When you intensely wonder, “what is the meaning of life?”, people might call you heavy (intellectual), weird or simply naïve. You might find yourself or people around you at one point say ‘life has no meaning.’ As per the theory, there can be two possible reasons for this. It might either be about religion and the second reason is modern science.
If we look back at our ancestors, we will most commonly find people following a specific religion. People back in time were way more spiritual and had a better idea of what their life was to them. They believed in a clear message from God and it was all about worshipping Him. Principles and values set according to religions shaped lives and they became a way of living. Ever since people started losing trust in religious beliefs, the meaning somewhere got lost. This differs from person to person, but we cannot help but agree that many people don’t believe in the supreme power of God.
The second reason is modern science. If you have a look at scientists you will find them talk about how everything emerged from the interplay of gases and chemicals. They do have meanings but are relentless, narrow, and bleak. The meaning of life is survival and it is only possible due to genetics. On one end it sounds true but might seem futile or melancholy to most.
How do we explore the meaning of life?
The motive of this post is not only to make you wonder about what is the meaning of life, but also why it is important to ask this question. There are facts and practical steps that you can follow and lead a meaningful life. For doing that, you need to ask questions. Until you do so, you will not be able to dig into the actual essence of life.
At first, we need to realize that there is no meaning of life outside of us as species or living beings. This doesn’t give you an insight into an objective meaning written in holy scriptures, in the stars, or sequences of DNA. What prompts people is complaining that life has no meaning and are reasons for our unhappiness. Let us find out some common examples that can determine such feelings:
1. When in a relationship
If you’re in a relationship but the intensity at which you started that went all wrong, you might not want to talk about important things anymore. This kind of emotion makes you share vulnerable ideas and feelings. You might feel meaningless in the relationship or feel single while being in it. You can have many friends, but every time you meet them, your conversations don’t seem to materialize.
2. When you are studying
Many students are confused about who they are, what they want, and how they want to get where they want to. If you’re a university student wondering if you’re studying the right subject or not, you’re not the only one. You might have to wonder if going to lectures or reading books will help you shine or not. But the topics you get are dull and boring. You might find it meaningless and confusing for you.
3. When at work
You might have a decent job and earn a good amount every week. But at some point, the work doesn’t offer you the grander scheme you expected. You might not be able to make a huge difference in someone’s life or there might not be a profound part of you that you’re being able to incorporate at work. Such kind of work can be automated or done by robots.
How extrapolate the meaning of life?
The above three situations might or might not be similar to yours, but you still have the question – what is the meaning of life. It is time to figure out what these are in three methods – communication, understanding, and service.
By nature, human beings are isolated so having a connection is always special. For example, when you have an emotion towards the person you love, with time you will reveal yourself to him/her. It can be an intimate space where you have psychological and physical selves, opening up to each other.
Communication with people can also mean friendship that calls in substantial truth about respective lives that can be shared. It can also be visiting a country alone and finding a friend in a stranger. Such communications can bring in thrilling joy and help you go beyond cultural and linguistic barriers.
Communication also happens when you’re touched by films, songs, books, and things that make you emotional. It is a way of exploring what you feel like you haven’t before.
Once communication strikes, the next step that follows in understanding. It is a pleasure that you can feel every time you correct confusion or solve a puzzle. You can be a scientific researcher, economist, poet, or entrepreneur, the pleasure of understanding a common ability is something we don’t realize. Until someone goes into mental disorders and manages to come back clean, it might be tough for people to understand the power and ability of understanding.
The last part is service and is one of the most crucial and meaningful things to do for people. It is a way we contribute to others and reduces suffering. When you are being able to serve a purpose, it gives you meaning in life. It is beyond living for yourself but is more about living for someone else.
You might be a cardiac surgeon and be aware of the meaning of your job. If not, you will be associated with a company that offers good night sleep to patients and their family members. If you think about the service you are into, it will thrill you to realize the contribution you do. Such kind of service cannot be measured in terms of money.
Many times, we become the shoulder to cry for our families and friends. These are small things that make your life more meaningful and lets you get over egos and superficial things. People must add to that to feel meaningful and it has to be knitted with our personal interests.
