What is our purpose?
Why are we here on this earth?
What is the point of all of this?
Award-Winning & #1 Best-Selling Author of “Habits For Success – Inspired Ideas to Help You Soar” | Coach | Creative | TEDx Speaker | Radio Personality | Actor | 4x Ironman Triathlete
I think one of the major points of life is to continue to learn and grow.
Life is constantly flowing and evolving around us. I feel we should be doing the same. We aren’t meant to be stagnant. Life is so much richer when we continue to grow, mature, and have new experiences.
I know it isn’t always easy, but that’s what makes it so fulfilling; to continue to test ourselves and see the world with new eyes. And I think the ultimate test of going through the self-growth process is to truly learn how to love and accept ourselves.
I have always said, “Love yourself and everything else will fall into place.” I really believe this. And from my own self-growth process and journey I have witnessed this to be true. When I could get to the point of truly being alright with who I was, and I mean really loving myself warts, flaws and all and being ok with what I had to work with, it seemed like so many previous issues I had struggled with just seemed to ease away.
Relationships became easier because I was coming from a place of bringing the “real” me, not the person that I thought someone wanted me to be. I wasn’t looking for someone to fill my voids anymore.
There is such a ripple effect when we can get to that place of truly loving ourselves. For example, not only are we much happier people, but our work also becomes more confident, authentic and honed because we don’t have to waste a lot of time or energy hiding our real selves.
There is a huge weight lifted off of our shoulders when we can sit comfortably in our own skin. So, by learning to accept ourselves we, in turn, are better able to love and accept others. I honestly don’t know of a more rewarding point of life.
Clinical Psychologist | Author | Yoga Instructor | Coach
This is a question I have returned to frequently over the years. The meaning of life at this phase seems to be quite simple: act as if life is your lover.
Flirt with everything that comes into your day. This includes the triumphs, mishaps, coincidences, and monotonous pieces. Get excited and dress up for the occasion to greet your lover once more each morning. Act like every day is your last.
Squeeze in stolen kisses from the sun. Offer gratitude for each smile and kind act given by loved ones or strangers. Lure in the world with offering the best of yourself to every being in front of you. Relish in golden moments that are made available every day. When we learn to view life as our lover, the world will begin to reciprocate.
Related: How to Live a Meaningful Life?
Author | Board-Certified Internist
As Eleanor Roosevelt so aptly put it, “the purpose of life, is to live it!”
My suspicion is that life has no meaning, except that which we give it.
So choose to give events a meaning that serves you. The simple way to tell if something is serving you is by whether it feels good. I find that if something doesn’t feel good, I usually have a false belief about it.
For me, the purpose of life is an opportunity to create the most glorious experience of who I am that I can envision. This tends to involve service to others. Of course, when I get there, I find that there is a whole other larger vision that arises.
For me, that vision has been making effective treatment available for the over 50 million people suffering from fibromyalgia worldwide, along with making effective pain relief available to everybody. My research, patient care, and writing are fulfilling this vision. In fulfilling visions, I use how things feel to guide the direction. And then use my mind to help create what I’m choosing.
Professional Aerialist | TEDx Speaker | Inspirational Speaker
In this life, we have many pursuits. I believe it is the journey to the goal that creates an experience, and with experience, you gain knowledge. From knowledge and years of experience, there is a reflection.
In your time of reflection you have two choices; to be grateful for your life no matter what it be and where your life experiences have led you OR to negatively frown upon the life that you have so far lived.
The point of life is simply nothing more than “your” opinion of yourself and or your spiritual beliefs.
I also believe that the “here and now” is not all there is. I believe that we all have a purpose as long as we draw breath and it is up to the individual to decide or search for what that purpose is. We have many choices in this life. One is how we view our life regardless of circumstances.
Allen Klein, MA, CSP
Author, Embracing Life After Loss |
World’s only Jollytologist® | Speaker | TED Presenter
For me, there are two reasons we are alive.
The first is to enjoy ourselves. Nowhere does it say that life needs to be serious nor does it say that life should be joyful. But since we are only here for a relatively short time, it doesn’t make sense to be morose all the time.
