Creating a Meaningful Life

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Life presents many decisions that individuals must make on their path to creating a meaningful life. But life also imposes constraints and external factors that can challenge an individual. In order to live meaningfully, we as humans must take risks. Individuals have the power to create a meaningful life by allowing themselves to take risks and make free decisions.

The power to create a meaningful life resides in the ability of an individual to take risks and make decisions for themselves. However, the ability to do so exists within the constraints of external forces. External forces have the potential to limit the risks that individuals can take, therefore, limiting the power that individuals have to create a meaningful life.

Taking risks grants the individual power to create a meaningful life however, external forces that act on the individual can limit the power an individual has to achieve a meaningful life. This creates a power struggle between the individual and the external forces. In The Signature of All Things Alma recalls “the night [she] would remember forever”. Her most memorable experience begins with her wishing to join in the amusement that is being coordinated by Maestro Luca Pontesilli. She takes the initial risk by walking into the garden at a late hour while being the only child in attendance and asking Pontesilli for a role in the ongoing amusement. Her role in the celestial charade was to “fly about in all directions” while the other planets and stars remained on a strict orbit. Whenever she nears her father he yells “ not so close to me, Plum” preventing her from being too close to her father and therefore, acting as an external force preventing Alma from taking the risk or she “will burn to cinders”. Alma’s comet is influenced by the external factor that her father is imposing on her preventing her from “[flying] about in all directions” in order to protect her from burning to cinders.

Although the external force imposed on Alma’s ability to take risks is present she still possesses the freedom of “ducking and swiveling through everyone’s orbits”. In comparison to the strict orbits of the planets in the garden, Alma is exempt from the external forces acting on them. The near freedom to take risks allowed Alma to “not know she was not flying” thereby creating a meaningful life for herself. The power to create a meaningful life is influenced by external forces but as long as the external force does not stifle the power an individual has to take risks than it is still possible to establish a meaningful life.

In order to obtain the power to establish a meaningful life, an individual must have the ability to make free decisions and be able to take risks. However, sometimes external factors act as constraints and can have the ability to influence an individual’s decisions. It is also up to the individual’s discretion whether to interpret the influence the external factors impose as beneficial or not. In my personal experience, it is important to me that I have the ability to make my own decisions regarding my life. It is essential that I hold the power to take risks to create a meaningful life for myself.

An important decision that I am currently in the process of making is choosing what university programs to apply for. It has always been difficult to make small decisions for myself and it has proven even more difficult to make essential decisions regarding my future. So I sought the guidance of my parents and they have acted as external influences. They have set constraints on my power to make decisions by not allowing me to apply for programs that they believe will not suit me or will not allow me to achieve their interpretation of a meaningful life. However, I do agree with some of their constraints such as pointing me more towards the field of sciences which is where I wish to be. However, my parents have also prevented me from applying for programs that I want. I wanted to apply for a program that would allow me to become a pharmacist however my parents prevented me from doing so because they believed that pharmacy would become obsolete and be replaced by robots. I interpreted this constraint imposed upon me as unreasonable and I exercised my freedom to take risks and applied for it anyway because I believed that it would create a meaningful life for myself.

My parents have also encouraged me to take risks within the constraints they have imposed which I believe is important in establishing a meaningful life. I have applied for a variety of programs ranging from computer science to pharmacy at a variety of institutions which I would not have normally done. I have interpreted the influence my parents have over me as shields to prevent me from making poor decisions. My parents have imposed reasonable constraints that I agree with and have at the same time pushed me to take more risks so that I can establish a meaningful life for myself.

We as humans have an inherent desire to make our own decisions. However, constraints will always be present that will to varying degrees influence the decisions we make as individuals. When individuals allow themselves to take risks and be spontaneous it will increase the power the individual has to create a meaningful life. External factors apply constraints that may limit the power individuals have to create a meaningful life however, it cannot prevent it.


Cite this paper

Creating a Meaningful Life. (2020, Sep 22). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/creating-a-meaningful-life/



What does living a meaningful life mean?
Living a meaningful life means finding purpose, fulfillment, and satisfaction in one's actions and experiences, and contributing positively to the world around us. It involves living in alignment with one's values, passions, and goals, and making a difference in the lives of others.
What is an example of a meaningful life?
An example of a meaningful life is one in which a person feels fulfilled by their accomplishments and relationships. A meaningful life can be filled with happiness, love, and a sense of purpose.
What is the key to a meaningful life?
The key to a meaningful life is to find what you're passionate about and to help others.
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