“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.” -Viktor Frankl
What is the meaning and purpose of your life?
This is a question many of us ask without considering if it’s even helpful, or without considering if meaning and purpose truly exist.
How boring would life be if you only had one purpose or meaning?
That’s like eating only one kind of food, every day, for the rest of your life.
You will hear many motivational gurus claim that you must “find your purpose”.
I think this can sometimes cause more harm than good.
If you haven’t “discovered your purpose”, it implies you are “wasting” your life or are “less than”.
What a load of bullshit.
There are over 7 billions humans spinning around the sun in an infinite universe.
Purpose and meaning are emotional management systems created by humans to cope with an absurd existence.
Humans will create or assign meaning as a way to deal with life on an emotional and practical level.
People often find purpose and meaning in having children, their family, their work, their contributions, and the impact they are creating in the world.
Some people will find purpose and meaning by joining communities, religions, and spiritual pursuits.
This is what makes us feel good, inspired, and provides us with hope to continue this journey.
There are an estimated 20 billion Earth like planets in the milky way galaxy alone.
You are animated conscious star dust, with the innate gift of being able to create, love, and explore an infinite universe.
What more meaning could you possibly want?
You are literally the universe’s greatest expression of itself.
The fact that any of this even exists is almost unbelievable.
A man who is aware can find meaning in every single breath.
The simple experience of existence is it.
Meaning is found here and now, in this very moment.
I do not believe that there is a greater purpose or meaning to the universe, or that there is an “end” goal.
What end goal could there be in an infinite universe?
If anyone claims they know the true meaning and purpose of life, or that they can connect you with “God”, run the other way.
The world is full of charlatans and gurus who are convinced enough in something that is unknowable.
A solution to the unknowable is to believe in something comforting like God, heaven, or some other realm outside of the absurd, which would then give the illusion of meaning.
Soren Kierkegaard stated that a belief in anything beyond the Absurd requires an irrational but perhaps necessary religious “leap of faith” into the intangible and empirically unprovable.
Albert Camus regards this “lead of faith” as “philosophical suicide”.
The reality is that we don’t know the true origins of life, the universe, or if there is a God or not.
We don’t even know if the universe has a start, or if it is eternal.
Nobody really knows what’s going on, but people like to pretend because it provides a sense of stability, safety, and a system to follow.
I believe there is value in assigning purpose and meaning to life precisely because of this reason.
As you have likely experienced, life can get very tough and make you feel like giving up.
Any purpose or meaning in life is purely subjective and created by you.
And like with everything else in the universe, the only constant is change.
This means that as you evolve, any meaning and purpose you assign to your life can evolve as well.
If you hold a nihilistic viewpoint in life, it’s important to come to the realization that you can find peace, happiness, and humour in that.
You can laugh or cry at how absurd and pointless it all truly is, yet still create an amazing experience out of it.
And if you really think about it…
Can you even imagine creating a reality that holds more meaning and purpose than the one you’re in right now?