Gotchya! No, I don’t know what “The Point” is (but it got you reading, right?). I don’t actually believe there is one, per se. That’s not to say there are none. OK, I’ve gotten you confused. Let me elaborate. Depending on your values, religious beliefs, experiences (and likely a plethora of other factors), you will likely have, by default, found some way of creating meaning (a.k.a. a “Point”) in life. Of course, the source of that meaning varies from individual to individual.
Why is this relevant to living a good life? Well, some theories suggest that we need meaning to be happy (Constructivist and Existentialist philosophies suggests that we create or “construct” our own meaning through relationships, creativity, spirituality, and work). Without it, we have the proverbial “Existential Crisis” and, in extreme cases, die by suicide. I’ve spoken to hundreds of people who perceive little or no meaning in their life, and are subsequently on the verge of ending theirs’. On the flip-side, people who feel fulfilled by their work, relationships, and/or “craft” are happier.
So what does this mean for you? Take an inventory of what makes you happy: What fulfills you? What makes you feel important? What excites you? What are your values? Your morals? If you’re a “helping” personality, you’ll likely thrive in a work environment in which you’re helping others. If you’re artistic, make time for your craft. If you value connection, be sure to make an effort in your relationships (family, friends, romantic partners).
What’s my “Point?” Simply put, hedonism (or epicureanism, depending on my fluctuating view on indulgence). I think we’re here for a good time (cue “Trooper”). I seek to enjoy and savour every moment (more posts to come on the empirically-supported benefits of doing so), but I’m also aware of my values and what makes me feel worthy. So take a little time to check in with yourself about what contributes to your own happiness and self-worth, and make note of it. Next time you’re feeling low, you might just need to create some meaning.
It’s interesting that what I believe to be the purpose in life (for me at least) coordinates with my lifestyle, diet, and exercise beliefs as well. I think we’re all animals no matter how ‘evolved’ we think we are, and we exist purely to reproduce. I respect that not all people want to have kids, but for me personally that is my reason to exist. Everything I do in life in one fashion or another is so that down the road I can hopefully provide the same opportunities for my kids as my parents afforded me. Keeping this in mind it makes it easy to continuously move forward as life is just a whole lot of speed bumps until you have to hold another life as more valuable than your own.
Looking forward to following the blog! If you need help generating some traffic let’s chat 🙂
‘Find Your Fit’
Thanks for the comment, Si! I, too, conceptualize a lot of things from an evolutionary perspective as well (it helps understand our behaviour and provides us with awareness of our mammalian and limbic brains and when we should “override” them with our neocortex), and I think what you’ve said will resonate with a lot of people :). I look forward to sharing ideas around health/wellness and more with you :)!
Amazing blog bud!! I think about this all the time! And totally agree when you find something that’s meaningful it makes life completely different. I had no idea you were a counselor! Keep up the great work 🙂
Thanks, Aish! Right back at ya :). I love reading yours! Hope everything is wonderful with you!
I also had my meaning and purpose tied up in my children. I was not prepared for being separated from them prematurely and it almost killed me. A part of me still wants to die and another part of me wants to live, but has not found another reason for living yet. I had my eye on raising them and for them to naturally leave the home themselves when they were ready to do so. I thought I had a spiritual reason for being, but my faith went out the door with my children. I wonder about having this sort of meaning and purpose and I wonder about people going through a natural empty nest syndrome and those whose children, jobs and creativity is lost by way of death, retrenchment, loss of limb etc. There has to be something more sustainable than any meaning or purpose in any thing or person in this world, or possibly one must have a back-up purpose or secondary purpose to be able to keep going….would welcome any feedback as I’m lost in transition still.
Pupae, thank you for your comment. I can only imagine the suffering you are going through right now, being separated from your children prematurely. A lof of people don’t understand that major transitions, whether they involve the loss of life or not, invoke a grief response, which is likely what you are experiencing. There is no fasttrack for grief; rather, we must attend to the pain and the loss with love and compassion while maintaining our sanity through distraction and self-care. Surround yourself with people by whom you feel valued, engage in tasks that require full participation, and find ways to express and make sense of your grief (e.g. writing, painting, dancing, music, support groups). Be kind to yourself and acknowledge that grief does not have a timeline…everyone grieves differently. Also, grief is not linear. You will work towards adjustment, but you will have setbacks and days where you feel like life is not worth living. I strongly encourage you to seek therapy at this time, and, although you are likely feeling highly unmotivated, try to join a group or develop a hobby to which you can be held accountable. Volunteer, start a garden, do something that makes you feel needed. You are experiencing one of the most difficult transitions anyone can go through, so allow yourself to grieve the life that you know. Give yourself compassion as you feel out this new, unfamiliar territory, and allow yourself to be lost in transition. Acknowledge your courage, your strength, your vulnerability, your worth. Your physical separation from your children does not devalue your emotional and psychological connection to them, nor the impact you have had on their lives. I’m thinking of you. ❤