SELF-DEVELOPMENT

What is the meaning of life and how to find it

Living through consecutive crises, waking up daily in a state of uncertainty, feeling anxiety and suspension... It's natural to sense helplessness and ask: what is the meaning of all this? The meaning of life is not just another topic for philosophical contemplation but also a clear anchor in stormy times. Don't spend hours pondering the question of "the meaning of life" when you can start creating it now.

Try on different "meanings" for yourself and figure out which one resonates with you the most. 

The meaning of each life is unique, just like the individual. Philosophers have searched for answers to this question for centuries, inventing numerous philosophical approaches to explain it. These approaches provided people with a sense of direction and helped unravel their lives.

So why not try on some "ready-made" meanings for yourself? Review this list: analyze which meanings resonate with you the most and which ones don't suit you at all. This will bring you a step closer to "your" meaning.
Find meaning in pleasure
Hedonism philosophy asserts that the meaning of a person's life is in pleasure. The hedonist's task: maximize pleasure and minimize suffering in life. However, life, as we know from bitter experience, is full of surprises and (not always pleasant) unexpected events. Sources of positive emotions may run out, and avoiding suffering all the time sounds like an unattainable mission.

Nevertheless, this is not a reason to ignore them. Start with the question: what brings me pleasure?
The better part is not to refrain from pleasures but to control them, not submitting to them
Aristippus, the founder of hedonism
Find meaning in taking care of others
Close relationships can become another source of life's meaning. We direct our care and energy towards children, romantic partners, parents, and friends to fulfill ourselves. 
Strengthening relationships with others is important for us as social beings; gratitude from others creates a sense of our own value.
However, much can go unplanned here: others may not meet your expectations or reject your care. The sense and joy of life depend on other people and their reactions to you.
Find meaning in the absence of meaning
There's an option for nihilists — to reject the meaning of life as a category of existence. There is no meaning to life; it's all relative, so why fixate on it? What's good and bad, what can or cannot be done — there is no single moral compass. 

Someone may find solace in this perspective as it relieves the burden of responsibility and helps build personal moral guidelines. Nihilism can also lead to a complete loss of meaning and orientation because why strive to improve life and work on oneself if existence is meaningless?
Find meaning in work
Patience and hard work conquer all, right? The sense of accomplishment, purpose, and professional success fills life with meaning. Storm in love relationships? However, stability in your work. It's challenging to make new acquaintances and friends? You can compensate by interacting with colleagues at work. Work provides not only income but also a secure place to hide from any troubles. However, work itself doesn't guarantee solving all life problems and improving the overall quality of life. 
Work is not always a quiet harbor; at work, you can burn out and face a loss of meaning.
Different philosophical schools can offer you even more "ready-made meanings." Don't forget to rely on your own sense: which of these options can give you a sense of mission or indicate what makes you happy?

Finding yourself in life: play the role of an author

While working in a large company or dedicating yourself to family matters, it's easy to forget that you are the author of your own life. You make choices, decisions, and determine the course of events in your life. Of course, we are not all-powerful and cannot control all circumstances. However, you write your book titled "life," choosing the characters and meanings to fill it. Try on the role of the author if the "ready-made" meanings offered do not suit you.
Imagine that you are the author of your life, not just an observer.
One metaphor will help you in this exercise. Visualize that your life is a ship, and you are the captain of this ship. It can withstand any storm and fulfill its mission because it has a captain steering it and a crew.

One mission may change another throughout life, depending on your needs, desires, and stages of personal development. These questions will help you quickly adapt to the role of the captain:
  • Does your life and its meaning change?
  • What stages have you already gone through, and what may still await you?
  • What remains unchanged amid changing roles, stages, and meanings?

Scenario

So, you are the captain of the ship, responsible for your mission and crew. Your team consists of people you have chosen for your "boat"; you rely on them, and they rely on you. You build relationships to accomplish the mission together.

You cannot predict the storm, but you are responsible for the outcome and how you handle it. Blaming people on land during a storm or for your failures is senseless, as it won't help you during the storm. You can't abandon your ship, even if your mood changes or others are unfair to you. In case of breakdowns or damages, the captain takes care of the ship and repairs it.

Apply this scenario to your life, think about how to find the meaning of life and the mission of your ship right now.
Are you comfortable being the captain? Perhaps, there is something missing for you to feel like the leader of your own life?

Finding meaning: choose your mission and prepare for it

When a captain selects their expedition, careful planning of the route is crucial. They may linger in port longer to plan the most advantageous course, assemble the appropriate crew, and assess the timing. The crew should also be carefully selected for the mission, with specific experience and tasks tailored to the route. These are individuals you can rely on even in the most daunting storm.

A responsible captain also ensures provisions to carry out the mission. Consider the resources and energy needed for your mission. Perhaps you need to plan them in advance or stop for "refueling."
Whatever mission you choose — whether it's getting a new job, finishing university, or building a family — meticulously select your crew, provisions, and route.
Once the captain has a plan, they will monitor its execution and make decisions if deviations occur. There's no option to abandon the ship and do nothing, even if the captain made the wrong decision. They learn from their mistakes and make new decisions instead of blaming the crew or cursing the universe.

To determine your mission and role now, honestly answer these questions:
  • How do you see your role at this stage of life? Do you have a life mission or goal?
  • Who is your team? Do these people help you achieve your life goal or create unnecessary difficulties?
  • What do you do when everything goes off plan?
These exercises can help you find a sense of direction but won't provide ready-made answers. Meaning can change, and its search is the journey through life.

If you're still pondering how to find yourself in life, consider scheduling a session with a psychologist. They can accelerate your journey and help you find your meaning. In our service, you can easily and quickly find a specialist by filling out a brief questionnaire. We'll help you start your journey of self-discovery right now!
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