There is a very interesting article in Wikipedia about the meaning of life. It’s such a fundamental topic, so it’s interesting to see what people say about it. The article is quite long and takes some time to read, but considering the depth of topic it actually saves us a lot of time (such topic may require a thick book to cover).
The meaning of life is probably the most important question in someone’s life. Is there anyone who never think about it? I don’t think so. Our souls are always searching for meaning.
While there are a lot of things in the article, the most interesting part for me is the collection of “to …” phrases in the beginning of the article. These are the phrases used by billions of people to complete the sentence “the meaning of life is …“.
Here are some of them which I find interesting:
- to live every day like it is your last and to do your best at everything that comes before you
Steve Jobs talked about it in his commencement address. This is the way he lives and it helps him focus on the most important issues in life. When we think that this is our last day, many things which we used to worry about lose its significance. Fear of failure for example, will no longer be meaningful. We are left only with things which are truly important.
- to leave a legacy, such as a work of art or a book
Many people have this as their life purpose, they want to leave something for future generations. I like it. I personally believe that one reason we live is to contribute to others.
- to explore, to expand beyond our frontiers
This is interesting. Seeing life as an exploration allows us to discover new things we never thought possible before. This way we can contribute in unique and fresh ways.
- to give and receive love
Love makes life beautiful. There are times when I forgot the wonder of love because I was busy with something else. But no other things are actually as important as love. When I rediscover the magic of love, other things become much less significant.
- to leave the world in a better condition than when you came into it
We live to make a difference. Do we make lasting impact to others? Do we make a difference in people’s life? It doesn’t have to be something complex. Even a smile can brighten someone else’s day.
I believe we can learn a lot from these phrases.
What about you? Which meanings do you find useful? Or maybe you have your own? Feel free to share them in the comments.
Image courtesy of Lanier67.