“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” ― Albert Camus
Is there an end to it. Some ask me to what? All it is we do.
Is there an end to life journey?
Is there an end to running a business?
Is there an end to a relationship?
Is there an end to learning?
Is there an end to self-improvement?
Is there an end to mastery?
Is there an end to art creation?
In the real sense, there is no end to whatever it is we pursue or do. Because we all are living in the infinite universe and the only thing we can do is to keep moving once there is a meaning attached to what it is we do.
It was Josh Campbell who said “Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.”
Professors taking lectures in school are still learning having attained the highest form of qualification. Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and the richest people on Forbes list are still looking for money even when they are wealthy. Tiger woods is still playing golf after cementing his name as a legend in the game. What does all this tell you? There is no end to whatever it is you venture out to do.
And that’s what life is all about. Setting out on a journey from the very moment we’re born to no end other than finding meaning only you can ascribe to it. We can achieve great things along the way but at its core, its still an endless game we play while still alive. Simon Sinek put it best when he said there are no winners or losers in an infinite game. There is no such thing as “winning business” or “winning life,” for example, there is only ahead and behind.
Wecan say the same too with our art because there is no end to art creation. It was author Ryan Holiday who said art is the kind of marathon where you cross the finish line and instead of getting a medal placed on your neck, the volunteer roughly grabs you by the shoulders and walk you over to the starting line of another marathon. Our life journey is a marathon with no end in sight running sprint for a marathon race only makes you gas out before getting anywhere. (Emphasis mine).
Most of the great artists who have died left a catalogue work of their art that even hasn’t been put out to the world. Should they be alive today, chances are they won’t stop making their art. Why? because they know there is no end to art creation which means once you have a meaning for what it is you do, there is no reason for-ever stopping it.
That’s why professors won’t stop learning what they specialize in even after attaining the highest qualification in it. Same reason why Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Tiger Woods will keep working to make things right for themselves because they aren’t doing it for the pleasure but rather the meaning they derive from their work. And in the wise words of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe that says “The man who is born with a talent which he is meant to use, finds his greatest happiness in using it.”
Meaning is nature’s tool for motivation and meaning drives all our actions. Meaning requires action. And meaning is something that we must continually find and nurture consistently says author Mark Manson.
The whole essence of what we do, pursue, create is continuity and the only thing we can seek through continuity is meaning. Because finding meaning requires finding something bigger than yourself and throwing yourself into it.
When you cease all action, it’s like you fade into the background of life and you have no meaning. So in a way, we can’t stop running in circles once there’s a meaning attached to what it is we do.
Each man must look to himself to teach him the meaning of life. It is not something discovered: it is something moulded. Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Tiger Woods continuous improvement is what made him a legend in the world of golf. Bill Gates continuous improvement in Microsoft is what made it one of the most valuable companies on earth. When the purpose of our work becomes clear to us, only then can we find a meaning to it. And in the wise words of Viktor Frankl that says it is in responsibility that most people find meaning that sustains them through life.
Find a problem to solve, find a way to help others, find a way to be useful to yourself and others and you find yourself something to live for. David Lowery put it best when he said I’m not searching for the meaning of life, but I’m looking for meaning within my life.
The goal in the process of finding meaning is to commit to something bigger than yourself.
Everything we do ends as an unfinished project. From life, business, relationship, and learning which means there is no reason for ever ending the process of improving any area of our life once we have a meaning ascribed to it. Because in it can we have something to live for?
Just like the earth keeps revolving around the sun, day and night come day after day, it keeps going in circles to no end.
Pain and happiness come day after day, it keeps going in circles to no end. It’s only the meaning you ascribe to each that makes one worth pursuing over the other.
The same with life, it will never stop teaching you if you don’t stop learning.
So I ask again, is there an end to it or just meaning?