Trick Question


“The real problem of life is not its misery but its meaninglessness.” – Colin Wilson

We toil away because…well, why? What is the meaning of life? Apart from a platitude here or there, most of us have no real grasp on the meaning of our lives. Yet the answer to that question is vitally important. We must know it or numb ourselves (with too much work, politics, gossip, food, drink, drugs, distractions) to the pain of not knowing it.

When we try to answer this age-old question, we usually make two mistakes. First we look in the wrong places for the answer. We look to each other, to our families, to our bosses, to Nature, to pop culture, and to traditions. We read the books, attend the seminars, and ask Siri. But the answer is not outside ourselves. It’s inside.

The other mistake? Thinking that there is a single right answer. You see, “What is the meaning of life?” is a trick question. The meaning of your life is what you choose it to mean.


In your corner,



PS: So what do you choose?

Today’s photo credit: mag3737 via photopin cc

2 thoughts on “Trick Question

  1. Mike,

    is it not simply a matter of being open to the answer, without prejudice or fear?

    To fear the answer is to become blind and deaf to it… to become numb.

    Simple in principle, rarely so in practice.

    Some measure of courage is required…

    1. Hi James,

      Yes. Good point. If you are coming from “I look elsewhere for the meaning of life,” you may encounter a bit of internal resistance due to fear as you approach the place called “I choose the meaning.” The fear is a reaction to your first glimpse of that destination; it can seem like an scary, infinite, dark void. We may associate what we glimpse with something bad. It isn’t bad. It is unfamiliar. It is what I call your creative core. Others call it the void or the soul. It can take a minor leap of faith–that courage, openness you speak of–to enter that core. Once there, you sense there is no right or wrong answer. Really, there is no answer there until you ask yourself what you want the answer to be.

      Odd? Yep. Real? Sure, but we may need to define terms. 🙂


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