I meet them at a park-free camping site. Martin and Monica, both 30, are Germans and have fixed up a 30-year old VW van to explore Europe. I walk up to their aluminum table and two chairs. She has arranged some plants on the table. This is a girl who likes the simple things in life. I say hi. Smile. They are approachable, talkative and ready to listen. We both have these traits and the conversation turns to who we are, what we want and where are we going. They are reflective and understand responsibility. They wouldn’t be traveling like this if they didn’t. First Martin spent 1.5 years fixing up a rust bucket into a nice camper on wheels. They have saved money and worked hard. Now, a window of opportunity and a major amount of months to live the life they want.  They want to help others and are looking for an opportunity. 

The wind dies down, I say goodbye and paddle off. I think. I think for two hours while paddling towards Rio,Greece. I think about the meaning of life, my sense of purpose and how to live as an authentic person. 

And now I write and share reflections. Some my own, some others.


Living a life that has some kind of meaning is one of the most widely held goals in existence — something by which we motivate and measure ourselves.  There are several factors that influence my ability to find satisfaction and meaning in life.


Develop a Sense of Purpose


If there is one factor that has influenced my ability to live a meaningful life is having a sense of purpose.

A sense of purpose - like the Piece Prize- fuels a sense of meaning in my life, but it comes second to my role as a parent. I love my kids and they bring to the table a big sense of purpose.  The takeaway here, for me, is having a sense of purpose is an important component in a long and meaningfully lived life.

Prioritize Connection With Others


During the 6-month Piece Prize journey, the most meaningful experience has been connecting with others.  In addition to being close to my family or friends, these connections have resulted in a feeling of purpose, of which has enhanced my life. 

Do For Others

Giving to others has improved my own feelings of purpose and meaning. Giving can take many forms, of course: donating our time, or our talents — or simply lending a friendly ear.

Helping others has definitely increased my life satisfaction. Lending a helping hand has provided a sense of purpose. 

Giving my time to help others has been rewarding, not to forget the positive impact on the people with whom I have come into contact with.  



Finding meaning in life is an ongoing journey, a process that takes time, patience, and resilience. It is not something that occurs magically and without effort. It is not necessarily something that happens at a given point in our lives and is then “done and dusted.”


Neither does our sense of meaning need to remain fixed: What we find meaningful today may be replaced by a different meaning tomorrow. As life itself changes, so may the meaning we give to it.


So Martin and Monica, I hope you find what you’re looking for:


If we want to succeed in our personal mission, we must be willing to live in an authentic way, one that allows us to express who we truly are — even if this takes courage.