One of life’s greatest questions is its own meaning. Great philosophers throughout all of recorded history have attempted to answer this question and understand it better than anyone else, the only issue is — it is impossible to do so. There is no, one universal meaning for all of humanity. Life is about self-purpose, progress and fulfillment; each person has his own unique dreams that he aspires to in life.
Instead of searching for a universal, objective meaning, and abiding by it, each of us needs to find our own meaning in order to achieve the fulfillment that we seek. The reason why so many people feel so lost in their lives is because they are slaves to their routines, thinking they are doing what they are supposed to be doing and what is right because it’s what everyone else is doing. But the truth is, there is no meaning or purpose within that lifestyle.
It’s the wrong direction if it does not involve passion or happiness within it. To find meaning in your life, you need to have the courage to do so. It’s a challenge that is set in front of you. The day we figure out why we were put on this planet, we find what we are looking for. It is a question mark given to us when we are born. Everyone should approach it differently.
The famous Jimmy V speech at the ESPYs, which is something that everyone should watch, showed the man battling cancer, barely able to stand straight, giving one of the greatest speeches of all times. He stressed in life that you have to give it your all, you have to find what it is that pushes you and you have to run with it. Everyday you should laugh, think and cry from the passion of your emotions. Once you do those three things everyday, you have found your meaning in life, ladies and gentlemen.
To help you find your meaning in life, we have compiled a few theories of our own to help get you there and begin pondering about how you should move forward. If you feel a hole or emptiness in your life, you are missing meaning — and here is how you go out there and find it. The true question is: are you courageous enough to do so?
1. Don’t play by the rules
Some people mistake the meaning of life as ascertaining a degree, getting a good job, getting married, raising a family and dying with a balance left on the mortgage. That is not it. That’s actually the route to misery. That’s the road map society has given to people who are too afraid to find their own meaning in life. It is their security blanket, if all goes wrong they can simply do that.
You need to stop thinking like such a pedestrian. When you live a life that is dictated by others, it becomes hard to find your own purpose. People are always going to try to direct and guide you, whether it be your friends, parents or lovers. For example, your parents may have wanted you to become a lawyer or a doctor — and sure those are great professions — but they’re not necessarily what you want to do. Many people ignore their own desires and do what others tell them to do because it sounds “right.”
To find the meaning you are looking for, you need to dump the rules and start living and doing the things you want to do. Why would you want to live your life for someone else? There is no happiness in that, only misery — it is something you will regret. Once you realize that no one has to live behind a set of rules and that everyone is unique in their desires, then you will be able to better find the meaning of your life and where you are headed.
2. Get out of your comfort zone
Jay-Z once had a great line that went something like, “I had to get off the boat so I could walk on water.” If you want to walk on water, you’re going to need to get out of your boat that you have created for yourself to protect you. You are most likely living your life with no fear and pure comfort, going from day to day, but I assure you it will become stale fast. We’re stifled by the fear of the unknown, fear of failing and the fear of not being in control.
Monotony is synonymous with the words “boredom” and “meaningless.” When you see people lost in life, you see that they are bored. Continual monotonous repetition creates boredom and certainly does not get you any closer to finding true meaning and excitement. You need to look at yourself as an adventurer, someone who is not afraid to go out there and explore and do things that seem unlikely of them. Think outside the box, not within the box.
Think of your comfort zone as a compulsive disorder. The meaning of life can never be found within your comfort zone or you would already be living the life you wanted. A life with meaning bears excitement; it bears the feeling of not knowing what might happen and has consistent variables. Something easy is something boring.
Sure stepping outside of the comfort zone might be a bit scary and not something you saw yourself doing, but in life you have two options: be a bitch and complain about how miserable you are even though you d0 nothing to change it; or actually do something about it.
3. Find your true joy
Laugh every single day; life is too short to take so seriously. Find what makes you happy in life; it could be anything: from traveling, helping others, playing a sport or even skydiving. This process relies on how much you are willing to explore and try. You must find what brings you freedom and happiness.
You know those people that complain about how much they hate their jobs and their direction in life? Those are the ones that never looked for their joy. You need to be the person that can’t wait to wake up in the morning, selecting the correct path means that work should never feel like work. When you know what truly makes you happy in life, then you will find a sense of purpose. You will find a direction that you need to go in order to create the most meaningful life possible for you.
There is nothing more fulfilling than living your purpose every single day. Your purpose is what creates action and that is what creates progress, which creates fulfillment, which is what creates meaning. It’s not simple. While you’re doing it, laugh and smile.
4. Listen to your gut; it’s all you have
Your gut feeling is the most intuitive thing you have influencing your perception on life, so listen to it. It’s there for a reason, and not just to ignore. Your gut is connected to your inner self. Don’t live your life in superficiality, denying what you really feel inside. Find the real person inside of you and become one to one with him.
Every time you have a choice to make, your intuition is there to guide you. It will make your life easier when you decipher what feels right from wrong inside of you, not from what others tell you. This is when the thinking phase begins and when you brainstorm within yourself until you agree on your decision.
When you learn to listen to your intuition, and follow those moments that feel right, then you will be on your way to living a life with meaning.
5. Appreciate and be present in the moment
Don’t let the fast-paced superficial world take over your life. We live in a world that tries to strip away our emotions and the enjoyment of the moment. Be present, don’t be too busy thinking of other things or constantly looking for something else. Being busy searching is wonderful, but don’t get so busy, that you don’t allow yourself to feel.
Feelings are real, they are not fast and they are not shallow. Allowing yourself to feel and truly appreciate a moment in your life is more of a challenge than actually experiencing it.
When it’s all said and you look back on your life, the one thing you are going to search for was its meaning. Will you be a person that managed to find it or will you be a pedestrian? We know there are plenty of those. Finding meaning in your life is not a difficult thing, but it is harder than living a numb, fast-paced superficial life.
There is no universal meaning, you need to create your own meaning, but it is a process of action and self-reflection. Think about it…
Preston Waters | Elite.