What is the point of life?

YungMonc's picture
Rank: King Kong | 1,362

Wanted to get people's thoughts on the question: What do you believe is the meaning/point of life?

What is your ultimate goal in life, what makes life worth living for you?

What are you doing to reach this ultimate goal?

Comments (69)

Mar 1, 2018

This answer will and should be different for each person.

For me, roughly in order: happy family, satisfy own intellectual curiosity, and be additive to others around me. In order to do this, right now working hard trying to set up family financially in a challenging field, as well as trying to be a good teammate and citizen. The older I get (30 now), the more my focus and gratification have shifted toward my family and others, and away from myself.

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Mar 2, 2018

I am in your shoes as well, @Synergy_or_Syzygy . To me, I have recently ventured into family financials, and setup some accounts for myself and the family. I have noticed that when I interact with others, I have steered the conversation away from myself (which my old friends find unusual of me), and more focused on them.

I have a more satisfied feeling, and my dates couldn't be happier with it too. All I know is, it is a tough road to go on. One step, one day, a minute at a time.

No pain no game.

Mar 1, 2018

People like to talk about goals a lot but I don't fuck with goals. I have a vague idea of where I want to go and I figure out the next step to get there and do that. And I figure out the next step once that one is complete. Nobody know where the fuck the world will be in 10 years so quit pretending.

Personally, I want to be super healthy and athletic. I want to get really good at jiu jitsu and bowhunting. I want to build a real estate empire, see the world, and raise at least one son.

But life has no meaning, dude. We're just animals. Seek fulfillment.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

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Mar 1, 2018

I noticed you did not mention helping other people (other than your future son) as a personal goal. Was this on purpose, i.e. you do not believe helping others/making the world a better place is a worthwhile pursuit?

I'm just trying to get a sense of what makes people "tick"

Mar 1, 2018

I don't really care to help any one individual or group of people. I care about humanity as a whole and would like to be wealthy enough one day to contribute to science. It's unfortunate that the earth has so many... unfortunate people. But I think it's a better use of resources to uplift the highest rungs of society as opposed to the lowest. I care about myself, my wife, mother, siblings, and grandparents. And then humanity as a whole.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

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Mar 1, 2018

Me personally, to make money. Money makes me happy. With the money I've made I've been able to help out my struggling family comfortably, and not have to worry about unexpected expenses.

I say my main goal in life is to get to a point where I don't have to work for anyone else. Not gonna think that far down the line anyways, no point in doing so.

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Mar 2, 2018
Pump And Dump:

Me personally, to make money. Money makes me happy. With the money I've made I've been able to help out my struggling family comfortably, and not have to worry about unexpected expenses.

I say my main goal in life is to get to a point where I don't have to work for anyone else. Not gonna think that far down the line anyways, no point in doing so.

Not sure why this was downvoted. Some people make making money out to be this terrible, evil goal, and I don't get it. Money is a resource. Sure, it can cause issues, but you also can do so much good with it. I've been poor, and I've made good money, and let me tell you -- I'll take good money over being poor any day.

Mar 1, 2018

I think it's because judging by that and his other posts, he is an empty shell of a human who is making the common mistake of seeking money above any real type of tangible self-improvement. Yet he's not smart enough to add any significant value to society in his life. So he's just going to be another resentful, miserable fuck walking around wondering what went wrong in 20 years.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

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Mar 2, 2018

Unfortunately, money really does make the world go round.

Mar 2, 2018

It's literally freedom and flexibility.

"Man is split in two: he has an awareness of his own splendid uniqueness in that he sticks out of nature with a towering majesty, and yet he goes back into the ground a few feet in order blindly and dumbly to rot and disappear forever." ~ Ernest Becker

Mar 1, 2018

Humanity has struggled finding an answer to this question for milleniums.

However, we are fortunate to potentially find the answer in our lifetime. The technological singularity is upon us.

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Mar 1, 2018

"The essence of life is growth."

-Jim Rohn

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Mar 1, 2018

This is true even in the workplace. Lack of development or growth is one of the main reasons why employees leave a company.

Mar 1, 2018

Yep!

