“I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.” ~Joseph Campbell
Sometimes when I'm at a store or restaurant and a clerk or server helps me, they'll frequently say, “Is there anything else I can do for you?” And I jokingly (although maybe hopefully) reply, “Tell me the meaning of life.”
This is usually met with a laugh and a comment like, “If I knew that I wouldn't be working here!” But wouldn't it be reassuring if we each had the answer to that question firmly in our grasp?
What if the question of all questions wasn't so eternally confounding?
Over many years as a seeker of truth, I've sought the answer to the question, “What is the meaning of life” through religion, metaphysics, science, relationships, personal growth, and various other paths I've followed in search for answers.
Although the question feels big and existential, it is really a very simple thing to ponder.
Why am I here?
That is what we long to know.
In this expanding universe, where our entire galaxy is just one of 100,000,000,000 (one hundred billion) galaxies, as far as current telescopes can detect, why do we mere humans exist on this tiny planet? What is our life purpose here?
I finally decided to ask the question, “What is the meaning of life?” in all seriousness. And rather than startle a hapless waiter or grocery clerk, I decided to ask the professionals. I went to 30 personal development bloggers who were kind enough to tackle this biggie with a few sentences of wisdom.
Here's what they have to say about the meaning of life:
The meaning of life is love. To give it, receive it, be it.
2. Tyler Tervooren, Advanced Riskology
There isn't one. You can make it mean whatever you need to in order to wake up happy in the morning.
3. Dani Dipirro, Positively Present
The meaning of life is to live happily after now.
I don't believe a universal meaning of life truth exists. I can only tell you my lens. What's right for me, right now. And I expect it'll evolve over time. It's about spending the greatest amount of time absorbed in relationships and activities that fill me up, while surrounding myself with people I cannot get enough of and serving something bigger than myself, fully-expressed on the level of art. That, and organic dark chocolate.
5. Paige Burkes, Simple Mindfulness
There is no meaning. Asking the question is part of the human challenge of simply being in the world. We want to know “why” everything but it’s impossible to know everything. I think it’s our job to be ourselves, do our best and help others in our own unique ways and decide to be happy in the process. Being ourselves and living authentically doesn’t have to have a meaning. It simply is.
6. Tess Marshall, The Bold Life
A long time ago I did group therapy for people with AIDS disease. I had a chance to see The AIDS Memorial Quilt when it was on display in Michigan. There was one square that stood out for me and summed up the meaning of life. It read, “It's all about love. Tell everyone. It was signed, Jeff. Today I can sum up the meaning of life in a few of my own words, “I am love, being loving.” Everything else is just extra.
7. Marci Payne, Liberating Choices
Life isn't always positive, so finding ways to turn struggles into opportunities for growth, learning, and meaning makes it worth living for! We are each invited to discover our own meaning and live in alignment with what we value most in this life.
8. Erin Pavlina, Erin Pavlina.com
The meaning of life is the meaning you give it. Only you can decide what your life will mean and only you can decide how to live it.
9. Jonathan Wells, Advanced Life Skills
Because we all see life through our own unique set of filters, we have the freedom to assign value and meaning as we please. Personally, I find that raising my level of contribution, being honest with myself and others, and living in a state of gratitude makes my life feel meaningful while increasing my sense of inner joy and purpose.
10. Farnoosh Brock, Prolific Living
It is a question that man has grappled with for all his generations and we still don't know. And in the process, so much time is lost looking for something that may not even be there. I am not saying there is no meaning to life. I am saying there is no absolute one meaning. And thus no absolute one way to live to have a meaningful life. So a better question may be: What is meaningful to me and how can I live it so I have a meaningful life. For me, a meaningful life starts with the heart and soul and ends with gratitude.
11. Anastasiya Goers, Balance In Me
The meaning of life is creating legacy while living every day like it's your last one. We need to enjoy the blessings that we are given in life while fulfilling our purpose whether it is raising children, sharing our gifts with the world or helping others. Every day is a grain of sand and we need to do our best to turn it into a pearl no matter how much time we have on our hands.
12. Joshua Becker, Becoming Minimalist
The meaning of life is to live faith-filled for the benefit of others.
13. Evelyn Lim, Abundance Tapestry
The meaning of life is to live to the fullest physical expression of your divine soul. You derive meaning from integrating your spiritual essence into your everyday life, in the here and now.
