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What's the Meaning of Life?

It’s a pretty big question! Why are we here? What’s it all for? Religion, science and philosophy have been trying to answer it for years, and if you went and asked 100 people what they thought, you’d probably get 100 different and varied answers, all interesting, valid and potentially correct.


But isn’t that the point?


Humanity has never been able to get to the bottom of the true meaning of life because it means different things to different people. It’s not something that can be a one-size-fits-all situation, because we all place value on different things in a way that makes sense to us, not necessarily to anyone else.


The key is that we have to decide for ourselves what’s important to us, what makes life worth living. For some, it may be love of family and friends; for others, it might be the thrill of experience and adventure; for others still, it might be a deep connection to the natural world around us – or one of a multitude of scenarios that life has to offer us. No one is right or wrong, and perhaps it’s more than one of these things.


The problem is, many of us don’t really know what direction to take. Daily life has a tendency to get in the way and dominate everything else, and because it’s such a big life-changing thought, it’s easier to put it on the back burner. But perhaps that’s part of it? Perhaps the not-knowing is fundamental – if we were born knowing all the answers, life would be pretty dull. It’s the chance to figure it out, make mistakes along the way and experience the variety of life that gives it the meaning. After all, it’s not like we cease to exist once we work out what’s intrinsically important to us – on the contrary; we keep living, we keep experiencing, we want to see more. All the knowledge does is give us a direction to go in.


The challenge comes when others feel the need to ‘help’ guide you, or worse, dictate to you. No one else can prescribe what path you should follow – their experiences are different to yours (not better or lesser, just different), and so the things that they hold dear may not apply to you. Conflict often arises when people try to shoehorn their own values, experiences and beliefs onto others who may not see things in the same way.


When this happens, it can cause a disconnect between how we feel inside and the path that we feel compelled to take. If this happens, we may start to feel dissatisfied with how life is turning out or resentful that things are getting away from us, which can leave us feeling overwhelmed and out of control of our own destiny.


If you feel that this may be the situation you find yourself in, it can help to spend time re-evaluating what’s truly important to you. Understanding yourself better, recognising what makes you tick, knowing what brings you joy and what doesn’t – knowing these things will give you insight into what direction is right for you. Really, it all boils down to self-reflection and self-awareness, which inspires the confidence to make choices for yourself.


It’s important that each of us figures out our own journey, and leaves everyone else to figure out theirs – as the saying goes, live and let live! We shouldn’t waste our short time on Earth by worrying about how others live their life.


Instead, get out there and enjoy yours! And figure out your meaning of life along the way!


Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

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