How to find meaning in life
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HOW TO FIND MEANING IN LIFE - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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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?

  • 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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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?

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What does it take?

  • Understand the greater context

  • Get religion

  • Understand your potential

  • Love in every situation

  • Become mature human beings

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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

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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

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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

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What is the true nature of mankind

  • What are we

  • Who are we

  • Where are we

  • Where are we going

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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

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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)

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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

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  • 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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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)

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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I wish you all a meaningful life!“If we but search for it”