- You can begin again.
- You can give it your own meaning.
- You can let go of your past.
- You can create the life you want.
What is the meaning of life?
We've all asked the question. We've spent countless hours debating with ourselves. Sometimes, debating with family and friends. There is no definitive answer that will possibly cover every scenario and life situation. Often, we give up trying to find the meaning. Sometimes we think we've found meaning only to experience a life-changing event that completely disrupts our meaning of life. We've spent a lot of time contemplating this question.
Many books have been written on this very topic. Notable philosophers and thinkers, all had something to say about it. But much of it was either too complicated or just not relatable. It was much too advanced for most of us to comprehend, much less adopt the ideas.
However, there is a new school of thought that is gaining popularity, is relatable, and seemingly applies to all situations. The philosophy we are talking about can either be disheartening or empowering. In simple terms, the philosophy is:
Life has no meaning.
When every possible explanation of why we exist is incorrect, maybe the simplest solution is the correct one. That life literally has no meaning. That there is no meaning in what we do or what happens to us whatsoever. That us living beings are in a cycle of life and death - endlessly.
But... if life really has no meaning, isn't it all too dismal? Why do anything at all? We'd like you to take a look at it from another perspective. That if life truly has no meaning, we are starting from a clean slate. Not just every year on Jan 1, but also every day and every moment. Imagine -- you can literally decide at this moment that you want to begin again. There are many reasons why the theory that life has no meaning is empowering rather than discouraging.
Every day, in every moment, you can choose a different destiny for yourself. This means that no matter what you've done in the past, you still have a chance to create meaning. What really matters is what you do now. You can decide that this is the beginning, or, the end of something. Right here.
Since there is no meaning in life, it's a blank canvas. You can give life the meaning you want. You can not only decide what meaning you want to give to life but also, how to lead from the meaning you give your life. It's almost cathartic to know that there is no predestined purpose or a path that you must travel. Life is not trying to teach you something, nor is it trying to fulfill its own higher purpose that you are not aware of. Life is simply what you want to make of it.
If life has no meaning, your past also has no meaning. You can finally put down all that baggage you have been carrying around for years. Lighten your load and shed those cares. Truly, let go of everything that happened to you that does not serve what you want your life to become. Your destiny or future is not tied to it. You can give your past whatever meaning you want. You have the power to look back and decide if that incident was good or bad. It's all up to you.
Since life has no meaning, and you can let go of your past, you can then start creating the life you really want. You can begin the journey of creating a life of meaning right now. It can be what you want it to be. If you decide today that you want to dedicate your life to making people close to you happy and that is your purpose, so be it. If you have caused unhappiness to your loved ones in the past, you can let it go and start on the path of a meaningful life, right now.
Living by this principle can mean more mental space for many of us. Some of us have the habit of mulling and getting lost in thought for hours. Neglecting daily life and just pondering the unanswerable question of life. If this is something you do on purpose, that's fine, but if you find yourself on this mindless thought-hopping unwittingly, you can let that go, too. When you live by this definition, it helps clarify things in life. You spend less time in your own head and more time in the present.
When we look at life from this lens, we also understand what David Viccott meant when he said that the meaning of life is to find your gift. According to him we are here living this life to find our purpose. This can be as big as making an impact on the world or as small as raising happy kids. The what of this equation does not matter. What matters is that you give back to society in some way. More specifically, you give back your way.
It is important to remember that you decide that is your meaning in life. That freedom is empowering. You can make your life what you want to. Not what others say it has to be. What choices will you make to live a life of meaning? What gift will you share?
In the words of Gary Keller, the way you live your life is how you give it meaning. It's your actions that define it and make your life worth living. Note that the meaning of your life is not going to be the same throughout your life. That is the beauty of it. Your meaning of life can change over time. It can alter based on your experiences. Since you give your life meaning, you have the freedom to change its course anytime you want.
This meaninglessness of life also works for you if you are religious. Religion, for years, has given man meaning to live by. When we live in a world that seemed cruel, ruthless, and meaningless, religion gives us the direction, shows us the light, and helps us make sense of the world that we do not understand. Your meaning in life can be simply leading the life of religion.
So if the big question of life's meaning has been keeping you up and worried, take solace in the knowledge that it is not a big mystery that is elusive. Whoever said that the answers to all of life's questions lie within was right. If you are searching for the meaning of life, just take some time to introspect. Often we are so disconnected from ourselves, that we try to find the answers to these complex questions on the outside. We seek something that we've had in our possession all along. It's time we stop asking about the meaning of life and start giving it meaning by living it. What does your heart say is the meaning of your life? Let us know in the comments, we'd love to hear from you.