Find the Meaning of Life in 3 Steps
ii. The Dew Principle
iii. What is The Meaning of Life? Living with the DEW Principle
iv. D – The DOORS
v. E – THE EMOTIONS
vi. W – THE WORD
viii. Epilogue – Case Study of Michelle
In my last article (What is the Meaning of Life?), I shared the story of my journey towards discovering the meaning of life. I shared the challenges I encountered, my observations and my shifting views. I sincerely wanted to understand what life really is, what matters and what is in fact ‘REAL’.
One must remain open-minded when dealing with matters of human existence. If not, the findings you make could drive you insane. There are simply some things that we cannot explain as human beings. Why do moral values differ across cultures and religons? Why do humans lust for the abominable? Who decides on what’s abominable or not?
Let’s take movies for example. the bad guy mostly dies at the end. But this is just an appeal to the idealistic mind. Truth is – there is no assurance that this mostly happens. But whatever the case may be, we all have an obligation to understand our purpose here on earth. With a plethora of opinions available out there, how do we proceed?
The DEW Principle
“Life is like a multiple-choice question. Sometimes it’s the choices that confuse you, not the question itself.” – Anonymous.
So what is the meaning of life? My quest to find out the meaning of life has been a very adventurous one. I had to first of all understand my own purpose then use that to make sense of life in general. It is only after I find the meaning of my own life that I can begin to understand the meaning of the world.
Pablo Picasso stated this excellently: “The meaning of life is to find your gift…” He said “…The purpose of life is to give it away.”
Some have re-phrased this to “The purpose of life is to find your gift. The meaning of life is to give it away.” Both quotes are closely referring to the same thing. It was during the journey of finding my gift and giving it away that I developed what is today known as The DEW Principle.
Simply stated, The DEW Principle is a three step process that can guide anyone towards finding the meaning of life. In Part 1 of this article, I narrated how I traveled through many ideologies and opinions so I could find out the meaning of my life. Through the DEW Principle, my experience can serve as a guide to others. It is an accumulation of my findings, the summary of my journey and, to an extent, a shortcut towards identifying who you really are.
What is The Meaning of Life? Living with the DEW Principle
Those who strongly understand this principle and embody it would not have to go through the countless disappointments that many people go through while seeking the meaning of life. They would not have to fear whether or not their path is the right one because the principle itself touches on the very core of your personality.
They say it is wise to learn from experience. This is certainly true but learning from the experiences of others is even wiser. That is the essence of The DEW Principle. It is a guide that easily serves all who are ready and willing to find out who they really are. It leads you to understand the very reason for your existence. So let’s get into it without wasting any more time.
D – The DOORS
The letter D in the acronym DEW stands for Doors. It refers to open Doors or opportunities. In your journey towards finding meaning in life, you will have to identify the doors of opportunity that are being open to you. But finding that opportunity is only half of the equation, you MUST act on them.
The irony of this is that opportunities mostly show themselves in the form of problems and challenges. In the words of Napoleon Hill: “Opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat.” It could be a job that no one else seems to be a rightful candidate for except you. A lot of times it could be questions which no one seems to have the answers to except you. When you find yourself in these kind of situations, you can be SURE that the particular thing for which you provided a solution for is closely related to your life’s purpose. It is part of the bigger picture in your life. It is indeed one of the reasons why you exist.
Your life’s purpose gives a shade of meaning to the world in general. The more people that find their purpose and follow through on it, the prettier the picture we paint of the world.
E – THE EMOTIONS
The E in DEW stands for Emotions. When it comes to finding the meaning of your life, your emotions must play a vital role also. Doors and opportunities are really external factors that direct you where to go but the emotions are within you and speak more about YOU – the person and not your circumstance. In fact in our life’s decisions, our emotions play a much bigger role than we usually think. In a psychology experiment, it was proven that a man who damaged the emotional center of his brain had a hard time making very simple daily decisions. For example, he could not even select a brand of milk to buy at the grocery store.
Take your emotions seriously. There are things we feel inside us that common sense cannot explain. That’s the reason why sometimes you tell your goals to certain people and they think you are crazy. Why? Because they are not emotionally triggered by that topic as much as you are. It is only after the realization of the goal that it suddenly hits them. You must listen to your gut feeling. It’s like a voice inside you that prompts you to keep going even if you failed your last 10 attempts. It is a passion that burns inside you until you act on it. This is the real YOU.
