The Meaning of Life

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-by Matt Leedham

If you’re reading this, it tells me something about you. At the very least, you have an interest in the topic. At the most, you are eagerly searching for meaning in your life and are hoping to find some glimpse of hope in here.

I’m sorry to report that I cannot tell you what the meaning of life is. I’ve asked a lot of people what the meaning of life is, or what their purpose for existing is, and I’ve gotten a lot of answers. Many people don’t even bother to ask the question because the answer seems so distant or complex.

I’ve heard:

  • “To make the world a better place.”
  • “To love others.”
  • “To excel at what you do.”
  • “To not be a jerk.” (Another variation: “To live in harmony.”)

I believe I have discovered my purpose, or are at least far down the right path. What about you?


What’s the meaning of life? What’s your purpose?


Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.



18 thoughts on “The Meaning of Life

  1. The meaning of life is to balance your yearning for continuous happiness with the understanding that suffering is required in order for happiness to even exist, so when suffering comes it is important not to run from it but to embrace it. To me life is about continuous movement and growth, which can be achieved through selfless acts towards others and reading into your own actions, thoughts, and perspectives rather than taking them at face value.

  2. The meaning of life is to balance your yearning for continuous happiness with the understanding that suffering is required in order for happiness to even exist, so when suffering comes it is important not to run from it but to embrace it. To me life is about continuous movement and growth, which can be achieved through selfless acts towards others and reading into your own actions, thoughts, and perspectives rather than taking them at face value.

  3. Matt – as always, thought provoking. The older I get and the more I learn, the more I realize that I don't have a clue about the meaning of life. What I do know is that each moment creates an opportunity to find meaning that's perfect for the moment. Like when I see my 18 month old son running toward me, giggling, shouting "Dada!" as I come home from work. Or when my 7 year old daughter calls me at work to ask me to bring Mommy her favorite chocolate candy home, because she's had a tough day. Or when my other daughter paints a picture that expresses who she is when she can't find the right words to say. These are the moments that are precious and where I find the meaning for me in life.

    I like the question. Keep asking.

    Steve

  4. Matt – as always, thought provoking. The older I get and the more I learn, the more I realize that I don't have a clue about the meaning of life. What I do know is that each moment creates an opportunity to find meaning that's perfect for the moment. Like when I see my 18 month old son running toward me, giggling, shouting "Dada!" as I come home from work. Or when my 7 year old daughter calls me at work to ask me to bring Mommy her favorite chocolate candy home, because she's had a tough day. Or when my other daughter paints a picture that expresses who she is when she can't find the right words to say. These are the moments that are precious and where I find the meaning for me in life.

    I like the question. Keep asking.

    Steve

  5. Steve, you describe an incredible perspective that can sometimes get lost in the mix of life. It's the sweetness of the very moment we are in…an appreciation for what is happening all around us, right now. Your examples are beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Steve, you describe an incredible perspective that can sometimes get lost in the mix of life. It's the sweetness of the very moment we are in…an appreciation for what is happening all around us, right now. Your examples are beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I too don't know the full answer to the meaning of life, but for me right now life is about experiencing everything I can, taking nothing for granted, and truly living life to the fullest. That means appreciating everything and everyone that comes into my life and sharing as much of myself as possible. Deepening my understanding of who we are as humans and watching critters in the mountains on a warm fall day has me feeling quite connected with life these days!

  8. I too don't know the full answer to the meaning of life, but for me right now life is about experiencing everything I can, taking nothing for granted, and truly living life to the fullest. That means appreciating everything and everyone that comes into my life and sharing as much of myself as possible. Deepening my understanding of who we are as humans and watching critters in the mountains on a warm fall day has me feeling quite connected with life these days!

  9. Jeanne, this is great. Particularly, I love the part about sharing as much of yourself as possible. What we have to offer others is so powerful, and freely sharing our gifts is life-altering, both for you and others. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Jeanne, this is great. Particularly, I love the part about sharing as much of yourself as possible. What we have to offer others is so powerful, and freely sharing our gifts is life-altering, both for you and others. Thanks for sharing!

  11. I feel like I cheated a little in my post and never actually shared my own thoughts on the matter. Now that a bunch of you have opened up and shared your thoughts here and on Facebook, let me offer up my understanding of my purpose and the meaning of life.

    I have recently come to understand and appreciate that what I have to offer the world is unique and valuable. And much like Jeanne above, understanding what my gifts are and offering them up freely in every environment and situation I am in, to me, is my purpose. To show up everyday, to everyone, as engaged, creative, curious, appreciative, generous, vibrant and positive is my purpose. I believe to share this gifts for the benefit of others, deepening my connection with those around me, is the meaning of my life. And not surprisingly, the more I do it, the happier and more fulfilled I am.

  12. I feel like I cheated a little in my post and never actually shared my own thoughts on the matter. Now that a bunch of you have opened up and shared your thoughts here and on Facebook, let me offer up my understanding of my purpose and the meaning of life.

    I have recently come to understand and appreciate that what I have to offer the world is unique and valuable. And much like Jeanne above, understanding what my gifts are and offering them up freely in every environment and situation I am in, to me, is my purpose. To show up everyday, to everyone, as engaged, creative, curious, appreciative, generous, vibrant and positive is my purpose. I believe to share this gifts for the benefit of others, deepening my connection with those around me, is the meaning of my life. And not surprisingly, the more I do it, the happier and more fulfilled I am.

  13. The sound of laughter, tapping my fingers on the steering wheel, singing in my car, a note from a friend, a really hard hug, the feeling of listening to another, the act of thinking, a small act of kindness, touching someone in distress, giving away something really precious, having less stuff than yesterday, teaching anything to anyone, sharing, learning, reading, making a difference, sitting quietly, staying up really late and being too loud, the smell of anything that drives me wild, sun on my face, pants that fit perfectly, automobile air-conditioning, women biting their lip, the way my dog greets me, that my phone rings when people need me, having 20 names, a stare that last a second too long, hats, songs I like, friends…

  14. The sound of laughter, tapping my fingers on the steering wheel, singing in my car, a note from a friend, a really hard hug, the feeling of listening to another, the act of thinking, a small act of kindness, touching someone in distress, giving away something really precious, having less stuff than yesterday, teaching anything to anyone, sharing, learning, reading, making a difference, sitting quietly, staying up really late and being too loud, the smell of anything that drives me wild, sun on my face, pants that fit perfectly, automobile air-conditioning, women biting their lip, the way my dog greets me, that my phone rings when people need me, having 20 names, a stare that last a second too long, hats, songs I like, friends…

  15. Again, the simple beauty of the moment you are living. And gratitude. I love this. Thanks for sharing…and for living fully. It makes this world a better place.

  16. Again, the simple beauty of the moment you are living. And gratitude. I love this. Thanks for sharing…and for living fully. It makes this world a better place.

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