I’m nearing retirement. My life is pretty good. My executive coaching business thrives. My personal and family lives have turned out very well. But, for a number of months I’ve felt a malaise because something seems to be missing. So, I’ve been searching for an answer to the question ‘what’s the meaning of life’?
I’ve found two candidate answers. Have fun and be lovable.
The first came from the Woody Allen movie Vicki Cristina Barcelona. Here’s the enlightening line from Juan Antonio, the male lead. “The trick is to enjoy life, accepting it has no meaning whatsoever.”
The second came from a book, Winter Journal by Paul Auster. The book is a panorama of his life as he approaches age 65. It includes little bios of his parents and in-laws as they approach old age with all the problems of decline. Auster channels Joubert to note that ‘being lovable’ is one thing you can still work on as you age. I immediately thought that it’s easy for ‘little old ladies’ but what am I to do?
Enough about me. What’s the question and the lesson here?
The question is what do you really want? Not always easy to figure out. I have found in my coaching practice that any halfway successful North American has a pretty robust life, fruitful in excess of what our bodies have evolved to need. That is, some people drop out of coaching because they already have enough and have no real motivation for more. They’ve come to me with the wrong answer.
The lesson is that you have to let your best guess of the question marinate for some time in your subconscious. While it’s marinating, and this is what happened to me, the answer, or some answer, will appear because, at least subconsciously, you’re searching for it. Always Be Searching.