The Philosophy of Meaning

"Foolish are those who...have no aim to which they can direct every impulse and, indeed, every thought." -Marcus Aurelius

There are few words in the English language so charged as the word, "meaning.” What’s the meaning of life? What’s the meaning of [insert any confusing life event here]? The fact that we ask these questions tells us more about ourselves than the answers to them do. It reveals a desire for there to be more to it all—or perhaps even more revelatory, the need to believe that there is. This is why we find ourselves at various stages of our lives, careers and relationships thinking, what’s the point of this? Where is this going? Our minds overwhelmed with regret or frustration, we spiral into lamenting our decisions. I’d like to put forth an alternative to this lamentation and say that these moments are, instead, causes for celebration—for they serve as the breeding grounds for increased self-awareness. They remind us that in some way, in some area, we’re not quite living in sync with what's meaningful to us. Thus, the more quickly we can discover this discrepancy, the more quickly we can recalibrate.

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