Tibetan: དོན་ 'don'
English: meaning, purpose, function, benefit, significance, substance, truth
Many of us struggle to find meaning in what we do. We spend our days in busyness and distraction, propelled by to-do lists and deadlines. We have this sense that we need to find meaning by doing something, accomplishing something.
We ascribe a lot of meaning to little things that come and go, but that meaning doesn't really stick around too long. We push to the finish and enjoy a moment of achievement, but that achievement lacks the substance to fulfill a greater purpose or meaning.
We all have a relative experience of meaning in our lives, the meaning that we ascribe to our work, to our family and friends, to the places we live and the places we love to visit. But what is truly meaningful?
I would like to think that it is impacting another life. Leaving an imprint, bringing about transformation, causing a shift in that person's continuum. If that were the case, the meaning of our life and work is truly established in others. They are the carriers, the holders, the substance. They have names and faces and stories. Some you have known for moments, some for ages.
The hard part of finding what is truly meaningful is that you never really know. You never really know how you have impacted others, how your generosity and kindness has shaped them. You can never be sure, but you do it anyway.
Hoping that what you are doing is meaningful is selfish, fear that it is insignificant is also selfish. Free from hope and fear, genuinely pursue connecting with and benefiting others and the work you do will have substance.