The second is to help others so that they may enjoy themselves too. That help can come in many forms such as financial, friendship, acknowledgment, love, caring, etc. The important thing is that we give to others because the paradox is that the more joy we give to others the more we will find it in ourselves.
Media Professor, University of Florida
From the beginning, mankind has questioned the purpose of existence. Why are we here? What’s the meaning of life? Countless books have been written on the subject, countless religious leaders have attempted to provide an answer, and everyone at some point has asked themselves this same question. There is no one answer. There is no one universal purpose.
We each are here for something different and sadly most people never realize their purpose or potential. We question the meaning of life because we presume there is a sole purpose and there is something we should achieve during our time here, but question what it is.
I would like to think that purpose, for each of us, is to make our mark and make the world a better place.
I don’t mean in some mysterious way but in very real and very basic ways.
Although it may sound cliché, the point of life is love. To love what you do, love who you are with, love your family and friends and love getting up each day to enjoy life with those you love doing what you love.
On our death bed, we will all have regrets, but the biggest will be wasting our life. We waste our lives when we are not doing what we love and not spending time with who we love.
As a professor, this is something I discuss with students at different times, either in a lecture or during office hours. We shouldn’t be with someone unless we love them. We shouldn’t pursue a career unless we love it. And we shouldn’t live a life we don’t love when we can so often decide to change that life.
Doing what you love won’t always have to be fun, neither will spending time with the people you love, but when you pursue other activities for money, fame, glory, or because you think it is what you are supposed to do or what you are told you should do, you won’t love it, and you will only regret those decisions later.
So to me, the purpose of life is love. Love what you do, and you’ll never work a day in your life. Love the one you’re with. And live, laugh, love, because you only get one chance, and you are the one to decide if you will waste it.
Author | Founder, Center for Loving Studies
The point of life is to discover our purpose and spend our lives pursuing the achievement of our purpose time and time again.
But what is my purpose? How do I know what my individual purpose is? Why is it so difficult to discover our purpose?
There undoubtedly are no shortages of problems in life. There is no shortage of people whom we could assist, inspire, and comfort. We each have numerous passions that we could pursue. Nonetheless, many people feel their life’s purpose is undefined.
Before we know it, we’re in the workforce doing the nine-to-five thing and find our jobs are less than fulfilling. Life happens and our responsibilities accumulate without us really ever having an opportunity to explore the thousands of ways we could make a difference in the world. And while we may or may not have great jobs, what we actually want is a deeply emotional and meaningful connection to our work.
That’s where your purpose comes in. A purpose doesn’t equate to a career. Your purpose isn’t to be a doctor. Your purpose isn’t to be a parent. These are the means by which you accomplish your purpose.
In application, your purpose will be achieved through every aspect of life regardless of your career choice or where you call home. A purpose transcends all phases of life and provides us with direction to find success and happiness throughout life.
Our purpose is the vehicle by which community forms. Whereas any given person may not identify with your individual hopes and dreams, the purpose is something everyone can identify with and support.
It is through this shared purpose that our goals become realized and accomplished. Unlike selfish dreams of accumulating wealth for ourselves at the expense of others, a life lived in purpose brings success and happiness into both our life and others too.
Co-Founder & Editor, Destination: Wildlife
I have been searching for that answer for decades and as I enter the sixth decade of my life. I have come to understand that the point of life is in the very smallest acts, the acts that go mostly unnoticed, touching only one or two people – silently.
At eleven, I thought the point of life was to enlighten others by sharing adventures and deep thoughts about the world. I would accomplish this by writing great semi-autobiographical novels, because at twelve I had the answers, expected the experiences, and, if I had thought about it at all, fully assumed that the time, talent, financial where-with-all, as well as further enlightened ideas were all a given.
By my late teens and early 20’s the point of enlightening the world had given way to personally saving the world’s (as in “my world as I knew it then) children. I would use my past experiences in a not-so-functional, mixed religious house with physically and emotionally absent parents and turn those fraught years into hope for millions of other kids like us.
Generations would benefit from my work. I left home and started a business to pay for my professional education. In the competition for my real-life resources, a new husband and the business won over formal education.
In my thirties, I had found my life’s real mission. I was living abroad in a country recovering from 50-years of communism. The businesses I’d started there (number two and three) were building blocks helping to create a modern society. My mission and point in life (along with importing natural skin care products) was to give hope and opportunity to recently “freed” people.