Not all of us work in medicine or are into social work. You can be a ballet dancer or an interior designer, and still add meaning to your life. You just need to know how you can serve people.
How people lead meaningful lives?
If you have these ideas and you know how to communicate, understand, and serve, you can lead a meaningful life. The meaning of life is to attain complete knowledge of these three aspects and then to imply it.
To have a meaningful life, you can see certain things that need to be followed. You need to have a proper relationship with other people and that isn’t necessarily a romantic one. It can be strong connection with someone you want to share something important with. It can even be songs and books, and other things that add value and meaning to your life.
We need to be culture conducive to foster and understand ourselves and the world around us. We have to understand what the world gives us and how we accept it. We also understand what to rebel and stand up for. Finally, we must be good work that means a world full of business working towards more than profit. Work must include human guidance, genuine growth, and the development to become a better person.
Our lives are not just about ourselves, but people around. If we expect help from others, we must also be able to give it back. Also, it shouldn’t be like you’re serving per se, it should rather have your heartfelt interest.
Barriers to understanding what is the meaning of life
We cannot help be admit that there are many things that come in the way of having a meaningful life. For example, overemphasis on sex, underplaying friendships, lack of neighborhood, or a culture that doesn’t nourish people.
In the world of understanding, lacking good media can create suspicion and call in introspection. It can also be conditions of psychotic behavior that keeps people away from basic understanding.
With regard to service, one thing that usually comes in between is people’s exaggerated concern for money. Many people serve only because there is a financial aspect to it. Many organizations also exploit services against low paychecks or unhealthy working conditions.
To create a meaningful world, we have to emphasize emotional knowledge. Cultures need to introspect on how to manifest honest capitalism to ensure proper growth.
How to find meaning in life?
There are two simple ways that can help you understand what is the meaning of life. These are:
1. Solving problems
When you have a big problem, you will try to dig into deeper meanings of life. The more you work towards solving the problem, the more you will explore meanings. Solving a problem means finding ways to make this world a better place for you and people around. It can be as simple as fixing your glasses to see better to planting trees after realizing that climate change is real.
The point here is that there is no point being picky! It is easier to think about how insignificant all of us are in front of the cosmic scale, so there is no point doing things until you’re doing something for the world.
Right now, you might think that this is too much to ask for. But if you start solving tiny problems around, you will find more time and meaning to add to bigger things in life.
2. Help others
As humans, we thrive with relationships and we need people around us. According to studies, our wellbeing is much related to the kind of relationships we have and build. To maintain a healthy bond with someone, you need to care for them and help them. Some studies have revealed that helping people gives you happiness, more than giving others.
The trap of setting goals
Many people find meaning in life by setting goals for themselves. It can be wanting a good career, enough bank balance, fancy shoes, a house, or anything. Goals give people reasons to wake up every morning and give all that they have. It makes them feel important to look forward to every day. However, goals can be a double-edged sword and you need to be careful about them.
Goals are a great tool to build motivation, but by themselves they are empty. Until you find reasons to go behind your goals, you will not be completely happy or satisfied. To understand why you should have a goal, you need to know what is the meaning of life.
The reason why goals are dangerous is that the meaning that it provides when you’re working at it, gets taken away once you reach there. This is why superficial things like making a billion dollars or having a Rolls Royce, fades at some point in time. The earlier we realize that happiness is short lived, the more we will try to look for inner peace.
You need to have a reason to have goals or the goals will seem empty in the long-run. You might notice that athletes aspire to run fastest but they too have a reason. It can be what makes them happy or add meaning to their life. If your goals don’t add meaning to yours, it will not be worth doing after a point in time.
From doing business to doing charity, everything comes with a purpose. You need to explore the purpose you have been sent with, in order to make your existence fruitful.
Goals don’t have to be big or long-term. You can have short-term goals and work on them every day. It is important to understand what your soul is hungry for and how you want to approach it.
People come to this world for living a life that has been destined for them. In most cases, people can make something good out of their lives if they want to. If you keep relationships as a priority and have legitimate goals, it will help you grow. You need to be able to give out to the world in order to get back and that’s when you will discover the purpose of life.