Wednesday, 23 January 2013

A Life of Meaning

A friend of mine posted this article on facebook from the online news aggregator titled “There’s more to life than being happy”.  Intrigued by the title, I clicked on the link and kept on reading…
Three points jumped out at me as I read.
1)      “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing," Frankl wrote in Man's Search for Meaning, "the last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." I anchor this into my own religious faith, that God gave humans free will to choose AND the intellect to think, to question and to come to a conclusion.

2)      How does the happy life and meaningful life differ?  Happy people get a lot of joy from receiving benefits from others while people leading meaningful lives get a lot of joy from giving to others.  I volunteer; I have a job I work hard at; I am married; I have 2 children.  All these activities do not make sense from the happiness perspective (I would be much happier exercising, or watching CSI on TV) but they totally make sense from the meaningful-life point of view.

3)      The pursuit of meaning is what makes humans uniquely human.

Yesterday, I went for tea with some new friends, and one of them asked me casually (in response to the SG government’s SGD2billion stimulus to boost fertility rates

“Celine, are you going to have a third child?”

I have assessed and determined for myself that there is mental space for only Medium Boy and Small Boy in my life, given that I still want to work (and be good at my job), have space and time for hobbies and generally having more vivid strong moments. 

Here’s to a more meaningful life in 2013!

… Ha!  I do have a new year resolution after all…


  1. Hmmmmm... yaaaaaaah... I guess this makes sense but I would rather just be hedonistic and go for the pursuit of happiness. This said... doing meaningful things make me HAPPY!

  2. If I am totally hedonistic, the boys wouldnt come into existence! Heck I wouldnt even be married.....

    I am struggling to get to the point where I have the capacity (time and energy) to do meaningful things and lead a meaningful life to make ME happy.