What if I told you I just figured out the meaning of life? And what if the answer to that question was given to us, years ago, by a car company? Well, they didn’t give us the answer; they gave us a really big hint!
Do you remember back in 2000 when Mazda first came out with their zoom zoom ads? The TV commercials often featured that young boy saying it as a sporty Mazda sped by. I now realize that they stumbled upon the meaning of life. So, from now on, when anyone asks you what the meaning of life is, simply answer by saying, “Zoom zoom!”
The phrase zoom zoom is brilliant for a car ad. It first brings to mind the revving of an engine. In movies and in real life, when someone wants to show off the power of their souped-up hot rod, or warn you that they are ready to race, they rev their engine twice: zoom zoom.
Zoom zoom represents power…potential…speed and acceleration. Zoom zoom indicates the ability to go and to go fast!
In truck ads, they often boast about their hauling capacity and towing power. In any auto ad, they might tell you how quickly their vehicle can go from 0-60, which is a way of conveying acceleration.
Now notice that these ads never tell you where the car can go.
They don’t say things like, “Buy a Mustang! It can take you all the way to San Francisco, where no other cars can go!”
Any car can take you to San Francisco! It’s silly to even think about where it will take you.
Automakers advertise the experience of travel in their autos: the speed, the ease, the luxury, the power, the roominess, the hauling capacity, the styling. They know that once you own the automobile, you’ll take it where you want to go.
Zoom zoom is a perfect answer to the meaning of life because life is all about the experience of travel. The desired destinations are simply the inspiration for the trips!
In my work, I often think about and talk about life’s purpose. In Astrology charts, I see one’s life purpose described archetypally. I can apply what I see to one’s specific circumstances. Purpose does look an awful lot like destinations…or at lease itineraries. The problem is, when we look at life that way, we judge our progress based on our achievements and where we’ve been…especially when we’re traveling the “back 9” or the latter half of life.
The meaning of life is not destination; it is not accumulation; it is not knowing; it is not accomplishing or achieving.
It is becoming!
You want proof? Consider this. Well before you were born, you had complete access to infinite intelligence. You could know anything you wanted to know. You could contact and connect with any being who’s ever lived and the ones who haven’t ever lived (in human form). You could visit any place, see any thing. If you could do all of that, why would you choose to come here?
And why, pray tell, would we all choose to start life as a lump of flesh that is practically useless! In the beginning, we are completely incapable of taking care of ourselves. We are utterly dependent on others. Why would we give up all that we were to be that?
Now answer this: who are the most joyous beings on the planet? Have you ever seen more joy than in the young ones—the toddlers?
The early years of life are when we are becoming at the greatest rate. Zoom zoom! In one year (or a bit longer), a sweet squishy baby can become an intent toddler who’s walking and talking—wearing you out and keeping you on your toes!
We adults are the one who have forgotten the meaning of life! We keep thinking it is about knowing! When we find ourselves in situations where we don’t know what we’re doing, we feel lame, ineffective, lacking. We berate ourselves for missing the mark. “I should have known better,” well say to ourselves.
NOOOOOO. We are not here to know. We are here to become! We are here to come to know!
We are not here to perfect some body of knowledge and then accomplish feats within it. We are not here to reach a destination and then impart wisdom from there.
We are here to become.
Like with cars, there is no point in discussing destinations because a car can travel to virtually anywhere! What makes one car more fun than another is not where it can go, but the experience of the drive!
We are cars and trucks and vans and boats. We are here to travel. We are here to zoom. Life is about the experience of travel! A car in the garage is just fine too, because it still has the potential to go anywhere! Maybe you’re not traveling far and wide at the moment. Maybe you feel as if you’re filling your tanks or in the shop for some maintenance. In either case, you are still becoming!
Stop judging your life based on where you are or where you’ve been. Stop worrying about destinations. Sure, go ahead and make itineraries. Make lists of all the places to you want to go. Your desires are wonderful! They are inspiration. But evaluate your life on the experience of your travel. Roll down your window. Take the scenic route or the detour if it sounds more fun.
Even if you are mostly only going back and forth between your home and your office, you are still traveling. A commuter car is living its purpose…and yet it also has the potential to go many more places than it does.
Purpose is helpful only when it inspires intention, which I define as desire paired with focus. Purpose is a byproduct of life; it is not the meaning of it.
We are here to become. We are always becoming. It is not about what we become, it is about the act of becoming, the experience of the unfolding.
We have often been told that the joy is in the journey and that is exactly true! But we are misreading that statement, which is why we don’t like it very much. We see the word journey and extract from it a specific path to a particular destination. That’s why that phrase bothers us so much. We just want to get there.
So forget that phrase and simply say: “Zoom zoom!” Rev your engine. Feel the power. Think about all of the potential. Visualize the elaborate, abundant roadways which can take you just about anywhere! Feel the rubber on the road, the wind blowing your hair, the sun shining on your face.
The journey of the Fool is from where you are to where you want to be, but the greatest joy you’ll experience is in the becoming, which happens all along the way!