31 Of The Best Answers To The Question: What Is The Point Of Life?
Do you ever wonder, “What is the point of life?”
Why are you here today living on this earth?
What is your purpose?
These are big and complicated questions that most people ponder throughout their lives without ever coming to a real conclusion.
People spend a lot of time trying to figure out what their purpose is in this world, and sometimes finding the answer to this one question becomes their greatest goal.
Many believe that there is not one universal purpose of life, but instead, each person has their own answer to this question.
Says French-American diarist, essayist, novelist, Anaïs Nin, “There is not one big cosmic meaning for all; there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.”
Let's talk about some of the answers to this complex question that can help you find the meaning of your life.
What is the point of life if we die?
This is an extremely personal question that can reveal several things about you — your spiritual beliefs, your thoughts on the current state of the world and its future, and your feelings about how to balance your beliefs of life, death, and the everyday behaviors in between.
But what happens to our subjective experiences after we die?
Every subjective experience is tied to us as an individual, yet all of our experiences and how they shape our lives can seem meaningless in the face of our inevitable death.
If you believe in some kind of afterlife or rebirth, then this existential question may not trouble you so much. But if you believe that consciousness and memory end at the point of death, then the question is troubling indeed.
How do you make your one relatively short existence matter in the larger scheme of things? In a hundred years, will anyone even know you existed — or care?
One may say that each person is a part of the world's existence, which will continue on indefinitely after one's death. But how can this help you find meaning in your individual life?
Perhaps there is no point in living, but living is the point. As a contributor to life, your family and friends, and society, you are a part of the bigger picture.
Viewing this short span of time you have on this planet as a gift allows you to use this gift to the fullest. As British philosopher and author A.C. Grayling suggests, “And I say, the meaning of life is what you make it. There will be as many different meaningful lives as there are people to live them.”
Are you struggling to see the point of life?
This is common. It can be difficult to pinpoint your individual purpose on this earth, especially if you feel like you are just going through the motions each day.
You may not have discovered your unique gifts or talents yet that make you excited about living the life you've been given.
Doing some self-reflection and examination of your own life to try to discover your purpose can help you uncover some truths to this perplexing question.
“The secret to life is meaningless unless you discover it yourself,” as W. Somerset Maugham reminds us.
Let's look at some answers to this question that may resonate with you.
31 Of The Best Answers To The Question: “What Is The Point Of Life?”
1. To be happy.
Many people, including the Dalai Lama, argue that the ultimate purpose of life is to be happy.
From our very core, we crave contentment. Because we are not exclusively material beings, we cannot look for happiness only externally.
Sustained happiness is a byproduct of inner contentment and peace of mind.
2. To make other people happy.
Most of us find that the more we care for other people's happiness, the greater the sense of wellbeing we have for ourselves.
Developing empathy and compassion for other people eases your mind and allows you to connect on a deeper and more profound level with those you care about — and even those you don't know well.
Making other people happy and helping to ease their suffering provides fulfillment and meaning in your life, as you are positively impacting the world around you.
3. To experience the fullness of who you are.
Life rarely goes according to plan, and everyone is destined to experience pain and disappointment at some point.
However, it is important to know that this does not mean that life is over, nor does it define the remainder of one's life.
Once you understand this, you will recognize that the variety of experiences that you encounter throughout life are valuable parts of the human experience — either to test you or to inspire you.
The more of life you experience, the more self-aware and self-actualized you become. Leaning into all of the experiences of life, both good and bad, is part of your journey.
“Every choice before you represents the universe inviting you to remember who you are and what you want.” — Alan Cohen
4. To be useful.
The point of life may be to be useful by creating something that either you or other people can use.
Ralph Waldo Emerson claimed that the purpose of life is “to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
Being useful might mean helping other people, but it could also entail doing something creative, inspirational, or practical that makes life better for all of us.
5. To love.
The purpose of life for some is to love and to be guided by the things that love compels them to follow.
This means following your intuition and living with positive energy. It involves becoming one with love and radiating it outward toward other people.
Love is sometimes the only thing that we have to offer.
Thus, the purpose of life is to embrace the feeling of overwhelming love that you have for your life and the people around you and to express that love freely in everything you say and do.
6. To become the greatest version of yourself.
It is vital to learn how to look beyond impressions and perceived boundaries.
What if you decide to do things differently from everyone else? What if you forged your own path? What if you saw boundaries as opportunities?
The point of life might be to expand your consciousness and uncover your true potential. It might be to become the most authentic, best version of your unique self.
7. To discover your inner and outer worlds.
Discover your surroundings by learning about the world and visiting as many countries as possible.
Absorb endless knowledge through reading, studying, and learning new skills.
Discover more about yourself by stretching beyond your comfort zone and perceived limitations.