Mar 1, 2018

42

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Mar 1, 2018

I have been contemplating this thought recently and I still don't know. I can't help but think that this period of 'life' is just a subset of a greater thing. That consciousness survives past death and we are truly multi-dimensional beings stuck in a 3-dimensional world. This sounds crazy, but there is something on the 'other side' - coming from a large Italian family that emphasizes family connections above all - the ones who have passed on linger for a bit. I have seen them and feel them as has my entire family. When my mom was near death (cancer 3+ times at this point), and I was devastated, laying on the floor of my friends beach house in the bedroom since I needed to get away from the hospital, until 'something' picked me up and laid me on my bed and told me "everything is going to be alright". I thought in my head it's "ma ma" (my great grandmother) and my head started ringing for 10 seconds at a higher and higher pitch until it stopped. 5 days later the cancer went into remission. Or when my other great grandmother appeared in our house at 5 am when my dad and I were going to work (I was young) - she floated from the living room to the stairs we were walking down, looked at us, smiled, and (telepathically) said "I just wanted to see you both one last time" and disappeared. There is something to this world humans don't understand, and onto your original point OP, what is the point of life if we all just die in the end? For all we know this is an advanced computer simulation which would render our lives meaningless over the long-term. It just seems pointless to work hard, chase money and prestige - all for what? Bragging rights? A materialistic personality to compensate for being lonely?

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Mar 1, 2018

pizza

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Mar 1, 2018

My ultimate goal is to stop the spread of communism and socialism.

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Mar 1, 2018

pleasure and watching my kids grow

Mar 1, 2018

You might enjoy some of the responses to a similar question i've asked before!

Check it out: https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/how-do-athe...
What i've learned after having some existential crises is that you're only in control of what you tell yourself or think, and how you behave based on this. My point of life is to make the most of what I have, to constantly be learning (so that I may one day have a huge breadth of wisdom), and to find happiness by setting goals and working towards them.

It really comes down to what makes you happy, no? Happiness and fulfillment go hand in hand in my opinion and you can't really have one without the other. I have career goals, which are the priority right now in my life, sure. But I also have family goals, community goals, hobbies, ventures that I want to get into, etc. It's all about balance and not letting the world hold you down or keep you from working towards something that you want.

There is no definitive answer to the point of life, as it's been asked by genius philosophers, politicians, religious figures, doctors, scientists, bankers, lawyers, etc. and there has never been one answer. In the simplest form, one could say the point of life is to simply exist, to live. Do what makes you feel alive.

I see that you're a 2nd year analyst, and i'm only a 19 year old in undergrad; so you have probably have much more experience in life to the point you see beyond my opinion - however, I've been through a lot and have made a point in my life to always be introspective.

What's your answer? I like to live by the quote that is signatured at the bottom of my comments on WSO.

Edit: I'm also very aware that as we grow and our circumstances change, our goals and what makes us happy changes; priorities shift. So this is my answer at this point in my life and only my answer for myself.

"It is not our circumstance that controls us, but our thoughts that control our circumstance." -James Allen

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Mar 2, 2018

Fellow UG here, I concur with what you've written. I certainly recommend taking some time to expend in reading and delving into variety of philosophical writings regarding existentialism and death.

I could write an essay but I'll imprint upon OP this.

A little hedonism, healthy hedonism never hurt anyone.

"Man is split in two: he has an awareness of his own splendid uniqueness in that he sticks out of nature with a towering majesty, and yet he goes back into the ground a few feet in order blindly and dumbly to rot and disappear forever." ~ Ernest Becker

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Mar 1, 2018

money

Mar 2, 2018

Should read "man's search for meaning" by viktor frankl

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Best Response
Mar 2, 2018

I am in the camp of believing that life has little point. I don't believe there is some greater purpose or some divine being guiding all things. And I believe that when you die, your body is converted into plant food. You are only borrowing the atoms that currently make up your body, and they'll eventually return to the ether.

While there might not be a divine purpose, then, there is a point to living. In all existence, as far as we know, we are the only creatures the universe produced capable of knowing the universe exists at all. While the world is filled with billions of troglodytes I wouldn't trust to babysit a box of Fruit Loops, each one of them is something of a miracle when you consider the remarkably improbably chain of events that had to occur for them to live at all.

In that context, you shouldn't squander the rarity of your existence. I believe that those given the opportunity to live an extraordinary life are obliged to do so for all those not given that chance. Add to the sum of human knowledge if you can. For me, that is the highest calling. Most have no hope of ever doing that. As such, we must aim to aid those who can. Right now, capitalism is the best system we have for lifting billions of people out of agrarian lifestyles, enabling a rare few of them to meaningfully add to our collective ken. Everyone plays some part in that system, but financiers more deftly grease the wheels of progress than most other workers.

This is why Lloyd Blankfein thinks banks do God's work (https://dealbook.nytimes.com/2009/11/09/goldman-ch...). From my perspective, he's not entirely wrong. If you're looking for some meaning to your existence, you can find it at work, at home or in yourself. That's why the answers to this question can be broadly broken into three categories based on what people value most. For some, they care most about themselves, and live their lives to maximize their own utility. For some, they care most about their family/friends/society, and draw meaning from that. I care most about work because it affords me the lifestyle I like to live, has allowed me the luxury of seeing more of the world than anyone has any right to, and lets me hang out with at least a few people who don't piss me off.

