We are looking for what is meaningful when we take up The Quest, and go forth in search of what exactly we do not know. We only know "this" is not it. Because "this" is not meaningful. And we cannot think up meaningful. We cannot decide what will be meaningful. Meaningful is like falling in love. We do not make it happen. It Whams! us, right out of nowhere. We don't see it coming, and it always catches us by surprise. We find meaningful by not ruling anything out. "The stone the builders reject," you know. We don't want to miss meaningful by deciding beforehand what it would never be. We have to be open to everything, and get out of the way with our "Maybe this," and "Maybe that." We have to quit looking, stop searching, forget about seeking, and wait. Go about our life, waiting, watching. Open and alert, but not pushing any agenda, giving ourselves to things we find to be interesting. Looking closer at things that catch our eye. Letting nothing get by unseen, unnoticed, ignored. We examine it all. Listening to see what calls our name. The search becomes meaningful in this way. We are just being aware of our life in the moment of our living. Being interested in what is with us here, now. Enjoying the moment, while we wait, watching. That is doing our part, and we let nature take its course, looking forward to hearing our name called by some white rabbit, flashing around a corner, then peeking back around at us, winking.
It comes down to this and never goes beyond it: Doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right way. Moment-by-moment in each situation as it arises. That's it. There is nothing beyond that to ask, or seek, or desire, or wish for, or hope for. Old age is where I remember and regret all of those times up to now where I did not do the right thing, at the right time, in the right way. What was I thinking? Absolutely nothing! But that can't hamper me from beginning now, today, being consciously aware of the importance of doing the right thing at the right time, in the right way. Doing it, of course, is another matter.
How we spend our time is a reflection of our values, which is another way of saying what is meaningful to us (What are values that are not meaningful?). How does the way you spend your time actually exhibit/serve what is meaningful to you? What is meaningful to you? Meaningful is what you would do for the sake of doing it alone-- what you would do whether you got anything else out of it, beyond doing it, or not-- what you would pay to do because you love to do it. What is that in your life? How does the way you spend your time reflect/express that? Could anyone tell what is meaningful to you by the amount of time you spend doing it? The only fair estimation of the value something has for you is the amount of time you spend with it, doing it. What holds the place of high value in your life? What is your evaluation of what you value?
Fascination meets mystery, as Ortega e Gasset might say, "at the edge of the coin." Fascination is the hallmark of mystery, mystery is the ground of fascination's being. We are fascinated by that which we neither expect nor fully comprehend. DNA fascinates me. Our DNA comes packed with stuff beyond imagining. How did it get in there? Light waves exist in a spectrum that stretches from LA to New York. We see about a half mile of that spectrum. Sound waves reverberate from hydrosonic to sonic to supersonic to hypersonic. Who knows what we are missing? We are immersed in mystery! Awash in mystery! We don't know 1/2 of 1 percent of what is to be known! And we take ourselves to be something because of all we know and can do. What sits us down? What leaves us agape and agog? What fascinates us and swathes us in mystery? How long has it been since we were silenced by the mystery of existence? Start with nothing. How do you get a rock? Start with nothing? Why is there nothing? Where did it come from? What is it up to? What does it dream of? Hope for? Would it know what to do with a bowl of homemade ice cream? Would it have to invent us to find out? Where did we come from? What are we doing with our time?