Catholic priest Richard Rohr, in his wonderful book Falling Upward, speaks to the importance of finding meaning in life far behind the grind of our daily work.

“I find that many, if not most, people and institutions remain stymied in the preoccupations of the first half of life,” Rohr writes. “By that I mean that most people’s concerns remain those of establishing their personal (or superior) identity, creating various boundary markers for themselves, seeking security, and perhaps linking to what seem like significant people or projects. These tasks are good to some degree and even necessary.”

Rohr continues, “We are all trying to find what the Greek philosopher Archimedes called a ‘lever and a place to stand’ so that we can move the world just a little bit. The world would be much worse off if we did not do this first and important task. But, in my opinion, this first-half-of-life task is no more than finding the starting gate. It is merely the warm-up act, not the full journey. It is the raft but not the shore. If you realize that there is a further journey, you might do the warm-up act quite differently, which would better prepare you for what follows. “

Taking Rohr’s cue, the “first half” of life can be all about non-mindful ego establishment and entrenchment, and the “second half” is about transcending ego for a more mindful, intelligent, and compassionate perspective that fosters unfolding spiritual fulfillment.

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