I live a pretty good life, and at the end of it, there won't be any point to that either.

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Mar 2, 2018

Don't you know? We're all in a simulation.

Mar 2, 2018

One message I've heard which I like (but also disagree with to a certain extent) is that everyone searches out happiness for the future, without trying to be happy in the present. Discusses how there is no singular point in life where once you finally get a wife and house and money you will then be happy as that doesn't exist.

I don't agree with it entirely, as I feel there can/will be a 'happy place' in the future where you will be complacent with your lifestyle/position and be content.

At the same time, I do believe and am trying to live life to be happy in every period of your life (generally speaking). Pretty common recommendation to "live in the present", not. The people I find most successful and optimistic from a holistic perspective is those that live as discussed above. I'm working on that.

Basically, live in the present - don't wait for happyness once you accomplish xyz 10 years down the line, instead seek happiness in the present as you grow and don't wait or correlate it it with your possible future succes

"I'm not fat. I'm cultivating mass."

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Mar 2, 2018

Making all your MDs happy.

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Mar 2, 2018

"So, now that we can step through that lens, God has made everything to be enjoyed deeply, even money to be enjoyed. The difference is that it all must find its place in line, that is, we should worship God, not what God has made. In short, enjoy God and all that he has made but don't trade the created for the Creator himself. Once we begin to enjoy God and his creation, by grace we begin to help redeem and reconcile this fallen world back to God. Every business, every spreadsheet can be participatory in the redemption of the world."

  • To enjoy God and glorify Him forever, this is the chief end of man.

This should be considered slowly, not out of context. I do believe from personal conviction provided through grace that God (the trinitarian God being Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit) created all things, man sinned against him, God being holy and just could no longer be in a relationship with sinful man until there was a mediator/propitiation/worthy sacrifice/someone to be perfect, die the death we deserve (crucified on the cross), but not stay dead and instead be raised from the dead (defeating the power of death over man) and now intercedes on our behalf....

I believe that all of this is provided for those who simply confess their sin and believe in Jesus. You don't have to do anything else besides this... you may end up doing "good things" but that is not how you are actually saved, it is only through faith in Christ.

So, now that we can step through that lens, God has made everything to be enjoyed deeply, even money to be enjoyed. The difference is that it all must find its place in line, that is, we should worship God, not what God has made. In short, enjoy God and all that he has made but don't trade the created for the Creator himself. Once we begin to enjoy God and his creation, by grace we begin to help redeem and reconcile this fallen world back to God. Every business, every spreadsheet can be participatory in the redemption of the world.

These are simply my personal beliefs and convictions, you may have your own.

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Mar 2, 2018

Do you read a lot of Timothy Keller?

Mar 2, 2018

Fair amounts, he and John Piper have been influential in my "finding the meaning of life"

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Mar 2, 2018

Right on, brother. So well said.

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Mar 2, 2018

My modus operandi is to continually imagine new possibilities and experiences and try to make them a reality

As a side note, I can't decide which of the 7 sins I like best. They're all so great

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Mar 2, 2018

I'm trying to avoid Sloth these days. Wrath is one of my favorites but is too often illegal.

Mar 2, 2018
Scott Irish:

I'm trying to avoid Sloth these days. Wrath is one of my favorites but is too often illegal.

Avoiding Sloth is a big mistake imho. You just gotta space it out in chunks

Unfortunately Wrath is the one sin that the "government" has put the kibosh on. For some strange reason a swift blow to a car windshield from a nice wooden baseball bat is frowned upon in "society". Thankfully a good verbal beatdown is still kosher, along with being a keyboard warrior

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Mar 2, 2018

I thought the Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) was one of the best movies to come out in the past 5 years and I prescribe to the movie's slogan and theme:

"To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life."

To me the purpose of life is expanding your mind with as much knowledge about things that interest you as possible and to create meaningful and lasting relationships with other humans (whether family or otherwise).

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Mar 2, 2018

To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women

University of Chicago

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Mar 2, 2018

That is what's best in life.

Mar 1, 2018
MusicCityBoer:

To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women

I like you

Mar 2, 2018

Dilly dilly!

Mar 2, 2018

Preftige.

Mar 2, 2018

The point of life is to keep going. Don't get a promotion but felt it was important to your development? Go on to the next thing, like a hobby or focusing more on your family's growth. Travel with extra spare time, learn a new language, explore a different culture. Just keep going.

Mar 2, 2018

To not hate on what other people consider their purpose. Calm down, board.

How are there no rap lyrics yet? Ice Cube answered this question over 20 years ago.