Do things that inspire you and motivate you to continuously evolve spiritually. Learning as much as you can about the world around you may be your life's purpose.
8. To live mindfully.
The present moment is really all you have in life. Because of this, the point of life may be to live mindfully every day and appreciate each moment as it comes your way.
You can do this through the practice of meditation, as well as during your everyday activities.
Mindfulness is a daily practice that requires dedication, but the payoff is tremendous.
It allows you to engage more intimately in all aspects of life and find peace and happiness that frees you from mental suffering.
9. To leave a legacy.
A legacy is not merely a gift of property through one's will. It is the passing along of your knowledge and inner wealth.
It is the gift of your core values, beliefs, and significant life experiences that can inspire those who come after you.
Future generations can learn the joys and sacrifices that molded the family from previous generations.
This type of emotional heirloom is a way to stay present on earth so your values don’t disappear at the end of your life.
10. To become the lead role in your story.
The purpose of life for some can be the awakening to your own unique potential. Rather than being a reactor to life, you become a creator.
You define who you are, who you want to be, and how you're going to get there.
When you become the lead role in your life story, you put yourself in the driver's seat of life. You are no longer a victim of circumstances but rather a creative life force to be dealt with.
No matter what happens life, good or bad, you are empowered to make your own choices and decisions.
11. To achieve self-actualization.
Self-actualization is the process of evolving into more of who you are innately rather than trying to become someone you hope you are but fear you are not.
This process involves a level of awareness to know that you are living inauthentically. When you live inauthentically, life can feel devoid of meaning and purpose because everything feels false.
Striving for self-actualization encourages inner growth and expansion and leads to a much more fulfilling and happy life.
12. To live the answer to the question, “If I wasn’t scared and knew failure was impossible, who would I be and what would I be doing?”
Answering this question can help you start living your vision by purposefully choosing the thoughts you think, the words you speak, and the actions you take to help you reach your ultimate goal.
Many people do not realize that everything that exists starts on the inside before coming to fruition on the outside.
Many have low self-esteem and feel unworthy and unloved, which feeds into their fears and anxieties that are stopping them in their tracks.
It is important to overcome the obstacle of depending on the opinions of others rather than honoring your own values, goals, and beliefs.
13. To be authentic.
The fear of being your authentic self is restrictive and limits you to a compromised life.
However, people who value themselves and the gift of life can reach a point where the discomfort of living inauthentically overrides any fears holding them back.
Those who have the courage to step into the unknown are willing to follow their heart, no matter the potential consequences or outcomes.
14. To recognize that humankind is one.
With a clear vision, you can connect own heart and mind with the hearts and minds of the people around you.
People may all look and act differently from each other, but on a cellular level, we are all the same. We are all connected together in a strong and powerful way through our humanity.
People tend to create separation because of an attachment to fear of “otherness,” but if you can recognize yourself in the world around you, you will come to understand that you're one with humanity.
15. To make a positive impact.
You can make a positive impact by making a difference in just one person's life.
But you can also make an impact on your community, the environment, or even the larger world around you.
You are one ripple in the larger ocean of life, but your ripple can spread far and wide, leaving the world and the people around you in a better place.
16. To remain a life-long learner.
Maintain a willingness to view everything you face along the way as a lesson. Everyone is a student and life is the teacher. In this way, you will grow and learn from your mistakes and your achievements.
Adopt a learner's mindset in everything you do and with all the people you encounter. There is always something to be learned and gained from these encounters.
Let go of the assumption that you know more than others or that you've learned all you need to know. You point in life might be to continue the fulfilling experience of learning.
17. To choose peace.
All the meaning that you’re seeking in life can be found right now in the present moment, so stop looking for meaning in material things, people, or memories. None of those things are certain, and they don't matter right now.
Choose peace in your life by letting go of the suffering of the past and future. Choose peace by sowing the seeds of peace wherever you go. Ask yourself in everything you say and do, “Am I following the path of peace?”
18. To create it for yourself.
Finding the point of life is a journey that requires you to define it for yourself. Ask yourself over and over, “What feelings meaningful to me?” “What makes me feel valuable?” “How can I make the most of the time I have alive?
The point of your life could be any of the points outlined in this article, or it could be something altogether different.
Be relentless in your pursuit of meaning and purpose in every small action and decision. Find out your “Why?” for everything you do, and use that “Why?” as your guiding light.
19. To continue or revive the efforts of great people who came before you.
The purpose of life may be to continue the efforts of great people who have made a difference in the world.
Whether it is helping and serving others like Mother Teresa, becoming an inspiring and ethical leader like Abraham Lincoln, or making the next big technological leap like Steve Jobs, your point in life could be to use the work or life of someone else as a stepping stone to something better.
