What then is meaning? It’s a personal reason for our existence. It’s a reason to get out of bed in the morning. It is not a matter of searching for some ethereal, profound, and mysterious meaning, but merely of choosing what to dedicate our life to, for the purpose of life is to live a life of purpose. In other words, the meaning of life is to live a meaningful life. We create ourselves with the power of thought, and we create our meaning with the power of choice.
The meaning of a word is its role in a sentence, and the meaning of a person is their role in society. When we take on a role and contribute to society, we become meaningful by being useful. Our role gives us value and significance.
The world is in great need. It requires peacekeepers and bus drivers, janitors and shopkeepers, factory workers and salespeople, schoolteachers and philosophers, artists and musicians, accountants and politicians, plumbers and physicians, engineers and electricians, computer programmers and dishwashers, cooks and architects. The list is endless. No role is too small; all roles are vital, and every role is an opportunity for someone to find meaning.
It is not the nature of the role, but how we express it that fills us with purpose. Taking orders for food and serving it may be the job of a waiter, but putting people at ease, helping them make their selections, serving them courteously and promptly, and making their dining experience enjoyable is the mark of a professional, the mark of someone filled with purpose. It is this intention to serve others to the best of our ability that elevates even the simplest job into one of great dignity. It transforms a common task into an extraordinary event that touches the lives of others. So, it is not the nature of our job, but the nature of our attitude toward our job that makes our life worth living.