The Meaning Behind the Meaning of Life

January 31, 2020 5:44pm Published by Jules Smith in Off Piste Posting (Any day thoughts) 25 Comments


Book cover for The meaning f Life book by Jules Smith

The Meaning of Life

Here is a book with answers.  A book that allows intrusion with permission. Vicarious philosophy. This is the only self-help book you will ever need and here’s the journey I took getting this book to publication.


Because of this often asked but unanswered question, I decided to try and find out ‘The Meaning of Life’ by asking 100 people a set of formulated, deep and meaningful questions because collaboration usually brings about an answer. I came to the conclusion that if I asked 100 people a set of questions and analysed the data thereafter, some sort of meaning would make itself evident and we could all sleep at night.  

I started this project over 4 years ago and gathered together a small number of participants for an A-Z April Blog Challenge that I used to take part in.  Just before the challenge started my father committed suicide.  That certainly put a very different slant on what the meaning of life is for me and what it had or hadn’t been for my father.  I continued with the A-Z challenge which then seemed highly inappropriately relevant. 

The Progression

I’ve always been fascinated with people and their behaviour and somewhat sensitive to feelings. My experience with suicide heightened that sensitivity and awareness – almost obsessively on some occasions – and I became even more determined to figure out how people may find a sense of belonging or satisfaction in a world that seemed to be generally dissatisfied and anxious. 

I spent the next three years trying to reach my 100 people by cajoling, advertising, and generally being a menace to friends and strangers. 

The Participants

It took a good few years to reach my goal before the book acquired the perfect group. 

The participants who kindly took part in my project are from all walks of life and an even split between male and female. They are all aged over 30 in order to have enough worldly experience to give constructive answers to the posed questions. Some have remained anonymous using a pseudonym for privacy purposes and others have used their real names. Most have offered accompanying photographs.  All the people were asked to be honest and open with their answers so that the reader could feel, relate and empathise. I am truly grateful to those who took part in my project and made this book the wonder that it is. 

The Questions

Rather than just ask, “What is the meaning of life?” to those who took part I decided to lead them down a thought-provoking path so that the final answer would come from deep within: logical and emotional; a more rounded answer rather than something flippant and blasé. This ensured that the participant was truly connected to’ the self’ when answering this ultimate question.

 The 9 questions asked are all the same and posed to each of the participants. They look at faith, accomplishments, flaws, secrets, and hindsight and unfold a compelling anecdote about each person. This allows the reader to delve into a personal story and bring about empathy or compassion.   

Some of the entries are very heart-rendering, some are interesting, and others are hilarious. The whole reading journey of this book is a fascinating rollercoaster. 

At the end of the book, I have provided an analysis of the data received by making a pie chart for each question asked so the reader can view the highest percentage.  I wanted to see if a lot of commonalities existed between us as humans and if our deep thoughts ran along a similar vein. 

At the end of the data analysis, ‘The Meaning of Life’ answer is given. 


I hold great faith in this book and marvel at the fact I have managed to pull something like this together that hasn’t been done before.  However, I also recognise that it doesn’t really fit into any particular genre and would never be taken on by a publisher without an agent.  

Non – fiction of this kind is only usually accepted by those with a doctorate in psychology or those that have a Master’s degree in mental health in order that they may give written advice to anyone.  Being a self-proclaimed art philosopher, blogger, and a small-time writer doesn’t cut the mustard. 

I sent this manuscript off to 20 plus agents and only heard from a handful who wished me good luck with this interesting book but they didn’t really know how they could pitch it. 

Had this book been written by Justin Bieber and featured a Kardashian or two you can bet your life it would be a best seller and that should be a good enough indication to us all about how sad and messed up this world is.  This is the people’s psychology – and it may sound corny, butthis is a book by the people – for the people. 

In order to get this fabulous book out into the world and do right by my participants, I have funded the publication myself and hope that it will get out to enough people to make a positive impact.  

Not everyone feels comfortable asking for advice. Maybe they don’t want to be judged.  Maybe they don’t want to hear the same old thing from parents or be placated by a friend.  Maybe they just don’t know where to get it from. Here, in this book is the advice from 100, everyday people. Advice that could make a difference to somebody’s life.

