Many people tell me they cannot find any point to life. That is very sad of course, to continue to live just because it is the only alternative to death. Maybe they are right, or maybe not. Even if you have a purpose and see a point, this article may help you increase joy and pleasure in your life.
The problem of feeling that life is pointless comes from the theory that there is more to life than just doing the things we do day to day. We are told that there is a great purpose to our life, but unless you are another Einstein or Gandhi, there may not be any more to your life than the average person, and thus a feeling of pointlessness will overshadow everything. I have written about this subject from another point of view in the article called About Your True Purpose.
If you think there is something very important for you to discover that does not exist, it will certainly disturb you. I suggest you forget the whole idea of any point to life at all and just enjoy, that is the point. The question now is; what do you enjoy?
Yes, it is true, how can we see a point to our simple life if we are just an average person. However, we are here, we are alive and there may not be a point we can intellectually or egotistically identify as worthwhile. There may be something you are missing which your upbringing is negating.
An old friend of mine, retired after 30 years as a high court judge, told me what he thinks our purpose in life is; simply to experience things. Mark said;
“God doesn’t have eyes and ears, a mouth and nose, hands and legs, so he cannot experience things. But through us having all types of experiences, God experiences this world and all our pleasures and pains.”
The point of enjoying and experiencing as much as you can is a very good reason to live, what is wrong with that? It is what life can be about, enjoying all you can. Why can’t the point of life be to experience things? In my view, we take nothing with us when we die except our experiences, hence, I am exploring another part of the world I have never been to before. I am writing this article on a bus heading from Puerto Montt in the south of Chile to Bariloche in Argentina as I tour South America after some months in Panama.
The experiences of traveling in other countries is what I enjoy, but not just to sightsee. I use the travels in different cultures to constantly open up my mind by seeing how different people manage the same issues of life. How does a Canadian, American or European define poverty and deal with it compared to in India, China, Africa, or a Middle East country.
Through these experiences, as a Canadian who has lived in the USA, I would fear poverty and that would constantly be in the back of my mind. But as a Turk or Indian, I have far less fear as I know that there will always be someone to help me if I am in need. The indigenous in Panama don’t seem to mind 10 people sharing a one room house. I find this mind opening experience a great pleasure as it eliminates fear. For me, the best experiences and pleasures are finding different ways to live in harmony with myself and everyone else thus gaining even deeper inner peace.
Everyone is different. You should not think that what I want, or anyone wants, is the same for everyone. There is nothing wrong with just wanting to enjoy whatever you enjoy.
For some people, their joy is spiritual practices like meditation. This is no different than golf, fishing or writing. It is what gives them pleasure. You do not have to do anything other than what gives you pleasure. This does not mean you can or should avoid things you do not like, you still have to do the laundry and clean the dishes.
I only suggest that in your search for happiness, to never hurt anyone deliberately and try to be aware so you do not do that accidentally, although sometimes it is inevitable. This is the one caveat to what I am saying in this article. The point to your life can be as simple as doing anything and everything that you enjoy, but do not hurt anyone.
Here is something another old Russian friend of mine had to say when I asked him what he thought was a good reason to live. Something I think is valuable to note about Michael is that he is in perfect health, filled with energy, has never had a major illness, no operations, and lives a happy and very successful life. There may be something more to his words than just having fun in the moment.
“What could be “the reasons to live” ? Why to get up and keep going? The answers are very very personal depending on the person. Have they ever experienced the feeling of discovery? Feeling of love? Feeling of being important or irreplaceable in somebody’s life? Feeling of the great satisfaction of achieving something? Feeling the beauty of the sunrise over the ocean and your readiness to fly toward the sun? Feeling of crying of happiness (even if it lasted only a minute)? Feeling of being a proud of your deeds to another person?
IF they did, there are enough reasons to live and experience one or a few of these feelings AGAIN.”
The reality is that in most cases, in order to have more pleasant experiences, we need money. That is a sad fact, but it is a fact we all have to live with. This is why you need to work to earn money so you can have fun and do what you want.
If you find that the goal or purpose of life is to simply have fun, and you know you need money to do that, you can use this goal to be motivated at whatever you do. It is your duty to God, as Mark put it, to be happy and have fun! Many people find meditating 10 hours a day to be fun, some just like 30 minutes. I would like to suggest, in harmony with my opinion that we must destroy all fixed opinions, that you try almost anything you are comfortable with that other people find gives them great joy. But please use common sense in what you test.
I have a saying that you can use as a test of what to try or not; “Never take the advice of someone who will profit from your loss.” I came up with this saying after being tricked into suing someone by a lawyer, but I have found it applies to many more instances.
If you cannot find anything that is fun or you enjoy, as many people complain, I believe that the reason is not that you cannot find things you enjoy, but rather the thought that there must be more to life than just having fun is creating a sort of subconscious guilt which is preventing you from enjoying life. “How can I just enjoy going to the beach, watching the sunset, playing music. There must be more important things in life and I must get to them, if only I knew what they are.”
All mystical teachings tell us that God does not go where sadness is. In the Psalms is it written that when King David was sad, the voice of prophecy would leave him. He would command the musicians to play and when his spirits were raised, the voice would return.
All mystical and religious teachings say the same thing, the happy heart is where God lives. I do not know what God is, no one really does, we only give God a definition that we can understand. After all, how could our limited human intellect understand the Infinite. Having said this, I hope you will replace the name ‘God’ in all my articles with whatever you conceive of that concept to be.
May everyone find happiness and thus the point to life.