“What’s to become of me?”

This question speaks to the desperation of a migrant; the frustration of a person facing one more redundancy or down-sizing; the insecurity of an itinerant laborer; a young person searching for work; a worker caught in a punishingly high-pressure job; people facing retirement without sufficient funds; and so many of us as we age.

Sometimes it seems as if we are all part of an increasingly precarious world.

How do we answer this question?
How do we create new sources of strength and hope for our selves, those around us, and our world?
How do we work together in a world that seems to be increasingly fragmenting?

There is a tool that can help. It is called the Map of Meaning.

What is the Map of Meaning?

The Map of Meaning arises out of rigorous research into what human beings agree makes life and work meaningful.

Like any good map, it helps us:

  • Understand the terrain that surrounds us
  • See where we currently are
  • Choose a direction, or create some alternative routes
  • Continue to refer to it whenever we doubt the way ahead
  • Use it to plan individually and collectively

The Map of Meaning is new knowledge for humanity, tested over the past eighteen years in many countries in the world, essential to anyone wanting to make real and lasting change for themselves and others.

It mirrors what is already present in people, getting to the heart of each person’s experience of meaning. It gives us a way to create meaning every day, whatever our circumstances. Once we understand this, there are numerous ways to use the Map of Meaning, for example:

  • for our self
  • to help others find their way
  • to impact organisations and society

How can we use the Map of Meaning?

Because human beings share the same fundamental need for meaning, and the same sources of meaning, the Map of Meaning gives us a framework that is universal. With a shared framework we have a tool for rethinking our community, our workplaces and our society.

With the Map of Meaning we can individually and collectively:

  • plug into the most powerful source of energy, intrinsic motivation
  • increase resilience
  • grasp what is happening and what is needed
  • easily speak about what matters most
  • help people resolve complex issues into simple, practical action
  • align personal and organisational purpose
  • rethink every aspect of the employee life-cycle
  • support the well-being of every worker, from the self-employed to those in organisations, the underemployed, and those who work without pay.
  • organize meaningful work and eliminate the obstacles that stand in its way
  • build meaningful work and a meaningful society from the bottom up

What to expect from this workshop?

In this four-hour presentation we will cover:

  • The importance of having a tool that shows us what is meaningful.
  • The Map of Meaning explained.
  • Using the Map of Meaning for yourself.
  • Using the Map of Meaning in your work.


“The Map of Meaning is a brilliant addition to my toolkit. Since I was trained, I’ve used the map nearly every week in some way. If there’s one tool people should be trained in, this is it!”

Jane Davis Organisational Development Consultant

“I know from my experience of working with the Map of Meaning that of all the tools, interventions and frameworks I’ve used, this is one that consistently adds value to whatever I’m doing. It always works. It always has an impact and engages everybody. It has rigour, there is a strength to the framework, and sufficient space within that for people to construct their own meaning.”

Steve Tarpey Human Dimensions, United Kingdom

“This is an indispensable tool to keep us whole. It will save us from burnout; it will save us from cynicism. It’s totally non-judgmental. It’s like a key that unlocks all that is important to us as human beings. As a consultant working in developed and developing countries this framework gives me a simple way to profoundly engage with people across cultures.”

Kerry McGovern, Public Sector Asset, Governance and Financial Management Specialist. K McGovern & Associates, Australia

« Lani and Marjolein have the ability to distil what could otherwise be a complex, or even taboo, topic into very simple, clear and above all usable information. Their process helps top executives on an enjoyable journey from uncertainty and confusion to insight, understanding and a path to self-realisation and grounded business outcomes. »

Drew Pryde, Director Scottish Institute of Business Leaders


“The Map of Meaning helps me move beyond doubt and indecision to action, even in very important things.”

“Step-by-step, the Map of Meaning helps me to regain my inner territory and my inner strength.”

“I learnt about the Map of Meaning eight years ago. It’s in my body and it’s never left. It connects our intrinsic knowing, our inner searching, and our inner desire for balance. So many people are lost and don’t believe they have what they need inside them. If you ever wonder what’s the point of my life? What on earth am I going to do? The Map of Meaning guides you to what to look for and what to look at so you can create your own answers. It’s a compass for a journey you are going to make.”

map contains all dimensions of intrinsic motivation. It unravels both meaningful and meaningless experiences and bridges the gap between inspiration and our daily reality. It triggers the conversation an

Quote from the book: The Map of Meaningful Work: A Practical Guide to Sustaining Our Humanity. Professor Marjolein Lips-Wiersma, and Lani Morris. Routledge, 2017

“We need humanity to be capable of more responsible action than it has collectively achieved to date. We believe that by placing the Map of Meaning at the centre of our thinking … we have a reliable map to lead us into the future. It is based on enduring sources of meaning, tested and proven to be relevant in today’s world. The Map is grounded at a time when we very much need to keep our feet on the ground. It requires us to face and deal with reality – which is essential – while keeping our connection to the inspiring possibility of what humanity can achieve. It is balanced, when the pressures of the challenges ahead are most likely to tip us into fear and therefore loss of balance, with all the dangers inherent in that. It argues for a unified view of humanity at a time when we most need to practically work with all the people in the world. It supports us in seeing the meaningfulness in each person, to relate to them and ourselves as meaningful and of value, when we most need to respect and value each other. It requires each of us to take equal and full responsibility when it is vital that all people do so. It helps us in knowing ourselves and so helps us attain and retain increasing awareness of ourselves and others. It supports us in being peaceful and mature, and no matter what challenges lie ahead, it calls us to live rich and meaningful lives.

Meaningfulness speaks of the depth of humanity, and it is at this deep level that the potential for a new future lies.”


World expert on the application of the Map of Meaning, Lani Morris, BA, MBA, MSc, has worked with the Map since it was first created. She is co-author with Professor Lips-Wiersma of the book, The Map of Meaningful Work: A Practical Guide to Sustaining our Humanity. Lani has over thirty year’s experience of working with the the Map of Meaning in prisons, the arts, the aged care sector, organisations, education and coaching. She is a Co-founder and CEO of the Map of Meaning International Charitable Trust.

What’s to become of me?

An article of Lani Morris

Lani Morris has devoted over 30 years to helping people take responsibility for themselves, their lives and their work, and enabling them to reclaim power for themselves. Her work has led her to delve deeply into people’s search for meaning, through philosophy and comparative religion, work in organisations, and through co-authoring The Map of Meaningful Work: A Practical Guide to Sustaining our HumanityLani is committed to using her research in social and organisational contexts, working around the world to help people find meaningful ways to work and live.

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