Deeply Rooted in the Emotions
We all have diverse emotional inclinations. Every one of us has a topic or series of topics that interest us much more than others. Usually we adopt these topics from certain incidents that happened in your past. It could be some pain you felt somewhere, an abusive family member, a role model you always admired, etc. We then grow up with these feelings affecting a huge portion of how we think, act and what matters to us. During an interview, Oprah Winfrey once said of her horrible past:
“I am so grateful for my years literally living in poverty because it makes the experience of creating success and building success that much more rewarding.”
The deeper the emotional impact of an event, the stronger it intensifies our life’s purpose. Usain Bolt, the nine-time Olympic Gold medalist, while speaking on Kevin Garnett (one of his role models) said:
“KG for me, he’s a fighter, he’s a leader, he’s a champion…I seen him go through a lot. He’s very tough mentally, and he goes out there and plays hard and always gives 150 percent. So for me, that’s the biggest thing.”
The qualities that Bolt admires in Garnett are evidently the same qualities that he applies to his own life and career. These qualities are deeply rooted in his emotions.
W – The WORD
This final makeup of the DEW Principle is probably the most influential and yet most controversial – The WORD. The Word is a command from a Higher Authority directing a person to act on the opportunities presented to them.
A Higher Authority could be a Deity, Person, Principle or any such reference perceived to be greater than oneself. I cannot speak too much on the qualities of a Higher Authority. But age, experience and knowledge are some of the most common feats. The usual order of most humans is that we come into the world and align ourselves with some sort of belief system. This belief usually comes from some Deity, Person or Principle that has been around before us and mostly have withstood the test of time. These deities, principles or people are the forces that eventually become our Higher Authority. Our religions, philosophy, musicians, showbiz personalities, role models and sometimes ourselves all fall under this category. What we believe as our absolute source of Truth ultimately becomes our Higher Authority.
How to Identify the Word
As you embrace the teachings of a Higher Authority, there would usually be some aspect of their teaching that would stand out as totally unique to you. It would resonate with you almost 100 times more than the rest of the teachings do. That particular aspect of their teaching that resonates with you so strongly is what I refer to as your Word. It is that portion of teaching that defines you and corresponds mostly with your emotions and the opportunities before you.
The other aspects of your Higher Authority’s teaching are usually important as well but not nearly as important and striking as the Word. The Word is unique to every person. Some people may have the same Higher Authority but different Words spoken to them and consequently different purposes assigned to them. When we hear the Word, it strikes us so much because it usually validates the other two components of the DEW Principle. It usually happens that when the Word comes, we’ve either already experienced the emotion that the Word is calling us to act on OR there is an open Door right in front of us and the Word is prompting us to walk through it.
So what is the meaning of life? The million-dollar question that has had some of the world’s most intelligent minds provide various answers to. Religions, organizations, philosophers all have their own understanding of what the world is about. If you are still confused as to what the meaning of your life is, then grasping the DEW Principle in its entirety could be a reasonable starting point. You will find that the meaning of life is just as Picasso hinted: to realize your gift and use it to serve the world. We are all valuable. Thus, living a life that showcases our value is what the human heart longs for.
What is the meaning of life? Perhaps I do not understand it all but I am fully convinced that intelligence alone cannot explain what life is. The emotions are equally as important if not more important on this particular matter. I am also convinced that statements such as “Life has no meaning” OR “Life is whatever you want it to be” are simply shallow attempts to divert from the question.
The world has a definite purpose and life indeed has a meaning. Any one who follows the DEW Principle wholeheartedly is sure to find their purpose in life and also to find this world as a meaningful place.
Epilogue – Case Study of Michelle
In subsequent write-ups I would narrate more on the various elements of the DEW Principle. By reading this blog, you will learn how to identify them, when to act, false signals, etc. I would also break down a very important aspect of the principle being: the DEW Principle does not only apply to your general life’s purpose. It is also useful when facing minor challenges along your life’s journey. My friend, Michelle, for example. She discovered early in life that she had a passion for volleyball (the emotion). She recently transferred to a new school where the volleyball program was top-notch. It was an opportunity to pursue her dream as a professional volleyball athlete (the door). Michelle is a christian and the God of the Bible is her Higher Authority. She mentioned that every believer has been created with a unique talent – according to her Bible (the Word).
Having the three elements lined up for her, Michelle acted upon her convictions. She joined the volleyball team, loved it and quickly excelled at it. But somewhere down the line she suffered an injury and had to decide if she wanted to continue playing volleyball. For this decision, Michelle had to refer back to the DEW Principle again. For whichever decision she took, she must ensure that the three elements (Door, Emotion, Word) are all coherent. There are thousands of examples like this. We find the DEW Principle necessary both in the big picture of our lives and the minor ones.
The meaning of life is contained in every single expression of life. (Michael Jackson)