What is the meaning of life? Whether you are naturally curious or just going through a midlife crisis, this is a question every last one of us struggles with at one point or another in our lifetime. Some people even claim to have the answers… beyond the increasingly common answer of 42.
Is finding the meaning of life a worthwhile pursuit? Or should we just sit back and enjoy the ride? In this article, I hope to shed some light on this question.
Is Finding The Meaning Of Life The Meaning Of Life?
Of all people only those are at leisure who make time for philosophy, only those are really alive – Seneca
Life seems pretty simple, right? Go to school, get a good job, find a partner, settle down, have kids, retire. Oh and don’t forget to try and have some fun somewhere along the way. Is it fair to assume that the entire process of life is so simple?
I’ve been obsessed with trying to find answers to the meaning of life. It is both a fascinating and frustrating process…
Trying to find the meaning of life feels like chasing a rainbow.
On one hand, it is exciting holding on to the hope that you are few strides away from a pot of gold. However, on the other hand, every time you get to the rainbow’s end, you realize the rainbow actually ends in a different place.
To understand the meaning of life, one must study both the spiritual and physical nature of reality.
The seeker of meaning will undoubtedly find himself overwhelmed with the laws of physics, mathematics, and the seemingly infinite expanse of the universe. In equally mind-numbing contrast, he will begin to contemplate the chemical composition that composes life on a molecular level, leaving each being a universe of its own.
Then, the seeker will find equally undeviating spiritual laws that govern life such as the law of karma (also known as cause and effect), the law of attraction, the law of giving and receiving, and the laws of change and impermanence.
As we grow wiser in our understanding of life’s complexity, we feel like we know less than we did in our ignorance.
True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us – Socrates
However, the one thing I have personally managed to grasp is that trying to find the meaning of life will, not ironically, give your life meaning and a serious sense of purpose along the way.
I Found It!
Let’s say that I found the meaning of life…
There is no possible way that I could share it with you.
Everyone has a different experience of life, set of beliefs, thinking patterns, primary focuses, and opportunities. We were raised by different parents, in different locations, and spent our entire lives surrounded by different people with a multitude of different opinions.
It is this constant input and interpretation of that input which makes up who we believe we are and how we think about life.
Due to the vast differences in the makeup of our psyche, the words I would attempt to convey my understanding through would either be an interesting idea, seemingly false, or sheer lunacy.
Furthermore, as a believer in the grand Creator, I believe we all have a different mission to complete in this period of existence.
Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it.” – Viktor E Frankl
Therefore, if I found the meaning of life, would it be true to you at all? Since I can’t tell you the meaning of life—even if I understood it—it is crucial that you pursue it through your own eyes of understanding.
When You Find It…
Now, although the ultimate, underlying, reality of existence may take decades to find, if we are lucky enough to find it at all, finding your life’s purpose won’t take more than a few months of diligence.
Take some time to think lofty and noble thoughts rather than focusing on girls and what you are going to do next Friday night with the boys.
Spend a bit of time contemplating high ideals and, just as surely as you’d get stuck in traffic in rush hour, you will find previously unknown purpose in life.
From here, the way you live your life will be forever altered.
When your life has true meaning, the things you chased while living in ignorance will no longer be of any desire to you… Ignorance is not bliss, ignorance causes unnecessary suffering through emotional and psychological ineptitude.
As your personal values align with your understood purpose in life, your actions and desires begin to align with your values. And when your actions and values align, you become a creative force capable of taking destiny into your own hands.
Pain becomes an opportunity for growth. Setbacks become challenges to overcome and tests of character strength. From here, personal growth and emotional transcendence are inevitable.
By focusing on the meaning of life, you will naturally hit strides of success in your relationships, business, spiritual pursuits, and every other area one might otherwise give massive focus.
Your unruly emotions will become tame, getting out of bed in the morning will become an opportunity, and disciplined, dutiful, ambition will become your default state.
With a simple shift of how you use your mental energy, you can transcend any incompetence blocking your personal potential and become the shaper of your own destiny.