See the joy in living the process of life itself
This week, I was fortunate to have three unrelated experiences that caused me to reflect on the meaning of life.
To be more precise, they made me think about the meaning of my life. Now, before you start getting all fidgety, I am not going to pretend that I know the ultimate meaning of life — I don't.
But the further I travel, the more I do seem to be coming to a better understanding of the purpose of my own particular life.
Interestingly, I don't really have a sense of “nurture versus nature” when it comes to my life, in that I cannot really distinguish whether I am who I am at this moment in time, because I intentionally raised myself this way, or because I have simply allowed my experiences to shape who I have become.
If I had to guess, I suspect that it is a combination of the two.
In other words, I seem to have landed in this world with some pre-existing core values (standard operating protocols, if you prefer) that have stood me well, as well as a willingness to see what I can learn from even the most difficult situations.
I will not lie to you, there are a few moments in my life that I have simply been happy to be able to walk away from, but even these taught me that I could survive a personal disaster; that I would find a way to carry on as long as I was willing to pick myself up and begin putting one foot in front of the next.
For a long time, I kept this realisation to myself, partially because I honestly did not appreciate that not everyone looks at life this way, and partially because I really lacked sufficient self-confidence to believe that anyone else would be interested in what I had to say.
But then I had a moment of clarity and I realised a few things:
Of the many things that I have going for me in my life, perhaps the greatest gift that I have been given is the ability to learn from my experiences, so that I can share what I have learnt with other people.
And more importantly — it really does not even matter whether anyone is listening to me — what is important is the fact that I have this ability and I am choosing to make use of it whenever it is appropriate.
In short, all the time that I have spent observing, living, and learning has not just given me a sense of perspective, it has given me something very unexpected — a joy for the process of life itself.
The very idea that I can come across a situation and offer help simply for the joy of helping itself and not for praise, or recognition, or money, is a tremendously elating and humbling thing.
It more than compensates for any of the moments of frustration or sorrow that accompany any human journey.
And it has also got me wondering … what else can I chose to do simply for the joy of doing it, and where would this lead me?
• Robin Trimingham is the chief operating officer of The Olderhood Group Ltd and a virtual presenter, journalist, podcaster and thought leader in the fields of life transition and change management. Connect with Robin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/olderhoodgroup1/ or firstname.lastname@example.org