Why this book needs sharing

This unique collection is one of its kind and meets a wide demographic because we are always interested in what others have to share. We all want stories, particularly real ones. This book is different because it involves real people’s thoughts, secrets, failings and accomplishments. You meet humility, shame, and spirit in each entry. Raw honesty and the very meaning in life. It’s a mirror -mirror on the wall – a reflection of us all.  You are not alone and will be able to empathise or relate to somebody within the pages. 

If I could offer you 100 people’s advice on the meaning of life, would you read it? 

The Meaning of Life is available now in paperback and Kindle at Amazon




Leave a reply

Looking forward to a interesting read. Good luck with the sales you deserve success. 👩‍🎓🍾💰

Thank you, Andy! See you for coffee soon!

At Last!
Been looking forward to this!

I think you’re gonna like it, TC! X

with an introduction by John Cleese. MASSIVE cover! better than most album covers. reminds me of Pearl Jam’s No Code.

OMG you interviewed Moby, too!

this is the one, this is the one which will topple JK Rowling’s stranglehold empire once and for all!

I empathize with your publishing experience. I’ve never gotten anything published, none of my dad’s brilliant writings got published well. they say Instagram is a self-publisher…

can I still love you when you get famous?…


It’s very like an album, cover, my sweet! That used to be the best thing about buying music!

Moby! Haha! Yes, I did!

It’s the only book I’ve ever sent out to an agent – I can understand why people despair with this craft. Yeah, I forgot it’s all about being an “influencer” until Instagram shuts down. But, telling stories there is probably the better platform!

Of course. Even more *)

I’m. So. Proud of you, Jules. So proud.


Awww – that’s made me feel all warm inside! Thank you, Blue XX

Congratulations Julesy ! Well done.
I would have liked to have been one of your hundred, but wasn’t sure I wanted to know that much about myself.
I just now bought a copy from Amazon (U.S.), and, I am proud to say, left the 1st review . I will receive it Monday and can’t wait to read it.
Love Ya Much

Thank you, PPS!

Well, I had some people refuse me… Don’t worry – they’ve gone in my little black book for future revenge projects 😉 I see what you’re doing, though – staying all mysterious so the chicks keep wanting!

Thank you for your purchase! I’m going to be having a little chat with Amazon about your review!

Love ya muchly more, then!

Julesy xx

Sooo….is my mysteriousness working on you ? 🤨😉😘
Go get those commies. HOW DARE THEY !

Your Forever Bawcot

It might be…;P

I’m gonna!

Writing a book and bringing it to publication is not unlike birthing a child and raising it to honorable adulthood. You still don’t know how it will be received, but you gave it your all.

I predict big success.

Do you know what, LL, it is a lot like that!

Well, I hope you are correct! Please tell everyone! X

Before I read a book, I think a lot of things.
Maybe, it’s something that many people sympathize and think it.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to participate and I really look forward to the day when I read a book!
– Amazon said it will be 12th.Feb! 🙂

Aww, Soyoun! I think many people do think about this question. Thank you for taking part – you will be a wisdomous adviser forever! And thank you for the purchase 🙂

I just can’t wait to read it AND share it!! 🥰 xxx

I love you, I do! Xxx

I really wish I was around and could have participated in this book! That being said, I will definitely going to order it. I am sorry for your loss. I have just experienced my dad’s death and it is painful.

I’m so very sorry to hear that, Bathwater, my heartfelt sympathy and love to you.

You would have been a fantastic addition. Next time! 🙂 Take care of yourself, please x

I bought my copy. Anxiously awaiting its arrival.

Thank you, M!
No anxiety needed! Trust me, you’re gonna love it!

“Had this book been written by Justin Bieber and featured a Kardashian or two you can bet your life it would be a best seller and that should be a good enough indication to us all about how sad and messed up this world is.” So true, Jules. So unforgivingly true. And let me say this again: I’m so proud of you.


You are such a wonderful person. Please clone yourself several hundred times and send one to me 🙂 x

[…] Yes. Isn’t it. The last time I brought a book out I released it on the eve of Pandemic Meltdown. The Meaning of Life cunningly usurped by the powers that be by giving everyone the fear. What’s the last thing you […]

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