Trying to discover the point of life is an often unrewarding journey. It feels like the answer you’re looking for is forever out of reach. And the answers you do find are unsatisfactory, to say the least. Wherever you look, and whoever you ask, all you seem to find is a whole lot of well-intentioned advice. And this advice is not necessarily bad advice (though some of it is). But it is advice that often does one thing… It piles the pressure on you. It overwhelms you. It makes you feel as though you must do X, Y, or Z to find your real purpose in life. And that if you don’t, you’ll die sad and frustrated harboring many regrets about how you have lived your life.
Who wants that? You see, the point of life is living. No need to make it any more complicated than that. No need to achieve a certain level of knowledge and understanding. No need to chase particular goals or dreams. The most important part is having to find your way in life, and stop placing so much emphasis on the need to do something. Be someone or feel something. So that well-intentioned advice that seeks to boil down the purpose of life into pure nuggets of “wisdom” and want to be likable and happy loving others, leave a legacy, be the “best version” of yourself…
It’s not so much wrong, it’s just too focused on an outcome. And achieving an outcome is reaching a destination. If you never reach that destination, you feel forever unfulfilled. And if you do, what comes after?
There’s a good chance that what comes after is a sense of anxiety that you may lose your grip on this outcome and find that you haven’t reached your destination after all. It’s like trying to play tag with your shadow – you can never quite reach it no matter how much you run toward it. You’d be better off turning around, facing the sun, and forgetting that your shadow is even there.
The sun is life. You ought to turn and face life rather than chasing some answer to an unanswerable question. Right now, you may look at other people and wonder how they can go about their repetitive lives and not seem to care where they are headed… Truth is, those people who go about their lives aren’t weighed down by the burden of living a life of purpose. That is a purpose in itself. You may not always be happy, and you may not be making a tremendous positive impact on the world. You also may not be successful in the eyes of others. But it is your life, and you must make it clear as an individual to succeed as if no one is watching. And be content with where you are. So, please, don’t equate the purpose of life with some great act or deed. Small and big are beautiful in their own ways.
Not everyone will achieve great wealth or fame. Not everyone will reach the highest levels of spiritual enlightenment. Not everyone will get to live the life of their dreams. In fact, the people who do attain such things are a rarity. If these things were really the point of life itself, we’d mostly be a very depressed species.
When much of the dissatisfaction people feel with their lives isn’t due to a lack of these things. But due to the belief that these things lead to satisfaction. Ambition isn’t a bad thing to have in life by any means so long as you don’t equate the something you aspire to achieve with your ultimate purpose in life.
As many gurus have rightly stated, life is about enjoying the journey. And understanding the many ups and downs along the way. And you must enjoy the ride by being present in as many moments as you can. By not getting bogged down in exactly which direction you’re headed or what stops you’ll make along the way.