Interview on the The Addicted Mind Podcast


On today’s episode of The Addicted Mind Podcast, Duane talks to author and counselor Rabbi Simon Jacobson about making meaning out of suffering, and understanding your own purpose.

Rabbi Jacobson talks about how surrendering to a higher power, and relinquishing control over your circumstances gives you an edge on dealing with pain. Unfortunately, we don’t have an answer to injustices writ large, but we can have some hope in giving up control. This change in power can give you the strength to make positive action as a result of suffering.

Duane shares a bit from his past to illustrate how you oftentimes need to let go of the desire to understand why loss happens, because you ultimately will not find the reason. Letting go of that need for a reason can help you to heal and move forward.

There is a healthy way to channel pain from loss and trauma. You can reinvest your time into healing and supporting other people going through the same thing. At the end of this, it will not be in vain if you are able to help others walk through their darkest moments.

Toward the end, Rabbi Jacobson talks about his academic life and his background as a writer. Interested by the seeming homogeneity across people’s concerns for their lives, Rabbi Jacobson conducted some research into how to actually make your life meaningful. Perhaps, with the right effort, we could achieve a higher state of human consciousness that values meaning over meaninglessness and places high values on human life.

Time stamps:

03:00 — Simon Jacobson introduces himself.

05:30 — What exactly is a meaningful life? — What mark do you want to make in the world?

07:15 — Addictions hurt your ability to reason out what your purpose is.

09:00 — Teach your children to find transcendent ways to fulfil their yearnings.

12:30 — How do we make meaning out of legitimate suffering, not of our own doing?

16:30 — You were never in control in the first place, which allows you to grow.

19:00 — Take the energy from your pain and put it into serving other people in pain.

22:00 — The concept of mirror neurons and human empathy.

24:45 — Rabbi Jacobson discusses his writing and academic background.

27:00 — The Meaningful Life Center

32:00 — Reach out to your sphere of influence and do something positive.

Key quotes:

— “This is a spiritual wakeup call in many ways.”

— “If a business can’t function without a mission, can you?”

— “Being able to do just one good thing can cascade.”

— “If you have a ‘why’ in your life you, you can deal with any ‘what.’”

— “When you become consumed with your suffering, it becomes your enemy.”

— “I have to live a good life, because my daughter didn’t get a life.”

— “Do not retreat into your pain.”

— “Someone who struggles with addiction has gone against their own values.”

— “My mission is to help other people find their mission.”

— “Looking at our meaning gives us the resilience to move through difficult times.”

— “This is an historic opportunity to demonstrate what the human spirit’s about.”


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Daniel Clavin
3 years ago

Thank you for making this available to listen to. Very touching and helpful. Thank you Rabbi Simon for all that you do.

The Meaningful Life Center