Mar 2, 2018

To evolve and reproduce.

Mar 2, 2018

There is no point. It's just what we make of it. We're all here on this rock until we die, and until then, we should do whatever makes us happy or feels right.

Mar 2, 2018

There is no point. But watch this video - one of my favorite videos of all time: https://youtu.be/BOksW_NabEk

Mar 29, 2018

Watched it, INCREDIBLE.

Mar 2, 2018

I'm just trying to leave it better than I found it

Mar 2, 2018

To wander for a brief moment in time this wonderful world. Then we will disappear as abruptly and unreasonably as we arrived.

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Mar 2, 2018

Freedom. The enaction of Will.

"well thank god your feelings aren't a fucking priority here"

Mar 2, 2018

Youtube: Jordan Peterson.

Mar 2, 2018

Love that dude.

"Man is split in two: he has an awareness of his own splendid uniqueness in that he sticks out of nature with a towering majesty, and yet he goes back into the ground a few feet in order blindly and dumbly to rot and disappear forever." ~ Ernest Becker

Mar 2, 2018

Didn't read all of the responses above, but as a young adult I am still trying to figure this out and have recently been thinking about it a lot. I think the point of life is to have some sort of impact on those around you. Whether you aspire to change the world, give advice to a friend, make a difference in your school, I think there is a reason for our existence. Artists influence others through their work, if you're rich and can donate you can impact the lives of others, if you are a common person your actions and words still impact your friends and family members, at your job you can have an impact on your coworkers.

That being said, I am pursuing my passions and aspire to "make it" financially in other to buy things and experiences I would enjoy, but I have been trying to push myself to have a more positive impact on those around me in my daily life every day.

Mar 3, 2018

One word:
$

It ain't what you know, it's who you know

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Mar 3, 2018

Life is all the better if it is lived without meaning. Everyone's got goals they are running towards in life and little projects that they undertake while they are waiting for death. However, if you sit in meditation long enough, you learn that life itself is enough, there is no need for some lofty goal or dramatic sense of purpose. Regardless, we need something to do while we're here and what better than family, friends, work, good food, and being charitable to the those less fortunate. If you leave the world better off then when you started, it's hard to argue that it wasn't worth it.

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Mar 7, 2018

I'm a nihilist. Glad to see your thoughts.

You'd like works by Emil Cioran and Albert Camus.

Excerpt from Cioran-
"I was alone in that cemetery overlooking the village when a pregnant woman came in. I left at once, in order not to look at this corpse-bearer at close range, nor to ruminate upon the contrast between an aggressive womb and the time-worn tombs - between a false promise and the end of all promises."

"We do not rush toward death, we flee the catastrophe of birth, survivors struggling to forget it."

Mar 29, 2018

Camus is mostly a whiny bitch about it though. Nihilists don't have to be depressed.

Mar 8, 2018

Live one day at a time.?

Mar 29, 2018

"Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible."

Viktor Frankl in Man's Search for Meaning.

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Mar 29, 2018

"...men are, that they might have joy."

Mar 29, 2018

There's no inherent meaning in life, but I think people can give their lives meaning through setting goals and feeling fulfilment from making progress towards them. Not all goals are good though (e.g. "My goal is to go to the gym every day" = GOOD, "My goal is to shoot up a school" = VERY BAD) so generally speaking, I think a good meaningful life has to fit a few criteria:

  1. You've picked activities/roles that you would take pride in making progress in
  2. You've picked goals that balance challenges/learning with predictability/stability
  3. You're doing things that are good for you, good for people around you, and good for society as a whole

Personally, some of the goals that give me meaning in life, roughly in order: make tons of money in finance, keep good relationships with my family and friends, take care of my health, give my pet parrot lots of love every day, keep apartment tidy.

Also, I watched this lecture about the meaning of life by a psychology professor last year with whom I share a lot of similar views, but he explains things much better than I ever could. Perhaps you may find it interesting:

Mar 29, 2018

What do you believe is the meaning/point of life?

There's no real point of life, it's basic physics- just a crazy outcome of the laws of increasing entropy.

What is your ultimate goal in life, what makes life worth living for you?

I hope I find one, I look for it everyday. Some days I think I have one, on others I'm completely lost.

What are you doing to reach this ultimate goal?

Dunno, depends on the day. Help the weak, seek the most happiness, look to people who look like they're doing it right and try to figure out what they know.

Mar 29, 2018

As someone who believes in God, I believe life's purpose is to know, love, and serve Him, and help others.

On another note, I'd recommend Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl, a holocaust survivor. Very thought provoking.

Mar 7, 2018
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Mar 29, 2018
Mar 29, 2018
Mar 29, 2018
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"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee