Meaning and Purpose without Joy: Is It Worth It?

Titlepic: Meaning and Purpose without Joy: Is It Worth It?

This article asks the question: Is it a good idea to forsake joy, if our job or project is otherwise filled with lots of “purpose” or “meaning”?

KEYWORDS: Abraham-Hicks, beliefs, emotions, feelings, happiness, law of attraction, philosophy, psychology, purpose of life, thoughts.



All Content

This blog post is focused on a topic that might interest some readers who think that “purpose” and “meaning” in life is very important.

One such category of people are those who are gravitating toward “being of service” to others. This might include persons who are, or are planning to be, working as social workers, relief workers, helpline workers, etc.

Another category of people are those who are more of the “protesting” kind. This may include environmental activists, political activists, anti-war activists, etc.

For this article, however, I will focus only on the social workers. But my plan is to return to the activists in a follow-up post later on.

What’s the Issue?

As some readers may remember, I talked about Rick Warren and his idea of “purpose” in a previous blog post (“What is the Purpose of My Life Here On Planet Earth?“).

Therein, I remarked on his idea that one’s “purpose in life” is not about yourself, or your family, or your career, but about God. So the basis of Rick Warren’s philosophy is therefore that one is supposed to “surrender” to God.

The interesting thing here is that it is not only Rick Warren’s philosophy that is introducing the concept of surrendering to a “higher cause”.

Also the social workers are typically “enrolling in” or “subscribing to” the respective philosophy of the group that they are in (although they perhaps not always would admit it).

Social Workers and “Meaning”

Thus for the social workers, the idea is something along the lines that society, or some charitable organization or institution, should help people in need. And that the social workers (or relief workers, helpline workers, etc.) are the ones to do it.

So for an individual social worker (relief worker, helpline worker, etc.) a typical set of beliefs would include some of these:

P1.Society should help people in need.

P2.All people in need are worthy of being ‘saved’.

P3.I would like to help people in need.

C.I should work as a social worker.

This is, of course, not a strictly deduced conclusion. But I think the general gist of it is there.

Now, the interesting thing is that there is a component of “meaning” (or “purpose”) in all of this. Therefore, we might add two more premises to flesh this out, both mentioning the concept of “meaning”:

P1.Society should help people in need.

P2.All people in need are worthy of being ‘saved’.

P3.I would like to help people in need.

P4.Helping people in need is meaningful.

P5.I need ‘meaning’ in my life.

C.I should work as a social worker.

What Makes It “Meaningful”?

At this point one may ask the question: What is it about helping people in need that makes it meaningful?

I think there are many answers to this question. One answer (by the “Saver”) might be that it simply feels good to do it: “If I can help ‘saving’ them, then that’s feels really meaningful!”

Another answer (by the “Egalitarian”) could be that “All people are equal, so they should be saved (by someone). So it feels meaningful to provide that service to them (even if it doesn’t always feel so good)”.

Yet another answer (by the “Networker”) might be that “I am well respected in my community for my social work. So it is not only good to help people in need, but I also get many friends because of it. So it is very meaningful.”

All Is Well

So after having outlined some of the ideas about what constitutes “meaning” or “purpose” for the social workers, let us now see how all of this relates to the philosophy of Abraham-Hicks.

First of all, I should start by saying that no-one is doing anything wrong by working as a social worker. If the reader, or any of his friends, wants to be a social worker, that is perfectly fine.

For with contrast (i.e. practical everyday problems) comes new desires, which is the whole reason we are here in the Earthly world anyway, according to Abraham-Hicks. In other words, all is well.

Why Be a Social Worker?

So the primary question in the following is this: Why would anyone like to be a social worker, in the first place?

And, specified a little more precisely: Why would anyone like to be a social worker, if one also is interested in having the most wonderful life possible?

And where does “meaning” fit in, in all of that?

Abraham-Hicks on “Purpose of Life”

For Abraham-Hicks, there is no such thing as “meaning” or “purpose”, in terms of any specific topic: the “purpose of life” (or “meaning of life”) is not to “save” the planet, or “save” the people, or “save” the animals. Or “solve” the energy “crisis”, or “solve” this or that.

In The Amazing Power of Deliberate Intent they say (p. 12):

“You did not come forth to fix something that was broken, or to help redirect a misguided world.”

Instead, the purpose of life (the meaning of life) is to create new desires, and manifest those new desires, while being happy and joyful along the way. So in The Vortex they say (p. 190):

“…you deliberately came to enjoy your exploration of the contrast of your space-time reality because you knew that it would inspire new ideas and desires…”

In other words, the project of life is to have a wonderful journey, discovering new things to love. The project of life is to continuously feel not just good, but great. And why is this important?

Because if we don’t feel great, if we are not enthusiastic, if we are not brimming with positive energy, then we have nothing substantial to offer people anyway.

Thus, Abraham-Hicks say, in their Money, and the Law of Attraction (p. 176):

“You cannot uplift another unless you are connected to the Stream of Well-Being yourself.”

And in their Law of Attraction they develop it further (p. 141):

“By being selfish enough to care how you feel, you can then utilize your Guidance System to align with the powerful Energy of Source, and then anyone who is fortunate enough to be your object of attention, benefits.”

The Quest for Daily Joy and Happiness

So the idea suggested by Abraham-Hicks is not just that we should “follow our hearts” in the sense of trying to help “people in need”. Whatever we are doing, we must be doing it and simultaneously be feeling very good at the same time.

But finding that balance is difficult for most people, as it is for social workers. For if we are in a mostly negative mood (which most people are, social workers included), we are in a state of lack. And when we are in a state of lack, we notice lack more, by the grace of the Law of Attraction.

Thus, it is easy, for such people, to accept the idea that there is a “need” to help people that are suffering.

The downside of being in such a negative mood is, however, that it does little to promote happiness and joy (not to speak of real abundance, wonderful romantic love, and smooth sailing in general).

So keeping oneself in the “social worker” mindset is more or less counter-productive for anyone who desires a “really wonderful life”. For only people with a “lack” mindset will feel that there is a need to “save” people.

And the more positive we feel about ourselves and the world around us, the less we notice lack. Thus, really happy people seldom gravitate to social work.


Choosing the right type of job can be tricky. In a previous article I was talking about professions and excessive negativity (“In the “Risk Zone”: Which Jobs are Dangerous, In Terms of Exposure to Negativity?“).

And the same goes for social workers. For also here is a lot of exposure to negativity.

But as I understand it, most social workers accept their non-positive workplaces, since they are engaged in a “meaningful” or “purposeful” line of work.

However, for someone who is learning the subtle art of applying the Law of Attraction to his or her favor, this would not be a good argument. For, as the student should already know (at an early stage), the main requirement of life is not its “purpose” or “meaning” (in terms of its particular topic or subject matter); the main requirement is that it must be joyful.

In other words, the journey must be enjoyable. For an Abraham-Hicks follower, there must be real thriving and feeling very, very good, on a daily basis, continuously being excited about all the new ideas and desires that today and tomorrow will bring.

Chris Bocay


  • Hicks, Esther and Jerry Hicks (2006), The Amazing Power of Deliberate Intent: Living the Art of Allowing. Foreword by Louise L. Hay. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, Inc. [Link to book]
  • Hicks, Esther and Jerry Hicks (2006), The Law of Attraction: The Basics of the Teachings of Abraham. Foreword by Neale Donald Walsch. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, Inc. [Link to book]
  • Hicks, Esther and Jerry Hicks (2008), Money, and the Law of Attraction: Learning to Attract Wealth, Health, and Happiness. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, Inc. [Link to book]
  • Hicks, Esther and Jerry Hicks (2019), The Vortex: Where the Law of Attraction Assembles All Cooperative Relationships. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, Inc. [Link to book]

Copyright © 2023 by Chris Bocay. All rights reserved.

First published: Sat 19 Feb 2022
Last revised: Sun 10 Sep 2023

NOTE: By using this website you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy, Cookie Policy, and other policies.

Leave a Reply