As I’m interested in all different aspects of the connection of spirit, passion and work, I’ve wanted to get some other voices in here to tell about their experiences of mixing these three aspects.  The first one is Casey Adam Miller, who I met at the end of his cross country bike ride where he found that connection for himself.

*****************************************************************************************************

Most of my life I have followed the rules.

I attended a private high school, graduated cum laude from a renowned college, and in 2006, obtained two Masters degrees from one of the world’s most prestigious universities in the world.

By the age of 31, just 5 years later, I had done what most people with my background thought we ought to: traveled the globe, built a company, and made some money.  By most accounts, I was what I thought success should look like. Yet I was not any happier. And my life was certainly not any more meaningful. Like many people of my generation, I was stuck between the allure of capitalism and the painful realization that more does not mean better.  I felt empty, even though my life was surrounded by wonderful places, experiences, and things.

In January 2011, after 5 years in Mexico City, I quit my job at the the energy company I had help to found. The existential pains I had felt most of my adult life made moving to San Francisco in the name of love an easy excuse, if not a mask for the deeper reasons for my move–I was fed up with the rat race and the sacrifices I had to make in order to live in this crazy world we have built for ourselves.

Then, just 4 months later, I was dumped on the Eiffel Tower.

Heartbroken, without a place to live, and unsure of the direction of my career, I fell into a deep depression.  In retrospect, the perfect storm had brewed in my life, giving me occasion to reflect on what was important.  Casually, I started asking people how they found meaning in their lives, considering the fact that at that point, I had absolutely none in my own.

My impromptu conversations soon turned into formal interviews.  And before I knew it, I had declared to the world that I would ride my bicycle from coast to coast asking people how they found meaning in their lives (a particularly odd declaration, given the fact that I didn’t even own a bicycle nor ridden one since elementary school).

I quit playing by the rules entirely to find something I think all of us want, but many don’t know how to find: a life’s purpose.

On August 8th, I left San Francisco and nearly 3 months later, arrived in Cambridge, MA.  Along the way, I interviewed over 400 people about how their find meaning in their lives and, not coincidentally, for the first time found meaning in my own life.

I am now in the process of writing a book that will inspire others to find meaning in their own.  Over the coming weeks, I will be releasing chapters of my book that speak to the 6 1/2 characteristics that meaningful lives share in common.

*****************************************************************************************************

I will be asking other writers from different perspectives to share their thoughts in the future.  Let me know if you know anyone you’d like to see write about the Spirit-Work Connection.

So, How would you answer Casey’s Question? How have you found meaning in your life?

Advertisements