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Last Updated on December 1, 2020

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

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

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.

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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.

External Reality

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?”

Internal Reality

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.

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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?”

The Unknown

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.

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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[1]. 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.

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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.

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Featured photo credit: Sami Hobbs via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Health Publishing: Giving thanks can make you happier

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Dr. Jamie Schwandt

Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt & Red Team Critical Thinker

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Last Updated on September 16, 2021

Feel That Life Is Meaningless? Here’s How to Find Meaning

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Feel That Life Is Meaningless? Here’s How to Find Meaning

Have you ever felt like you’re unable to feel anything? You know exactly what this feeling is if you’ve been through it. The feeling of a meaningless life is unexplainable.

A meaningless life may not look bad. In fact, there’s likely nothing obviously wrong. You may be living in your dream house with the love of your life. Your well-paid job in the company that you dreamt of is doing great, too. However, you feel like a part of your heart and soul are missing.

If you feel like nothing is right, you may be living a meaningless life. But don’t you worry, because you’re in the right place to find the perfect solution for you and your unique life.

What Is a Meaningless Life?

Let’s start by helping you put a finger on your issue. Is it actually a meaningless life or just a rough slump?

Be clear on one thing: no human’s life is ever truly meaningless. Basically, your life can never lose its meaning and purpose. If you’re living in this world, there is some reason deep down. The only issue is that you have lost the vision to identify it. Your perspective is too blurred to figure out what you are in this world for.

A meaningless life may mean you’re going through an existential crisis. You could be borderline depressed. The feeling of emptiness may prevail all other emotions. However, you can be sure that, despite all of this, there’s still meaning to your existence.

All you have to do is push through to find it.

If you feel that you’re living a meaningless life, negativity will surround you like wildfire. However, you’ve got to keep your head high so that you can look ahead and find an answer. You have to strive to find your life’s meaning to continue to live a life of high motivation.

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Before you move on with the rest of the process, make sure to first imprint this in your mind. Only then will you be able to guide your thought process in the right direction.

Is There Any Meaning to Life?

Life, in its literal term, means to exist and reproduce. The reproduction not only includes the creation of humans like yourself, but also of thoughts, ideologies, and philosophies.

A person who is living a meaningless life has a very different view of what life is supposed to be. That is where the issue arises. To understand the meaning of life without any misconceptions, one should look at the philosophy behind this concept.

Like most branches of research, philosophy has numerous diverging answers to answer what the meaning of life is[1]. Here’s a quick summary of what I consider the most suitable understanding.

It all starts from a human’s expectations and, ultimately, reactions. Every individual expects something from the world and, in return, has to react to the expectations of others. Generally, this idea is surrounded by wanting goodness. To achieve that, a person has to do good deeds as well.

This cycle continues. But, of course, it is very complex. A lot of factors contribute to this cycle, such as selfishness, a different point of view of what’s good, emotions, likes and dislikes, etc.

The point of this entire concept in philosophy is that, ultimately, the process of growth and reproduction comes to an end for every human. There’s no escaping that. Therefore, the goal is to live life in a way that, when the individual’s growth comes to an end, something good is still left behind for the cycle to continue.

Where Does the Good Come From?

This is the point where the differences come in. People with different beliefs opt for varying methods to reach the same goal.

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There are four main schools of thought in philosophy in this regard, and they all offer different advice on how to move past living a meaningless life[2].

1. God

One school believes that God is the center of everything we do. Hence, goodness is anything that goes in line with the religion that you believe in.

2. The Soul

The other school of thought centers their actions on the soul. For them, anything that satisfies and calms your inner self is the path you should follow, regardless of what the rest of the world thinks.

3. Objectivists

The objectivists say that everything in the world is defined; the good and bad are certain, so no one should go beyond the set boundaries.

4. Subjectivists

The subjectivists, on the other hand, believe that since every individual’s cognition varies, the meaning of every single thing in the world is different. No two individuals can have a similar thought process.

All in all, life comes down to one thing only: goodness. That is what life should be, and that is what you should leave behind. How you achieve it depends on which school of thought you agree with. Whatever you believe in is ultimately what the meaning of your life is.

How to Stop Living a Meaningless Life

Now you know that there is a meaning to your life, without question. You also have an idea of what this meaning is. You’ve got to figure out what you consider “good” and build your life around it.

Regardless of which school of thought you agree with or what you have decided your life’s meaning to be, the process to implement will be a bit hard. To make it easier, here are some universal tips.

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1. Unlearn What You’ve Been Told All Your Life

Do not be distracted by what you’ve learned in your life until now. The truth is, you could have been told something for 30 years of your life only to find out that it was all baseless.

The only thing in life that is definite is that there are no rules. We didn’t come into this world with a rule book or defined meaning. Every individual was given the ability to make choices in their life. So, take hold of yours, learn your right and wrong from scratch, and make sure nothing is detracting you from the real meaning of your life. Don’t be afraid if you learn something that goes against your lifelong motto if it gets you away from living a meaningless life.

2. Know That You Matter

This has been said a couple of times by now but, honestly, the more you emphasize this fact, the easier it will be for you.

The fact that you’re alive, living in this world, and taking another breath to take means that you matter. Your life purpose is yet to be fulfilled, so you’ve still got to make some impact in this world.

You are the one person that has to change the world, even if it is something as small as changing the life of one tiny creature. Keep this in mind at all times.

3. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

If your life’s meaning was somewhere inside the circle that you stay in, you would’ve found it by now. Isn’t it obvious that what you’re looking for is out of your comfort zone? Then, what’s keeping you from stepping out?

Don’t hesitate to step out. The short-term discomfort will help you find the long-term purpose of life, which will give you a lifetime of relaxation and a constant way out of a meaningless life.

4. Follow Your Heart

Whether you’re choosing which school of thought to follow or opting between what good to go after, never ignore your heart. Your intuition is your heart’s way of guiding you. Don’t let it take over, but also don’t forget to take it into consideration.

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5. Do Not Let Go of Your Passion

You know that one thing in life that you just cannot give up no matter hard you try? Stop trying to get rid of it. You’re passionate about something for a reason. It is a step for you to reach your life’s meaning.

6. Be More Mindful

The big things in life tend to take over the tiny details. These little things are signs to help you decode and find answers. Meditate if you have a hard time focusing, but always try your best to pay attention to the little experiences that you usually don’t notice.

Conclusion

If you’re a person who is going through the dilemma of living a meaningless life, try to use these tips to help you seek out your unique meaning. Although your life seems meaningless, rest assured that it’s not.

The ball is now in your court. You’re the one who has to do the rest of the work. Use the tips to help you find the true meaning of your life, and then stick to it. Get on with step 1 from today without losing any motivation at all.

All the work that you’ll put in the process now will help you achieve a life of happiness and peace worth living.

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Featured photo credit: Frida Aguilar Estrada via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Philosophy Now: What is Life?
[2] Philosophy Now: What is The Meaning Of Life?

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