Great insights Prof Adam as ever! how could we survive without you in all the years before 2013/4!? ;-)
Our reality of life (rat race?) means that everyone need to find a balance between their
1.) physical needs (money for home/warmth/food) &
2.) higher faculty needs:
a.) educating themselves (probably at the same time as 1.)),
b.) for those that are brave enough to self taught or go to night schools (as its much easier to just sit and consume, from junk food or reality TV)
therefore, (terrible generalisation here, pls forgive me) a big proportion of the population would find it easier:
A.) to whine and complaint .. but go back to doing same thing/nothing changed
B.) to consume than asking themselves some higher questions (unless you are religious, or well read, & not only addicted to/feast on tabloids news)..
Therefore, the question of Meaningfulness and Impactfulness of one's life/work would be much easier to chat/think about it than doing something dramatic to change one's behaviour (if it needs to be improved)!
Therefore, some might argue that if there is a well paid job that is meaningful and paid well, they would do it.. just like being served the best meal on the plate when they get to a restaurant or fast food joint.. We know that is not the case as we have to work hard even "to find" the best restaurant.. yup we will travel 1-2hrs or wait in the queue for an hour to join the best restaurant right?
1st Acid Test: have you spent 1-2hours to challenge/improve yourself this week?
You are absolutely right that people need to "search for meaning'.. (thanks for the tip, I shall buy that book to read!) but once again that might be too high a question to ask, and it would just get back to the Wish list.. (alongside with fixing the door/changing the light bulbs or the night school to learn another language or go to do GMAT & wishing to enrol on an Executive MBA course)..
IMHO, I would therefore argue that people should be able to do something simpler, easier to do, just like David Allen Company Dave Allen suggested, something under 2minutes initially..
2nd VERY Simple TEST: take a pen & a piece of paper: Ask yourself this: what did you 'learn' last week!? (compare your written answers again at the end of next week)
Just for fun, for 2minutes daily, challenge yourself to learn a new skills, like learn how to use chopsticks, or if you already know how to, teach the other hand! .. once finished, congratulate yourself and set yourself another challenge. see how you feel!
Therefore, as we discussed Prof Adam, re "Intelligent giving", I would like to argue people need to adopt "Intelligent Self-help", as per my to be launch movement called @Be_Champion, people just need to challenge themselves on a daily basis. WE all need help, from Ultra-high-net-worth (who don't know what mortgage is) to those below the poverty line, and especially the middle class.. We ALL need to challenge ourselves to be more impactful and meaningful.. but need to do something simple first.
Finding our life goals and making our life impactful & meaningful whilst having enough food on the table would be wonderful. Happiness will no doubt follow!
Some food for thoughts maybe.