Meaning Making as Life Purpose

by Barbara Martin

in Motivation & Inspiration

Although he has devoted a lot of time and energy to studying, writing about and coaching creative people, Eric Maisel’s life work, in my estimation, is all about helping people learn the skill he terms “passionately making meaning” – or living according to their stated life purpose. He explains how to develop your own statement of life purpose in his creativity book, Coaching the Artist Within.

Maisel recognizes that most people would need to blend a number of purposes into one statement, so he provides this example:

“I will make use of myself every day in the service of truth-telling and other important values while at the same time getting some real satisfaction out of life through love and work.”

At its essence, the above statement is based on using your “heart, mind, and hands” on a consistent daily basis, working hard to serve your most important values, and
meanwhile maintaining loving relationships — all of which combined result in being genuinely satisfied with your life.

To develop your own version of this type of statement, list all the life purposes you can, then order and rank them, combining and rephrasing as needed. Take some time to ponder this, and over time as you identify your life purposes more specifically you will be able to describe and explore them, then memorize and internalize them. Eventually, you will be able to state your life purpose in a single sentence.

If you have trouble coming up with a meaningful list, you might want to give his self-coaching technique a try.

Ultimately, of course, you must truly believe in whatever statement you come up with because this will be the driving force — your passion — for making meaning as you go through life.

This learned skill of making meaning is consistent with Maisel’s insistence that you take responsibility and take control of your life and your creativity.

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