Understanding The Purpose Of Life
A question that some of us ponder after years of going through the grind is “What is the meaning of life?” Philosophers and religious leaders have tried to answer this question over many decades. But each person’s answer is very different from the other.
Being an Explorer
In life, we may not have all the answers. That’s the beauty of it all. All throughout life we are looking for clues. For some, it is a talent to be explored; for others, it is social status, power, money, fame, legacy, and wealth. The Dalai Lama in his book ‘The Art of Happiness’ says, “The purpose of life is happiness.” Isn’t it true? Do things like power, social status, money, fame, legacy, and wealth give you happiness? Most of these things like social status and money were created by human beings. They don’t necessarily provide you with happiness. As one statement at a church read, “Eventually, people will realize that you cannot eat money.”
Getting Out of the Grind
A friend of mine who lives in London was talking about her life in the U.K. She and her husband own a convenience store. She wakes up every day at 4 A.M. and opens her store. By the time she gets back home, it’s 7 P.M. She does her dishes, cooks a bit, and then goes to bed. Her life is a grind. There is very little time to spend with family or friends. If you go by the Dalai Lama’s philosophy of life, the purpose of life is happiness. Some people try to seek happiness by addictions like alcohol and drugs. But these are short-lived and affect one’s health.
Making Peace with Ourselves
Our real happiness comes from being in harmony with ourselves. Some psychologists have concurred that happiness is a state of mind. One can choose to be happy. The longest research on happiness states that people with warm relationships tend to be happier and live longer than their lonelier peers. Unfortunately, many people haven’t asked themselves the question “What makes me happy?”
Many people buy houses they can’t afford, take on more debt than they can handle, and are spending the majority of their lives paying it off. Life is not always about return on investment but return on happiness. Ask yourself if these material things make you happy or if you are doing it to match the Joneses. There are others who are stuck in jobs and relationships they severely detest. When I did my first internship, I read a note that said, “Life is not about doing what you love but loving what you do.” You may start feeling happier, and more energetic as you start believing in this statement. Sometimes, this little paradigm shift can change your entire life.
As we grow older, we tend to forget what we enjoy doing most. We are either fighting for survival or trying to build a legacy or a career. Both these things matter less when we look at the big picture of peace of mind.
Fixing Our Lives
If you are stuck in life, it might be a good idea to get help from a professional. Many of us seek help from family and friends. It’s lovely if they can help you. If not, it might be time to invest in a life coach or a psychologist.
Life is not always about finding answers. It’s about asking the right questions. The next time we make a life decision, it might be prudent to ask “What makes me happy?”
As human beings, we have the power to design our lives exactly the way we want.
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