From the ancient wisdom to the modern sciences, meaning in life seems to be a key to happiness. The Greeks were already wondering about it and more recently positive psychology uses it to help people find a more fulfilling life.
Some say life is absurd, others that life comes before eternity… Who is actually right? And who knows the truth? We sometimes see something as true, true enough to make it known to everyone. But it happens that later on we finally realize that what we have believed in is based on inaccurate information. Truth is not true anymore but will evolve, it changes along with time.
The truth about life is mysterious. The theories about our origin which would give a purpose to our existence are only hypotheses. Even science, seen as an objective and faithful reference, is only temporally true. We thought the atoms were the smallest particles until we discovered quarks.
We are definitely not born with an explanation for our existence. What we aim at in life can be defined by a culture, a society, certain institutions and by ourselves. We are meaning maker. Since ancient times, we have been created stories to give sense to the world and to our life. With our ability to think we are conscious of ourselves, it goes beyond instinct and feelings. That’s how we can wonder why are we alive or what do we want to do in life.
“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how” once said Nietzsche.
And the meaning or meanings may not be so obvious. However, sometimes it’s simply something or someone that we love. For the musicians, music is a reason to wake up every morning, for a mum it’s her children and for others it may just be to experience life one more time.
Happiness is linked with purpose which actually arises from fulfillment and pleasure. Those are two things personal that vary for each one of us. So motivation comes from inside. If we want to find a purpose to our life we should look inward and see what drives us.
Meaning is what is intended to be and when we think of meaning as a message the question would be: what do we want to say? We all have one voice and an advantage of not having a predetermined purpose is that, to some extent, we are free.
A helpful equation to remember is the one from Scott’s Dinsmore, the founder of Live your Legend who thought that “the intersection of your true values and super powers, backed with relentless passion, is where the magic happens”:
Your Values + Strenghts + Passions = Your Purpose.
Life is mysterious and it’s a journey which leads us we don’t know where but in the meantime we are the one with the compass. ☸
What’s your purpose to wake up every morning?