty
  • Dwindling natural resources / Can innovation save us
  • Global unrest /Can we use it to create positive change
  • Fear - Greed based society
  • Too much stress, bad news, pressure
  • Critical moment in time
some change is happening
Some Change is Happening!
  • Racial barriers falling
  • Global awareness is rising
    • World is flat (Friedman)
    • World wide web
  • Environmental consciousness
  • How can you participate in meaningful change?
what does it take
What does it take?
  • Understand the greater context
  • Get religion
  • Understand your potential
  • Love in every situation
  • Become mature human beings
know the greater context
Know the Greater Context
  • Universe story
    • Galaxies, stars, planets, giraffes and you
  • We are one with that story
  • Know your place – part of the whole
    • Not the center
  • Think at the Species level
    • We are not better
    • But we are responsible
care for our planet
Care for our planet
  • This is the only home we have
  • We live in one interrelated, interdependent living system
  • What happens on one part of the planet has impact all over – Iceland Volcano
  • Be a steward; care for the planet
  • Acting on this know ledge will provide meaning
get religion
Get Religion
  • Everyone has a religion
  • Your particular outlook on life, all that is
  • Core values which drive your decisions in life
  • Even scientists seek to define the underlying order of the universe – “The Grand Design”
  • The top of the mountain
what is the true nature of mankind
What is the true nature of mankind
  • What are we
  • Who are we
  • Where are we
  • Where are we going
mankind s potential
Mankind’s Potential
  • “The true nature of anything is the highest it can become”, Aristotle
  • What is the highest mankind can become?
  • History/Anthropology say evolution to maturity as human beings
  • Psychology says integration – of self and others
  • Religious genius’ say love is the prevailing attitude
  • I propose that they are all saying the same thing
history and anthropology
History and Anthropology
  • Life has continuously increased in complexity over time (4 billion years!)
  • Life has differentiated and specialized
  • We have increased our ability to perceive the nature of reality – scientific discovery
  • Mature humans have made peace with reality – acceptance
  • (while maintaining their creative imagination)
so where is evolution leading us
So where is evolution leading us?
  • Increased consciousness
  • A wider and deeper perception of reality
  • More profound wisdom about how to survive and find meaning in life
  • Acceptance of reality and learning to live in right relationship with that reality
psychology
Psychology
  • Goal is integration
  • Acceptance of self – it is what it is
  • Understanding that there is real value in the self
  • That self is worthy of loving itself
  • Mankind’s potential in this area is limitless
  • It is also the most miss-understood
slide13
Love

Four aspects:

  • The object of love is seen as valuable
  • Acceptance of the beloved - of the way it is – reality
  • Profound, deep interest in the well being of the beloved
  • Understanding – highest level of love; knowing the needs of the beloved and responding, creatively, intelligently, caringly
  • To love means to act in right relationship with the beloved
the great commandment
The Great Commandment
  • The lord our God, the Lord is one; thou shall love the lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind and strength
  • We are one with all creation, all that is
  • God? For people of faith, this is easy
  • For people of science, it can be seen as love of truth, law, order in the universe, reality
  • “Each in His Own Tongue”, W. H. Carruth
  • “I suggest that it doesn’t really make any difference what we call it, if we but search for it”, Harry Rathbun
  • It’s the search that provides meaning
the second commandment
The Second Commandment
  • Love your neighbor as yourself
  • Love of self must come before love of neighbor
  • Love of self requires acceptance of self as is
  • Psychology attempts to demonstrate that there is real value in the self, that it is worthy of love
  • If we can see that we are all the same, one world, one humanity, one spirit, then love of neighbor is attainable
some helpful ground rules
Some helpful ground rules
  • Understanding the greater context within which we live will lessen the problems and pressures that we face every day.
  • Accepting reality, accepting ourselves, opens up the pathway to love
  • Understanding what it means to love gives us a guideline to living a meaningful life
  • “If we but search for it”
  • The following are some additional ground rules
1 be present
1. Be present
  • The past is history, you can’t change it
  • The future is yet to come, an outcome of your collective actions
  • The present is the only time that is real
  • The present is the only time you can effect change and take action
  • “It doesn\'t matter where you are headed, or whether you ever get there; life is all about the journey” (W. DeVincenzi)
2 be proactive
2. Be proactive
  • Don’t just let life happen to you
  • Lack of action is a choice, & not a good one
  • Be part of the solution, not part of the problem
  • Never give up when you believe you are right
  • “If not me, then who”
  • Someone needs to step up to the plate; why not you
3 pose no enemies
3. Pose no enemies
  • Treat everyone with compassion and respect
  • “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” – in all major Religions
  • Focus on similarities, not differences
  • Help others to fulfill their highest potential as a human being, even your enemy
  • War is now obsolete – No longer an option
  • Become “global” citizens
4 honor your commitments
4. Honor Your Commitments
  • Your word is your bond
  • True relationships are not 50%/50%, but 100%/100%
  • Be responsible and proactive
  • Why do most marriages fail? Because people are unwilling to work out their differences
  • The relationship comes first, you come second
5 love yourself
5. Love Yourself
  • Take care of your body – it’s the only one you have
  • Accept yourself, as you are (read your own resume sometime)
  • Forgive yourself - we are all human and make mistakes
  • Find a mentor, and use them
  • You are uniquely important to the Universe
6 give back
6. Give Back
  • Remember how we have been given to
    • From parents, family and friends
    • From the planet
  • Give when you see a need
  • Give without strings (25th Anniv.)
  • It is in giving that we truly receive
7 strive for excellence
7. Strive for Excellence
  • Be the best that you can be
  • Excel in everything you do
  • Aim high; if you aim low, you might get there
  • Never settle for mediocrity
  • Follow your passion, money will come
8 be optimistic
8. Be optimistic
  • Choose the nobler hypothesis (H. Rathbun)
  • See the glass half full, not half empty
  • “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty” (W. Churchill)
  • Be an optimist!
  • Life is too short to be anything else (and a lot less fun!)
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