The person you follow doesn't have to be famous. Perhaps your mom inspired you to be a better mother. Maybe you want to follow in your father's footsteps in your career. Building on the legacy of another person can be profoundly rewarding.
20. To remain positive, yet realistic.
Living life with a positive mindset while remaining realistic, logical and rational is an effective way to live a satisfying life.
Once you recognize that you can choose to view life through an optimistic filter, even in the face of challenges, affords you resilience and inner peace.
Life will always throw us curveballs, and we can allow those events to defeat us and make life seem meaningless. Or we can embrace the inherent goodness in life, knowing that better times are always around the corner.
Related Post: Positive Mental Attitude: 10 Mindsets For Happiness
21. To solve problems.
People who live with a strong sense of responsibility make it their life's purpose to solve problems.
As a problem-solver, you are leading a useful life and leaving behind a world that is a bit better than you found it.
22. To live and let live.
You want to find the meaning for your own life, but you don't want to impose your meaning onto other people. You see the value in allowing others to find their own way, even if it's a different path from the one you have chosen.
This is a lesson that parents must learn as their children become adults. The ability to allow them to discover their own purpose can open the doors to a more intimate, authentic relationship with them.
The realization that you have no control over the lives of others is liberating and allows you to focus on your own purpose in life.
23. To develop and nurture relationships.
One of the purposes of living is to discover the importance and value of human relationships.
Developing mutually beneficial relationships with your spouse, partner, children, family, and friends is often cited as the most important part of our lives.
Nurturing those relationships and prioritizing them in your life can bring you a profound sense of joy and fulfillment.
Related Post: Vulnerability: The Secret to Close Relationships
24. To achieve social justice.
The point of life is to work toward the final goal of everyone on earth having equal access to their basic needs and opportunities.
It is about moving toward a more equitable society where people are able to live freely however they choose to do so.
25. To have “peak” experiences.
Peak experiences were first described by psychologist Abraham Maslow in his 1964 book, Religions, Values, and Peak Experiences, as “moments of highest happiness and fulfillment.”
He describes peak experiences as “rare, exciting, oceanic, deeply moving, exhilarating, elevating experiences that generate an advanced form of perceiving reality, and are even mystic and magical in their effect upon the experimenter.”
It is an experience in which you feel you have reached your full potential. He further suggests that common triggers for peak experiences include art, nature, sex, creative work, music, scientific knowledge, and introspection
The peak experiences in your life are those that end up defining who you are as a person — whether they are positive or negative. These experiences help shape who you are.
26. To appreciate the journey.
The point of life is to enjoy the journey you are on rather than constantly looking toward an outcome or destination.
This ties into living mindfully, but it is important to mention that the journey part of the experience is the experience. The journeys are what merge to make up an entire lifetime.
If the final destination is death, then the journey is all that mosts. So meaning comes from optimizing the journey.
27. To integrate your life.
Identity and integrity are part of the complex and life-long process of finding yourself.
Your identity is a mixture of the diverse forces that make up your life, and integrity occurs when you can relate to those forces in ways that make your life whole.
This might require defining your life priorities and reconfigure how you spend your time to honor these. It might mean creating more work-life balance or spending more time on self-reflection.
Integrating your life so there is more harmony and balance gives you a sense of well-being and authenticity that feels purposeful.
28. To foster the growth and progression of humanity.
With each new generation of people, new technologies and medical discoveries are made that will help people in the future.
Perhaps it is meaningful for you to contribute to future generations by doing something that furthers discoveries and advancements in science, medicine, or technology.
29. To learn to adapt.
Your life takes unexpected turns, and you may find that your purpose starts as you learn the power of adaptation. Knowing how to shift and change with your circumstances makes you flexible and nimble, giving you an advantage in life.
Most people don't focus on adapting quickly. They resist any change to the status quo because they are afraid and therefore miss opportunities for happiness and success.
Leaning into change rather than resisting it might be the point of your life.
30. To make something out of nothing.
According to H. L. Mencken, “You come into the world with nothing, and the purpose of your life is to make something out of nothing.”
Create something that no one else would have created or brought into existence and relish the fulfillment of living a creative and unique life.
31. To exit with no regrets.
The ultimate point of life is to be able to look back at the end of your life and feel happy and satisfied. Having a “no regrets” last hour means that every hour leading up to that point was well-lived and fully experienced.
That means you need to start today and seize the life you want to live. If you were to die tomorrow, what regrets would you have? What do you wish you would have accomplished or experienced?
Start doing those things today.
Contemplating the point of life might seem like an overwhelming task, and you may believe it is a very difficult question to answer.
But after looking at some of the answers to this question outlined here, it might not seem so complex after all.
To help other people, to love unconditionally, to see through your fears, and to realize your full potential. All of these things make life worth living.