The sidewalk is made of black and white tiles and the temptation to not step on the white ones is too big. Even as grown-ups, we can make games out of daily components of our lives — or keep playing the ones we have since we were kids. And what is a game but a set of rules with a purpose? Step on the white tile, game over.
No one told you to play a game. It was you, who felt the urge and created it, right there.
Our ability to make sense of things, be it for work, or for sheer playfulness, is immense.
We constantly create purpose, without even realizing it.
Life is rich; it offers us countless ways to interact with the outside, play, and create meaning. Yet, given the excessive busyness, worries, and external demands of the world, we lose touch with that innate capability.
So… what’s the point of your life?
Crazy as it is, in a world where everything has a point, even if “just for pleasure”, we keep asking “what is the point of life?”.
In a society full of external expectations and demands, no wonder we get tired of playing along and feel deprived of meaning. We are forever busy with things that were (mostly unconsciously) imposed on us.
All these “have to’s” don’t resonate with our hearts. The result: we feel something is missing — and it is.
#1 You Choose the Purpose of Your Life
The purpose of life is not something someone else tells us. Now, someone can share their purpose and inspire us, but it’s their purpose.
Your purpose is your responsibility, which is amazing, given that we keep getting all these external demands and expectations all the time, and we know they are not the real thing.
That’s because the real thing is in you.
Nothing has Intrinsic Meaning
We gave meaning to the business we create, to the book we write, to our loving relationships. We decided chairs are to sit on, but we could also have decided that chairs were types of shelves; or that we gift people with our favorite stones instead of flowers.
So go and create it yourself.
Here is a question for you: Why do we expect that ready-made answer from life, when we don’t have any issues attributing meaning to all small facets of our daily lives ourselves? We have no issue with listening to music only for pleasure, to eat tasty food to nourish our bodies, and to work to pay for that food.
#2 Your Life Is Your Biggest Project, so Treat It Accordingly
When we create our own business we spend days, if not weeks, discussing what is our mission and vision. Write a book, and you will have to define what the book is about. In romantic relationships, we talk about what is a good relationship, and every time there’s an issue it is discussed and worked on, so that the relationship can live strong.
Not doing the same with a question as big as “what is the point of my life?” and expecting to have a ready-made and satisfying answer is comical.
Our life is our biggest project; it requires us to show up and decide what we want out of it.
Our life is worth of as many check-ins and status meetings as any other of our projects. Life invites us to be creators of our reality, taking conscious care of it, pretty much like everything else.
#3 If We Say Life Is Pointless, then That Is What We Get, for That Is What We Have Attributed to Life
We are immensely powerful! If we say life is pointless, then surely that is what we get, for that is what we have provided for ourselves.
Purpose can be efficient, logical, and make sense to the usage of our resources — but it can also be for sheer fun. It can even be both!
Dancing, listening to music, humor, and the pleasure of togetherness can all be an end in themselves, for they are joyful. But we can also do the same thing with very different purposes: we could dance to impress the cute guy across the dance floor, burn calories, or win a dance competition.
Some of the meanings we carry are created by ourselves given our personal interests, whereas others are socially constructed. Like the meaning of a brand of clothes, attributing social status. The same goes for chairs, roads, and all these things that we don’t even question anymore.
All meanings can co-exist, and none of them is right or wrong. What matters is: are they true to us? The final judge is your heart.
Purpose that is not aligned with our hearts, sooner or later gets us frustrated, for it has no meaning. You can work in an NGO all you want, and tell yourself your purpose is to help, but if you don’t believe that NGO is actually doing good work, sooner or later, game over.
Let’s face it: a life deprived of meaning is disturbing. To avoid facing the fact we don’t know our meaning, we either cheat ourselves with fake meanings, or keep ourselves too busy so we don’t think about it.
There’s a limit to how much we can play along and pretend. Eventually, we find nothing but a weight on our shoulders, a big emptiness, and, with all those boxes to be ticked, we feel lost. Defeated, we say “there’s no point.” Truth is, we never gave it a truthful purpose — because we never knew our hearts well.
Life is not pointless. Life is full of potential points.
Can the point of life be to create beautiful buildings for an architect, write ten books for a writer, and find out how to solve climate change for a scientist? Yes. Can the point of life be to have as much joy as possible? Yes, too.
Not only can anything have multiple purposes but also meaning can change over time. The only thing needed to stay in touch with that is to keep in touch with ourselves.
#4 What Matters Is That You Know What You Want: Know Yourself, and Your Purpose Becomes Obvious
If you don’t know what you want, if you don’t know who you are, life will feel confusing and purposeless. That’s because you are living based on status quo, external demands, opportunistic reactions, or even emotional wounds — but not living from within.
Again, for someone, the point of life might be to take care of trekking trails in the natural park around their home and have a side job to pay the bills. For others, it might be to create beautiful dishes. And then for others, it is to take care of their family and loved ones. Also, all these different purposes could co-exist within a single human being.
This brings me to the biggest message of this post:
The question is NOT “what is my purpose?”
The real question is “who am I and what do I want?”
Because your purpose is not something for you to do. It is not a profession per se.
Your purpose is something for you to BE! Which is nothing but yourself. Your feeling of meaningless is a call of your soul for reconnection.
Your purpose is a natural expression of you being you. Of you doing what you genuinely care about.
The reason why we feel something is missing when we feel purposeless is because WE are missing from ourselves — once we reconnect with ourselves, we recover purpose
When you are being yourself, releasing from any fear, shame, and confusion that is holding you back, then your purpose unfolds.
As you stop struggling with yourself, so you can surrender to what you deeply want and love, then you are living your purpose, merely by being you.
It’s not about life’s unique meaning.
It’s about you finding yourself, and being yourself.
So I ask you: Who are you and what do you want? What are you not allowing yourself to go for — and therefore making your life dry?
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