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Last Updated on April 22, 2020

What Is the Point of Life: The Reason Why You Exist

What Is the Point of Life: The Reason Why You Exist

What’s the point of living? The answer is the number 42! In all seriousness, this is the question to answer all questions. This is the deepest philosophical question in history and I am going to attempt to answer it! What is fascinating is that my answer is correct and I will explain why.

To answer this question, I explored everything from science to religion, to our internal and external reality, to logic and the unknown. Here is the path I took to find the answer to the deepest philosophical question in existence.

Understanding Our Perception of Reality

    “We all agree that your theory is crazy, but is it crazy enough?” – Niels Bohr

    The first thing I noticed when pondering the meaning of life was that my meaning would be different from yours. My answer would be true, yet false. Basically, our perception of reality will shape our answer to the question. So, let’s start with perception.

    Within our perception of the reality we live in, there are three components to look at: 1) Our External Reality; 2) Our Internal Reality; and 3) The Unknown. Let’s start with our External Reality.

    External Reality

    Within our External Reality, we have our culture and religion. Our culture is simply the environment for which we grew up, to include all the factors that influence us. One of the most powerful influencers is religion.

    Let me first preface with one point – I am a Christian. I came across an interesting read from a deceased British philosopher and writer Alan Watts. This will be a controversial read, yet open your mind and look for the deeper meaning.

    “What sort of claims must a person simply not make? Well, there is one – that is if anyone claims that he is God… The Christians handled Jesus by putting him on a pedestal and saying this was the only man who ever was God. Nobody else was before and nobody can be so afterwards. Put him on an altar, bow down to him, worship him, so that everything he had to say will be null and void.” – Alan Watts

    Internal Reality

    Religion is not the answer to the question (I am not saying God is not, just that religion is not), but it plays a powerful role influencing us. Let’s look now at our Internal Reality. Our External Reality impacts our Internal Reality, yet we project our External Reality from our Internal Reality. Confused? I will explain this when I discuss the Unknown.

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    Within our Internal Reality, we find our desire. Within our desire, we find our intuition and purpose. Our intuition is our guide and is brought about by our desire. Our intuition will lead us to our purpose. Think of those internal feelings we have, where our gut reaction is trying to tell us something. Since the path to our meaning in life is not clear, use your intuition to guide you. Follow those “gut feelings” as they are speaking to us.

    Alan Watts provided yet another impactful read. His remarks here provide us thought provoking questions to ignite our intuition into action.

    “What do you desire? How would you really enjoy spending your life? Forget the money. If you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. You will be doing things you don’t like doing, to go on living and doing things you don’t like doing; which is stupid. Better to have a short life, that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.” – Alan Watts

    So, what does this lead to? For me, this leads me to my purpose. We have a limited amount of time on this planet and I have no desire to live for the wrong reasons. I came to the realization that my purpose was staring at me every day. My purpose for living is my beautiful wife and magical daughter. I get to wake up to my purpose every morning.

    Entering the Unknown

    This leads us to the Unknown. Essentially, I had to dig deep into those things I do not know, which is 99.99% of this question! After digging deep, I came across two things that led me to my answer. Quantum Physics and Kabbalah. I came across an interesting perspective comparing these two topics. Similar to Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity is Near, Dr. Michael Laitman remarks,

    “There is a certain limit beyond which we cannot perceive. This point between the perceptible, physical world and what lies beyond our perception is the meeting point between science and Kabbalah.” [1]

    Let’s take a look at how reality is perceived from this perspective. This is where our entire world is inside us. This provides us the ability to control it by changing our internal perceptions. So, our perception of the world is completely subjective; hence, we build our own reality once we recognize that reality is a projection of our own self.[2]

    Finding the Answer

      “You’ll never have all the answers, but your questions can get better.” – Niklas Goeke

      As a Lean Six Sigma practitioner, I always strive to improve and solve problems. After struggling with this question for a while, I decided to use one of my problem-solving tools; a simple tool we all mastered at the age of 5. I used a technique called 5-Why, where you simply ask “why” five times (or as many as needed) until you get to the root cause of the problem. I used this technique on myself and a friend. Here is how it went. [3]

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      Why #1 – Jamie: So, Ben what is the meaning of life?

      Ben: The meaning of life, at least for me, is my family.

      Why #2 – Jamie: Why is your family the meaning of life for you?

      Ben: Because they are my everything.

      Why #3 – Jamie: Why are they your everything?

      Ben: Because they put meaning in my life.

      Why #4 – Jamie: Why do they put meaning in your life?

      Ben: Because I love them.

      Why #5 – Jamie: Why do you love them?

      Ben: ???

