If you're reading this, chances are you've probably asked yourself this question time and time again. It's a timeless question indeed -- and something we've all been trying to figure out in this big, wacky, wonderful world.
What is the true meaning of life?
No matter what job title you hold, how many zeroes you have in your paycheck or where you came from, I know the true meaning of life can be summed up in one word: service.
Don't believe me? Ask the 14th Dalai Lama himself. I was inspired to write this post after a stranger (who happens to be a Bay Area meditation teacher) gave me this lovely card. It was given to him during a visit from the Dalai Lama. So I wanted to share this gift with you:
I framed it and keep it in my apartment as a reminder that even though life is an intricate, complex layer of experiences, the meaning of life and key to joy is through giving back and serving others. I used to think being a TV reporter in a big news market and PBS would bring me joy. I had it all figured out. I would go to a small market, medium market and then large market, uncover injustices as a journalist and make good money etc... etc... etc.
All of my dreams manifested, however, I still found myself feeling empty. My soul was still not satisfied. I was hungry for something else.
I believe we are all brought here on earth for a reason. As a child, I remember praying to God and asking, "Please use me, use my life to make a difference, to help others." As a student at the University of San Francisco, on the long Muni bus rides to my internships, I'd ask myself, "What am I supposed to do with my life? Why am I here? Am I on the right track?"
I felt like the Santiago, the little shepherd boy in Paulo Coehlo's The Alchemist
(one of my favorite books) who was searching for the treasure in the Egyptian pyramids that would bring him happiness. I too, was searching for that "treasure," only to become disillusioned after I found it.
After many personal and professional twists and turns, I've finally found the joy that I was searching for through serving others via my nonprofit, Go Inspire Go
(GIG). I believe we all have a power, some sort of talent that comes naturally to us. But it isn't just about discovering this gift and keeping it to yourself.
As I've experienced, the true joy comes from giving it away. I am grateful to use my power of connecting with people and telling their stories to spark civic engagement and ultimately change. Service is the meaning of life and what will ultimately bring you joy.
Our hope is that the stories on GIG's YouTube channel
will help you "Discover and use your power to help others." Along this journey, I've met incredible people from all walks of life -- the true treasures in my life. I'd love your feedback on how these stories made you feel and what you will do to make someone else's life better.
As you will witness from our stories, it doesn't take much effort, just a small action. What can you do to serve others? Onward!
* Follow us on: LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook
Follow Toan Lam on Twitter: