A Seaman's Quest

One man's search for truth


My Reason to Live - the human spirit

Meaning of Life

We live in a time when many of us struggle to find meaning in life. It seems like we work a job, have a family, and great hobbies, but still wonder why. How can we ever feel truly satisfied with the life opportunities we have been given?

Meaning is about finding the purpose for our very existence. Without it we are like ships lost at sea. Without meaning we will always seek comfort in unhealthy ways. It is a sense of purpose that gives us passion and motivation to keep moving forward.

Meaningful work and meaningful relationships are essential to living the good life. Without these we are doomed to misery. Both of these areas must be supported by a healthy private life. Constantly learning and growing allows us to truly appreciate life as it is. Living in the moment and being ready for the future create meaning in both our work and relationships.

Search for Meaning

I've spent my entire life searching for the meaning of life. I was a really awkward kid that had difficulty fitting in to any peer group. I was never good at sports and was typically picked last for the team which hammered my self-esteem.

I excelled at learning but found school terminally boring. In sixth grade I had a phenomenal teacher named Bob Dawson. Most of what I learned in my entire K-12 was from that class. He taught us how to core pine trees, the design of the internal combustion engine and refrigerator mechanics, algebra, geometry, Greek mythology, and literature. He was the best teacher ever that ever taught.

I have always struggled with authority. Much of my journey in personal growth has been related to understanding and managing this important aspect of my life. For much of my life I treated my need to rebel as a problem area that needs to be fixed. But recently I see it as a gift that gives me strength to make sacrifices to serve others.

I was born to see the problems all around me and am highly motivated to fix them. Clearly, this motivation must be actively managed and tempered with reason and empathy, lest it reek havoc on everyone.

Inventing is in my bones. I was born an engineer, but lacked the training until college to do it professionally. I've spent decades on the forefront of technology, pushing the envelope. I build things in my dreams and in my waking hours. Sometimes I even get paid for building stuff. I would build things if I had to pay for the privilege of doing so. I often have.

Teaching has always been a passion of mine. Each time I invent something new, read a great book, or get a terrific idea. I find several friends and engage them in discussion. When I was working as a corporate engineer this desire to teach would sometimes irritate my bosses, that just wanted me to write code. Recently I have found the perfect opportunity to express the desire to teach with a room full of college students. This is a dream come true for me.

Writing is the fastest most flexible way for me to share ideas with others. My world is filled with ideas about all kinds of things. I'm a voracious reader and love to be exposed to ideas that are different and novel. I don't read content that I totally agree with, because it does not challenge my current thinking in any way. Writing is a great way to wrestle with a new idea and work out my own understanding. Writing is mostly a private tool for me but occasionally I publish things I write.

Inventing, Teaching, and Writing are my public roles that give meaning and purpose. I fill fully alive and invigorated when I do these three things. Now that I am retired I have the opportunity to do each of these things every day all day long. A big part of the meaning of life for me is getting the work commitments to match my personal passions.