The Sea of Meaning in Which We Live

Today’s post is excerpted (then expanded upon) from my book, Life On Purpose: Six Passages to an Inspired Life, an award winning finalist in the Self-Help: Motivational division of the Best Books 2007 Awards sponsored by USA News.

There is an old saying that goes something like this: “Man is to himself as water is to a fish.” I’d like to paraphrase and expand that statement just a bit and ask you to consider this:

People are born into and live in a “Sea of Meaning,” which has as much impact on our lives as water does on the life of a fish—and is just as transparent and outside our awareness most of the time.

The “Sea of Meaning” is a metaphor for how the nonphysical part of the Kosmos affects our experience of life in the physical world in which we live.  Now, let’s weave this way of looking at life together with another distinction, known as the Be–Do–Have Model.

Consider each of the three circles to be different aspects of a person’s life. We all have a part of our life that can be labeled as “having.” For example, most of us have jobs, homes, people we care about, material “stuff,” and so on. Then there’s the aspect of our life called “doing.” As we explored in the very beginning of the Life on Purpose Process, we are always doing something in each moment of time that makes up our lives. Finally, there’s the part of life called “being.” Just like we’re doing something in each moment of our life, we’re also always being something in each moment. In truth, it is often a mixture of different “ways of being.”

Yet, while the arenas of doing and having have received a lot of attention in our society, the domain of being has received considerably less attention. This is in part because it is much easier to be aware and awake to the physical part of the Kosmos, which is made up of having and doing.

What I am suggesting is that the real power to shape and form our experience of the physical world lies in the domain of being, and that it is this metaphysical domain that is composed of molecules of meaning that arise from the combining of our thoughts and feelings.

Now, I am going to ask you to try something on that may at first not appear to fit; but I believe if you stay with the exploration, it will reveal something quite enlightening and enlivening. First, I am going to suggest that most of us live our lives in the wrong direction, or at least the direction that is less powerful and effective.

Conventionally, we approach life from the having and doing domains, rather than from the being domain, as the lower arrow in the diagram indicates. But true power can only arise in reversing this order, because it is in this direction that the universe flows.

Who we are being, including who we consider ourselves to be, always informs or determines what actions we see to take, including the actions of what we say—our communication. But what is it that makes up who we consider ourselves to be? Our being nature is made up of our thoughts and feelings. Therefore, it is the sum total of our thoughts, feelings, words, and actions that determines what we have in our lives.

The real question then is, “From where do our thoughts and feelings arise?” The answer from the Life on Purpose Perspective is that they arise from one of two places: either from our Divinely Inspired Life Purpose or from our Inherited Purpose.

Here is another way of asking the question that we have been exploring along this Purposeful Path:

In this moment, what is shaping your life—your Universal Love-based/Divinely Inspired Life Purpose, or your fear-based Inherited Purpose?

Points to Ponder Upon

This question of what is shaping your life in any given moment can be a real eye-opener. I encourage you to ask it of yourself often as you go through the day.  It is also the start of a “Purposeful Pivot” — one of the power tools for living on purpose. When used often, the Purposeful Pivot can enhance your life.  To learn more, check out this article.


Ready to Start Your Journey Along the Purposeful Path?

There are a number of ways to start bringing clarity of purpose to your life using the Life On Purpose Process as your road map.  Here are two:

Ready to Dip Your Toe in the Water

To become more familiar with the Life On Purpose Process that has helped thousands of people bring more purpose and meaning to our life, start with my book, Life On Purpose: Six Passages to an Inspired Life, an award winning finalist in the Self-Help: Motivational division of the Best Books 2007 Awards sponsored by USA News. Pick the edition (hard back, quality paper back, pdf, Kindle, epub, etc.)  that best fits your needs here.


To Wade in and Really Get Wet (and On Purpose)

I recommend the Life On Purpose Virtual Video Coach and/or the Virtual Video Coach Premium Option. Through it’s fifteen online video coaching sessions and comprehensive workbook, you can be bring clarity of purpose to your life on your time frame and from anywhere in the world. Full information is here.