Purpose and Meaning – From Chaos to Calling, Discovering Your Reason for Being

December 22, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Ikigai is the Japanese term for striving to achieve a balance of differing concepts of purpose, meaning, self-awareness and self-realization (I will use the acronym of PMSS), while also being able to earn a living from occupations that are rooted in these concepts. Other names for this concept may be finding one’s bliss, calling or inner genius. These four concepts of PMSS are similar, albeit different in their definitions. When we have these components within are psyche, we have a reason to be, a reason to get up out of bed each day, a direction that we can see will benefit our lives and those around us. Without these components, we see chaos, confusion, pain and suffering. Some do know and realize their purpose early in life, although most do not. Many Americans seem to have lost their sense of purpose and meaning. Some may never have known their purpose in the first place, let alone later in their lives. We often see retirees having a loss of purpose once they step away from careers that mostly defined who they were in the workplace, at their homes and within the family hierarchy. Some lose their purpose when a spouse or loved one passes away. Some people in these latter categories, look to volunteering and public service as ways to revive their meaning and purpose. Gaining as understanding of these concepts sooner than later is better not just for the individual, but communities and society as a whole. This sense of PMSS is not something that one can purchase at a store or read about and determine from first thoughts or insights on this topic, as time, life experiences, desire and self-reflection all help to shape one’s PMSS.

Each of the elements of PMSS can offer philosophical and psychological aspects. Here are some summaries of each:

  1. Purpose:
    • Purpose refers to the reason why something exists or is done, the desired outcome or the intention behind an action.
    • In the context of having a purpose, personal purpose involves a person having an understanding of their reason for being, and what gives their life a sense of drive and direction.
  2. Meaning:
    • Meaning is the worth, value or significance that a particular thing holds, often determined from the influence, connection or impact that it has on other things in its surroundings.
    • In the context of having a personal meaning, this concept is the relative awareness, understanding and interpretation of one’s own experiences, actions, and relationships, that influence an individual’s sense of usefulness, satisfaction and fulfillment.
  3. Self-Awareness:
    • Self-awareness is the conscious knowledge of an individual’s own being, which may includes one’s own character, emotions, desires and intents, usually involving one’s ability to reflect upon oneself in order to better understand one’s own thoughts and behaviors.
    • In the Context of having a personal self-awareness, this concept would involve recognizing and acknowledging personal strengths, weaknesses, values, desires, and aspirations.
  4. Self-Realization:
    • Self-realization is the process of pursuing one’s full potential by becoming the best version of oneself, while also achieving a state of personal actualization and fulfillment.
    • In the context of pursuing self-realization, this is closely related to finding and living in harmony with one’s purpose and meaning through one’s life experiences, often including cultivation of personal growth, self-discovery, and the pursuit of authenticity.

In summary, purpose and meaning are key components to achieving self-awareness and self-realization. Developing a better sense of self-awareness can lead to a better understanding of one’s purpose. Self-realization involves the continuous process of living in harmony with that purpose, while finding meaning in one’s life journey. These four different concepts are interconnected and deeply individual, often shaped by one’s own individual experiences, values, and beliefs. Practices such as meditation, yoga, qigong, tai chi and others can often help serve as a conduit to a better understanding of how one’s mind, body and self-awareness are interconnected.


I teach and offer lectures about holistic health, stress management, qigong, tai chi, baguazhang, meditation, phytotherapy (herbs), music for healing, self-massage, and Daoyin (yoga).

I look forward to further sharing more of my message by partnering with hospitals, wellness centers, VA centers, schools on all levels, businesses and individuals that see the value in building a stronger nation through building a healthier population. I also have hundreds of FREE education video classes, lectures and seminars available on my YouTube channel at:




Mind and Body Exercises on Google: https://posts.gle/aD47Qo

Jim Moltzan



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