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      Ben and I were stuck on this last “Why” for a while. I had similar answers to my questions, yet we were stuck on this last one. We knew that we loved our family, we knew that they provided us meaning, but there was something else. Then I had a eureka moment. Yet again, Alan Watts came to mind. I noticed something in one of his readings I had missed. Here is what it said.

      “The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple.”

      Leave it to Alan Watts to provide a simple explanation for the deepest philosophical question in the world. So, here is our answer to the last why.

      Why #5 – Why do you love them?

      Answer (both of us): They provide us our purpose to simply live.

      My Hypothesis for “Does Meaning of Life Exist?”

        “A thinker sees his own actions as experiments – as attempts to find out something. Success and failure are for him answers above all.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

        I now have two premises for this question. Let’s see if they are valid. Using syllogistic reasoning (or deductive reasoning) I was able to test the premises. Here is what I found.

        Premise #1: Meaning of life is to find purpose.

        Premise #2: Purpose provides us a reason to live.

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        Conclusion: Therefore, the meaning of life is to simply live.

        So, here is my hypothesis… here is my answer to the question, “Does Meaning of Life Exist?”

        Hypothesis: The meaning of life is found when we understand our true reality. The true reality projects our internal reality to our external world. When we discover our purpose, we find that the meaning of life is simply just to live.

        In essence, our meaning is to remain alive. Once we find our purpose, we then have a reason to live and remain alive. This does not mean to live for other people. If we did that, what would happen to our reality if they were no longer alive? It has to be larger than that, so that your purpose and meaning never die.

        So, here is my answer to the question, “Does Meaning of Life Exist?” Yes! My meaning of life was discovered internally when I realized that I wake up to my purpose daily. Just remember, this is my reality and my answer. Yours will be different.

        Lastly, I wanted to provide a message to the two ladies who provide my purpose – my beautiful wife Tomi and magical daughter Ella!

        “Meeting you was not the first day of the rest of my life; it was the first day of the best of my life.” – Dr. Steve Maraboli

        More Insights About the Meaning of Life

        Featured photo credit: Sami Hobbs via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Michael Laitman: Kabbalah, Science and the Meaning of Life
        [2] Kabbalah Blog: Do you make these common mistakes when perceiving reality?
        [3] Adoption.com: Lean Six Sigma

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        Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt & Red Team Critical Thinker

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        Last Updated on July 13, 2020

        How to Deal with an Existential Crisis and Live a Happy Life Again

        How to Deal with an Existential Crisis and Live a Happy Life Again

        As human beings, we are capable of extraordinary things. We have the power to endure extreme physical and mental lengths while welcoming life’s most unexpected challenges, hardships, and check-ins. Sometimes life gets the best of us and then begins the long journey to rise up again.

        These huge and deep revolutionary life check-ins happens to every single living person – all 7.3 billion people on this planet, which most of us call an existential crisis.

        In this article, I’ll explain what an existential crisis is and how to deal with an existential crisis to live happily again.

        What Is an Existential Crisis?

        An existential crisis is when you begin to question your life’s purpose or what the purpose of our existence as a whole. These moments tend to surface when we are feeling stacked up against the wall as the emotions of stress, defeat, and unfulfillment arises and the yearning to know life’s biggest answers continue to grow deep within us.

        Other times, it’s the feeling of misplacement or when the thoughts of failure continue to dig into our minds, and the answers that we’ve been seeking for have not yet been found.

        The thing is – the big answers to life are always subjective to a person, and that itself is perfectly okay.

        There’s no right or wrong answer to go about this, but here are some ways in how to deal with an existential crisis and live a happy life again.

        What Causes an Existential Crisis

        There are different matters that provoke the heart that can then lead to emotional outbursts or distress.

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        Always remember that people define having an existential crisis differently, and a variety of matters can trigger them. Here are some examples:

        • Feeling socially misplaced in an environment or peers
        • Domino effect of failures transcending at once
        • Over-exhaustion of mental energy
        • Losing a loved one
        • Not being “where you want” in life

        One of the most common causes come from feeling invisible or unwelcome by a certain group or environment.

        Part of life is being integrated within a community, and sometimes the feeling of our existence comes from the acceptance of outside forces. Our place in society is reinforced by the attention we receive from other people, and as a result, we being to question our successes, happiness, and even our purpose in the world. Little do we realize that those questions harden the compassion we have for ourselves because they are overruled by self-created pressure and stress. Stress is a response to threat in a situation, so ask yourself if the stress is self-inflicted.

        Is Existential Crisis Takes Place Once in a Lifetime?

        We do not only go through one, but multiple existential crisis in our lifetime.

        By noticing that there may be an underlying pattern, you are able to take that control and lead a life fulfilled by happiness and ease. It just takes answering some internal questions and reexamining your trigger points that may help bring some answers to the surface.

        Having an existential crisis weighs heavily on one’s mind and spirit. Although it can be subjective to a person, it’s safe to say that many people have come across this “check-in” not once but multiple times in their life whether it be because of a breakup, change in career, death of someone, and even in the midst of reaching milestones.

        How to Deal with an Existential Crisis

        1. Check-In with Your Ego

        The ego has the power to navigate your mind

        and your thought process only if you allow it. Of course, ego is a natural human element, and it comes down to how much and how loud that ego speaks.

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        There’s a game that ego likes to play and that game is called the comparison game. It paints a picture in our thoughts into two things main things:

        • Where we should be and what we should be doing based on society’s standards.
        • Where we should be and what we should be doing based on our personal visions of success.

        Understand that there is nothing wrong with setting goals and having high standards, but there is a difference between having an “ego-driven” vision versus a “value-driven” vision.

        After spending some time thinking about what success means, ask yourself – are these successes aligned with my values or am I just running the rat race?

        2. Surround Yourself with Positive People

        They say misery likes company, but if you’re feeling down and defeated, it’s best to surround yourself with positive people with high vibrations.

        This is not only to be exposed to high energy, but also to learn different coping mechanisms from others. Everyone deals with emotions differently and if something is not working in your favor, it never hurts to try to find an alternative route.

        3. Dive into the 5 W’s

        When dealing with an existential crisis, it’s best to tackle the root of it all. Try by asking yourself the 5 W’s – who, what, when, where, and why we you feel like you’ve come to this point.

        • Who – Who were you prior to this existential crisis (were you working out regularly, were you involved in a community sport, etc.)? Who did you surround yourself with? Who do you go to for advice or encouragement, who makes you feel negative about yourself?
        • What – What were some events that led up to this point both professionally and personally? What environment were you in? What’s the energy like? What values stay true to you and what has changed over the years?
        • Where – Where do you want to go from here? Where do you picture yourself in your happiest state? Where do you put most of your time and energy throughout the day?
        • When – When do you have free time for yourself? When do you get ready for the day ahead? When did you feel you started having an existential crisis? When did major events occur in your life?
        • Why – Simply and compassionately ask “why” for everything. This article can help you dig deeper

        The simplicity of the word “why” is to help you become self-aware and learn more about yourself. We spend more time getting to know others by having dinner with people, coffee, or hanging out, but how often do we do that with ourselves?

        Get to know yourself as if getting to know another friend. Ask these questions with compassion and thought, and the root may be much easier to find.

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        4. Measure Accordingly

        Look at how you’re measuring your goals and successes. Are they time-sensitive?Are they achieved by a certain age? Or are they set by financial limitations?

        Goal setting is important to achieve the things we want in life, but it’s always important to not only get attached to the time-frame, but stay focused on the goal itself.

        Most times, people are pressured and attached to the idea of time that then translates to stress and unfulfillment.

        5. Quiet the Chatter

        Quieting the chatter goes beyond moving away from physical distractions and inner dialogue – it’s also about quieting the things that consume your energy.

        If you find yourself emotionally drained from listening to gossip, then stray away from it. If you feel your energy is depleted when you find yourself working on projects that aren’t aligned with your values, then challenge yourself to find other projects that you find joy in doing.

        Your time is valuable.

        6. Give Yourself 10 Minutes

        “If you don’t have 10 minutes, you don’t have a life,” – Tony Robbins

        Your personal time can get washed away in the long day-to-day listing of things, and 10 minutes can seem like a long amount of time.

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        How often do we also spend 10 or even 30 minutes mindlessly scrolling on our phones or spending that time on tasks that are of less importance?

        Prioritize your time and find a hobby that can be integrated into a daily routine and away from the screens. It can be meditating, journaling, drawing, listening to music, or gardening.

        While we live in a world where information is constantly at our fingertips, we’re quick to indulge in a huge amount of information without letting our brain digest. Having at least 10 minutes to let ourselves breathe can ground us for the rest of the day ahead.

        Final Thoughts

        An existential crisis is something that happens to the best of us, but there’s always a way out of it. It’s a matter of taking some time for reflection and surrounding yourself with people who can bring you back up again.

        Always remember that your time is valuable and that you should only be going through life at your pace and your pace only. It’s also a point in ourselves to reset and start fresh with a new perspective and a new brewing friendship with ourselves.

        After all, one can’t be happy with others and external outcomes without first being happy with ourselves.

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        Featured photo credit: Jake Melara via unsplash.com

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