Meaning may perhaps be the most important part of your entrepreneurship journey. It will shape why you got into business and how you structure your approach to business all together.
Meaning is more than money and bigger than your company culture. It’s the answer to the big question of why you and your business are here. What do you do that changes the world? How does what you do change lives? What is your definition of meaning and how do you serve it daily?
Meaning frames the world you live in and the reasons you get out of bed every day. Make sure you know the meaning behind your actions. Here are five quotes that can help you create your own definition of meaning.
Words may show a man’s wit but actions his meaning. -- Benjamin Franklin
Never forget the powerful saying, “talk is cheap.” It’s not enough to want meaning or to want a purpose, you need to live meaning and take action to create it every day of your life.
We are at our very best, and we are happiest, when we are fully engaged in work we enjoy on the journey toward the goal we’ve established for ourselves. It gives meaning to our time off and comfort to our sleep. It makes everything else in life so wonderful, so worthwhile. -- Earl Nightingale
Author and motivational speaker Nightingale’s quote sums up not only meaning, but also entrepreneurship perfectly. If you do what you love and love what you do then the work provides the meaning and the work doesn’t feel like work most the time. Sure, there will be days that are long and challenging, but when you’re devoted to something you believe in, the meaning defines the effort and the journey becomes wonderful.
It is not what we get, but who we become, what we contribute … that gives meaning to our lives.-- Tony Robbins
The goal of making money alone isn’t very inspiring. The desire to change the world, or even just change your niche, is a much more powerful desire that can drive your efforts and inspire your action. Meaning comes not just from how you work and benefit from your efforts, but in how your work and effort will contribute to your community and others. This can be as big or as local as you desire, but the meaning is in how we give back, too.
Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it.-- Stephen Hawking
Meaning is the context through which you frame your world. It is the difference between being given a pile of bricks and going to work each day to build a wall, or being given a pile of bricks each day and going to work to create a monument. You can have the exact same set of tools as another, yet find yourself building a wall or creating a monument because of the meaning behind each brick you lay. If you want to build something great and contribute, meaning will help direct your daily effort.
Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. -- Joseph Campbell
There’s a great saying that goes, "the meaning of life is life." You’re here to be alive and to experience all of the incredible array of options that being alive entails. You create the meaning for how you experience the ups and downs, good and bad, triumphs and failures. You are alive right now, how will you bring meaning to your life and help create and contribute to meaning for others?
Related: 7 Steps to Find Meaning in Your Work