This is a question that people have been pondering for as long as mankind has existed. Is there a purpose to life? Why are we here?
Each one of us, consciously or not, answers this question. We manage to get out of bed each morning and start our day. In order to do that, we must find a purpose.
Maybe that purpose is focused on the future. In order to fill our hungry bellies at the end of the day, we need to work to make that happen. We are here to make money. To live more comfortably next year, it is important to organize and plan now. Some even think that this life is just preparation for the next. We are here to to get to where we will be next.
Similarly, others are focused on the present. We do what makes us happy in the moment, from spending time with friends and loved ones, to hobbies, to physical or mental challenges. We are here to make the most of what we have.
In contrast, there are some that treat life, and the universe where we live, as a giant puzzle that we try to solve. Life is like the ultimate escape room scenario. We are here to figure out how the world works.
In addition, some people purposely do not think about it. If you follow the example set by your peers, then perhaps a purpose will reveal itself. Go to college, get married, buy a house, have a few children. At some point, one hopes, we’ll figure out why we are doing what we are doing. We don’t know why we are here, but we’ll figure it out eventually.
While you can look to others, like a parent, or a religious or spiritual figure, ultimately it falls to us to set our own purpose. To find our own meaning. Maybe you think there is a grand plan. Or maybe you think life is a series of random events. But the meaning is what we bring to it.
What is the meaning that you bring to it? Do you see a larger purpose? Lastly, how does your meaning impact how you live your life?
Related questions: Is happiness the most important purpose in life? What is important? Are science and religion compatible? What is unknowable?