What is the point of life? This is the question to answer all questions, and, of course, answering it isn’t as straightforward as any of us hope. People feel that there should be an X on the map of life that will tell them where to go and how to get there, but things just aren’t that simple.
Answers to this always-important question can be found in everything from science to religion, to our internal and external reality, to logic and the unknown. Where you ultimately find your unique answer depends greatly on where you come from, what your goals are, how you see reality, and what you really want.
In this article, I may not offer a definitive answer, but I’ll get you started on finding your own.
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 question “What is the point of life?” was that my meaning would be inevitably different from yours. My answer would be true, yet false. Basically, our perception of reality will shape our answer to the question.
Within our perception of the reality we live in, there are three components to look at: our external reality, our internal reality, and the unknown.
Within our external reality, we have our culture and religion. Our culture is simply the environment in which we grew up, and include all the factors that influence us. One of the most powerful influencers is religion.
Religion can influence everything from what we believe to how we treat those around us to what kind of community we create for ourselves. However, religion is not the only part of external reality. Your culture, education, ancestry, family traditions, and friend groups all help make up your external reality and combine to create the unique individual you currently are and ultimately will become.
Each of these factors will help you answer “What is the point of life?”
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, and 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 through life lessons.
Since the path to our meaning in life is not clear, you can use your intuition to guide you. Follow those “gut feelings” as they are speaking to you, and you may just find something you never knew you needed.
If you were to strip away your external reality and everything influencing you on the outside, it would certainly be easier to tap into your internal reality, but that’s not how it works. They work together to push you towards your goals and purpose when you start asking “What is the point of life?”
This leads us to the unknown. Our lives are based on what we know and believe, and yet the things we don’t know (and never can know) far outnumber those we do. Accepting that there are things we can never understand can feel frustrating, yet it can ultimately lead us to a sense of peace and openness to others and their ideas.
What Is the Point of Life?
There are several ways you can combine the above ideas into an answer for “What is the point of life?” beyond simply saying that the point is to just stay alive.
Living With Purpose
“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
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 to live toward our chosen purpose.
Once we find our purpose, we then have a reason to live and remain alive. This does not mean to live for other people. It has to be larger than that, so that your purpose and meaning never die.
You can learn more on how to find your purpose here. You can also watch the following video to learn more about your life’s purpose:
Fine Tuning Our External Reality
Your external reality will influence every aspect of your internal reality. If you find that you are depressed or unfulfilled or feeling “empty” in some way, this may be reflecting some lack in your external reality.
Perhaps you don’t have good friends to support you through tough times. Maybe your education has left you with little direction regarding what you like and don’t like. Perhaps you’re working at a job that has left you feeling lifeless as it offers you no challenges to overcome.
If you want to improve your internal reality and sense of purpose, you’ll need to take a long, hard look at which part of your external reality is throwing things out of balance. Once you do this, your purpose will likely become much clearer.
Find Some Gratitude
In the meantime, while you try to answer “What is the point of life?” you can give your internal reality a boost with a good dose of gratitude. Even if you aren’t sure of your purpose or which direction you want to go just yet, there are things in your life you can feel grateful for in the present moment that can lead to an enjoyable life.
Research has shown time and again that those who practice gratitude become more optimistic and are happier with their lives overall. This doesn’t mean they have everything figured out, but it does mean that they’ll be happier as they search for the answers.
You can learn how to cultivate gratitude by reading this article.
The Bottom Line
What’s the point of living, then? The answer is that there is no one answer for everyone. The idea is that you combine your external and internal reality, accept the unknown, and tap into your life’s purpose. Your personality, skills, goals, and desires are what will ultimately act as the compass to help you find that.
When you discover your purpose and find the answer to help you live the rest of your life, you’ll add a meaningful contribution to the world that will echo into reality long after you’re gone. When we combine each echo left by each person, the great song of life emerges to form every bit of beauty we see around us. Use the above information to begin forming your echo today.
More on the Meaning of Life
- What’s the Purpose of Life? A Guide to Live with Meaning
- What Is Life About? 9 Ways to Find Your Meaning in Life
- There Is More to Life Than___________
Featured photo credit: Sami Hobbs via unsplash.com
|||^||Harvard Health Publishing: Giving thanks can make you happier|