There are two people I knew, who tragically died of cancer — one somewhat recently. One was a professor and another was doing some research study.
And in both cases, they kept working nearly till the end.
Why did they do that instead of taking it easy?
My speculation is that they found their work meaningful enough to pursue even during their last days.
Often, finding life’s meaning or purpose can sound very esoteric and confusing. What is meaningful? Eradicating world poverty? Eliminating hunger? Saving the Amazon rainforests?
And I think the answer is — no, it does not have to be grandiose or heroic (though in rare cases, it could be). Meaning is not about saving the world or even about doing ‘fun’ things.
Meaning is about doing things that make us feel our time well-spent (regardless of any monetary or other benefits). We can find meaning in anything, be it doing spreadsheets, closing sales deals, or playing with our kids.
To live a meaningful life, we don’t need mega-success or extreme wealth. We just need to find things worthy of our limited time on this planet.
And for many of us, that meaning might already be lurking in the things we do every day — just that we don’t realize it because we are too busy chasing.