I believe all people are inherently driven to seek growth and connect with others. We are created to pursue our potential and become the best-version-of-ourselves. In doing so we are able to love more deeply and bring our best to whatever we do. That is the meaning I attribute to life.
15. Ken Wert, Meant To Be Happy
Happiness at its highest potential is the meaning of life. When we are truly happy, our lives are full of love and compassion, kindness and service, personal growth and self-respect, faith and forgiveness, passion and gratitude, spirituality and character. We are better parents and spouses and friends and people. Happiness is not the mere pursuit of personal gratification. It is to rise to the level of the best that is in us. This is the meaning of a meaningful life.
16. Peter G. James Sinclair, Motivational Memo
Three years ago I set a goal: to live until the age of 104. And a funny thing happened soon after I had set that goal, as I was filling up my car at a gas station. The station just so happened to be right next to a bowling alley, and the sign on the building was requesting new members from the age of 4 to – now wait for it – to the grand old age of 104. I couldn’t believe my eyes and joked with my wife, “When I turn 104 I'm going to come back to this bowling alley and bowl a ball with energy, vibrancy and passion!”
The meaning of life to me? Live long and live well – and while you're at it – share the joy of life and living with others!
Life is an adventure, a wild ride with no inherent meaning other than life experiencing itself. So enjoy the ride, and share your joy with the world.
18. Scott Dinsmore, Live Your Legend
To Explore – to explore the world, to explore my self and to help and inspire others to do the same.
19. Henrik Edberg, The Positivity Blog
To explore the world and yourself and to try to understand it all as best you can. And to find and live your own purpose in life.
20. Ron Clendenin, Happy Simple Life
Having sauntered around in an unconscious fog most of my life, I now realize what being fully alert feels like. It seems as if our purpose here is to awaken from the dream and become highly attentive in the here and now.
21. Tim Brownson, A Daring Adventure
I can’t give the meaning of life because I think there are 7 billion, but I can give a meaning of life, mine. It’s simply to spend as much time as possible in alignment with my values and help as many people as humanly possible to improve the quality of their lives.
22. Jennifer Boykin, Life After Tampons
If human existence was like an extended relay across time, then the meaning of each person's life is to grasp the wisdom of those who have gone before, try to add something to it, and then pass it along to the hand that comes next. Tag! You're It!
23. Marelisa Fabrega, Daring To Live Fully
As Walt Whitman wrote in his poem, “O Me! O Life!,” I think we are each here on earth to contribute a verse to the play of life. That is, to make a contribution — even if it's something small, like standing up to an injustice, growing a garden, or spreading kindness — to eternity.
24. Jodi Chapman, Soul Speak
To love — fully and completely — ourselves, others, and the world. (Even when we don't feel like loving ourselves, others, and the world – to do it anyway.) Because love is the constant that connects us all. Love is the light that shines on our faces and in our hearts. Love is the smile, the yearning, the glow, the being. Love is everything. Love is everywhere. It is in us, out of us, through us, and around us. It is us. We're here to love and to allow ourselves to be loved. When we can do that – when we are brave enough to open up to that – everything just falls into place.
25. Arvind Devalia, Make It Happen
The meaning of life is to learn that at the end of the day, you are already enough and LOVE is all that matters. So you might as well make the most of each day, live life fully, love openly and with no strings attached — and of course eat as much chocolate as you can and share it with others!
26. Jen Gresham, Everyday Bright
Life is about defining success for yourself across every aspect of your life and aligning your actions to that vision. That means living in accordance with your core values, becoming the person you admire most, and pursuing activities and relationships that provide meaning and fulfillment.
27. Steve Aitchison, Change Your Thoughts
The meaning of life to me is about constantly pushing through your boundaries and experiencing everything that you can in life. Getting over your fears and always stepping outside your comfort zone is the best way to grow as a person. That way you can truly experience the meaning of life.
28. Corey Allen, Simple Marriage
To realize that relationships enhance situations and help you to become a better person, more capable of enjoying the ride of life.
29. Sandi Amorim, Deva Coaching
The meaning of life is in the meaning you give to it, and that's a good thing because its the only place we have any control. Freedom comes from creating a powerful interpretation!
So what about you? Do you have any thoughts on the meaning of life or comments about the statements from these 30 bloggers? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
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