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When we examine faiths and philosophies throughout human history, there is one question that has been raised in all societies, either directly or indirectly.
What is the purpose of life?
We have been inquisitive about why things are the way they are since we developed the ability to think sensibly and examine our surroundings as human beings.
This is true on both relative and absolute levels, such as when we seek to know how species have developed or when we ask more broad questions like purpose, deity, and the essence of the cosmos.
When we pose a question, we sometimes expect a quick response. Other times, the best response is to think about why we’re asking the question in the first place.
This is especially true when it comes to broad, frequently subjective concerns with no obvious answer. People get interested in the meaning of life for a variety of reasons.
Perhaps they’re naturally curious, or perhaps they’ve recently had a family tragedy, or perhaps they’re questioning their beliefs, or perhaps they’re depressed and seeking a newfound sense of meaning.
Related: How to Connect Purpose and Passion for Life Fulfillment
The purpose of life is to be happy
Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn, or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude. Denis Waitley
The need to be happy is one of the most obvious conclusions we may reach. Happiness is frequently promoted as the highest virtue in popular psychology, and this is reflected in mainstream Buddhist teachings, such as those of the Dalai Lama.
Unfortunately, we don’t always know what happiness is, and finding it might be difficult.
To figure out how to attain happiness and whether it is a good goal for your life, you must first figure out what happiness means to you.
Once you have a crystal clear image of whatever it is, you can begin pursuing it to see if it provides you with the sense of purpose that answers the fundamental question.
The purpose of life is to leave a legacy
All good men and women must accept responsibility for leaving legacies that will propel the future generation to heights we can only dream of.
Jim Rohn is a well-known author and speaker.
In today’s hyper-competitive environment, leaving a legacy is frequently tacitly promoted as the highest value. One way to feel valued in society and remembered when we pass away is to leave a legacy.
This does not have to be something monumental, such as establishing a commercial empire or becoming a successful athlete – it might just be creating a family and leaving the world in a slightly better state than when you arrived.
The purpose of life is to love others
Not only do self-love and the love of others go hand in hand but ultimately they are indistinguishable. M. Scott Peck
The importance of love has been proclaimed by all major philosophies and religions. Love appears to be a healing factor for human suffering, as well as a force that binds people together through time and culture.
When we are able to unconditionally love others, our environment becomes more stable and fruitful, and the lens through which we view the world becomes more positive and productive.
The purpose of life is to create your own meaning
Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer. Joseph Campbell
We’ve observed a tremendous drop in the widespread mainstream embrace of world religions since we proposed the death of god over a century ago.
What has followed has varied significantly, but in secular cultures, existentialism and humanism have become reasonably prominent philosophies.
These ideologies contend that meaning is something we make rather than something bestowed upon us by a higher force. According to existentialist philosophy, the aim of life is to construct your own meaning and bring it to fruition.
The purpose of life is to make a positive difference
Aim to make a difference in someone’s life every single day, including your own. Doe Zantamata
Making a good difference may appear to be a cliched and unappealing goal, but when we put in the effort on a practical level, it takes on new meaning since we can witness the results of our efforts in real-time.
It’s worth repeating that making a positive difference doesn’t have to be large.
Social media and popular culture have conditioned us to believe that only large-scale change is worthwhile, but the reality is that tiny, visible changes are frequently more personally fulfilling.
The purpose of life is to have a variety of experiences
You’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do in twenty years than by the things you did.
Another method to find meaning in life is to have a diverse and rewarding set of experiences. There is only one life, as far as we can tell, at least in this specific form. When we enjoy the gift of our human experience through our five senses, meaning is produced.
We can achieve this through travel, entertainment, love, relationships, good food, and new experiences, among other things.
Even though not everyone has the same riches, individuals can still take opportunities in their own lives if they sincerely want to live a life without regrets.
The purpose of life is to find something important enough to justify suffering
If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be meaning in suffering. Viktor Frankl
Suffering is an unavoidable aspect of life, and it’s understandable that it causes many individuals to wonder about their purpose and meaning.
Suffering can be approached in a variety of ways. Buddhism and Hinduism, for example, believe that the purpose of existence is to break free from the circle of suffering.
This can be accomplished through the Eightfold Path or the concept of Yoga. A western view, such as that of Viktor Frankl and Friedrich Nietzsche, on the other hand, seeks to discover something in life that justifies pain.
In his famous remark, “He who has a why to live can suffer nearly anyhow,” Nietzsche embodied this.
In the end, there are several possible answers to the question, “What is the purpose of life?” Fortunately for us, we have unrestricted access to books authored by people who have invested far more time and energy in the subject than we could.
We may be able to find an answer that resonates with us over time by reading these books, discussing their ideas, and reflecting on the experience.
Quincy has been investing in web properties since 2009 and is KIM’s lead editor and content writer. Quincy resides in San Antonio with his wife Natalie, son Alex, and his mother.
He has an MBA from the University of Dundee and an MSc from the University of Edinburgh.