Far away from a husband that I knew had been a mistake, I stayed 9 years, standing in lines, dodging hoodlums and corrupt bureaucrats, watching new corruption replace the old, but still confident I was part of history. I was unshakable in the belief that I personally was integral in helping to create a unique and better world. And then, one day my friend told me, “No, you are here because you don’t want to face there.” I left, older and wiser, to divorce my husband and find my real point.
In my forties, back in the States, amicably divorced and with a thriving new design business (number four), my parents suddenly got sick; the first one then the other. I helped care for them and make them comfortable as they prepared to enter their new dimension. Was that the point? To be the final caretaker for the parents who gave you life? Early in my fifth decade, found myself standing in an empty room, in a city of 8-million people, searching once more for the point.
I remarried, started yet another business, and one summer day got a call from a hospital in a near-by state. That first, ex-husband, had had a stroke. I, as his only relative, would either decide to walk away – or become his caretaker. I did not walk.
That did not stop me from starting yet another business (number 5) – this time we, my new husband and I, would save the world through responsible tourism. We would impact climate change by preserving habitat and shrinking the carbon footprint of travel.
We would lift up the impoverished by creating sustainable tourism industries in remote destinations, save endangered species by turning them into economic mechanisms for local communities and foster world peace by celebrating cultural diversity and mutual understand between travelers and hosts.
Sixty is a startling age. One day you wake up and realize without a doubt that you are not going to be personally responsible for the world-wide change, you not even going to get to witness the progress of another 50 years. Perhaps you take stock. I did. What is the point of it all?
And then on a bright morning in not-quite-spring, you are standing impatiently at a busy intersection waiting for the light to change. City buses, taxis, and cars whizz by nose-to-tail, but it is the maniac bike riders that you watch for, they are difficult to spot, appearing from nowhere. They speed by, hugging the curb without regard to traffic rules – or pedestrians.
A frail old man is at the edge of the sidewalk, too. His body is tense but determined. Bent over, his knarled, discolored hands grip the sides of the walker, he stares at the light on the far side. The street is vast, the width of three cars. Traffic lights change quickly in the city. You take a breath, ready to run to your next meeting. Then hesitate.
The old man starts off, gingerly sliding the walker down the accessible curb’s 18-inches slope. Immediately, from the main street, a line of vehicles turns into the crosswalk in front of you. The man takes a step forward moving 6-inches onto the road. Then another six inches closer to the in-turning cars.
One driver sees him and stops, blocking the line behind him. And you stop too, squashing down the urge to race across while you have the light. You breathe, and standing on his right, between him and the turning cars, you adjust your pace. Six inches by six inches by six inches, walker and old man and you slowly progress. Together. Without a word.
On the other side, the sloping curb is like a mountain. The man pushes on, and finally, reaching the flat safety of the sidewalk, he stops. The old man looks at me for the first time. He is smiling the smile of a teenager, bright and full, his eyes sparkle. “Were you my guardian angel?” He asks in a strong, clear voice with just a hint of mischief. “I guess so,” I smile back. “Well, thank you,” he says, “thank you very much. I will be fine now.”
From about 25 feet ahead I turned back, pushing on, he was still smiling to himself.
The point of life is not the “significant” accomplishments, although they are worth the fight.
I understand today, that the point of life is not the “wisdom” you impart. For me, life’s meaning, its point, is reflected in the eyes of a lonely child, or an old man when they realize that have been seen. The point is not the number of jobs created through “brilliance” and “daring,” but the difference made in one person who suddenly realizes that he or she is trusted to do the job.
It is not the multi-figure checks written to charities, but the look on the face of the stranger whose meal you paid for anonymously. It is not the applause for a “life-well-lived” and accomplishments well acknowledged, it is the face of the raggedy lady when you smiled good morning to her. The point is in the difference you make for one person when you stop long enough to hear their story, even if it is a little disjointed.
The point in life is the intimate connection that happens unexpectedly, between loved ones or strangers, sometimes lasting only a second, it is the moment when the invisible is seen. It is the mighty roar of a single gentle, unplanned, unheralded, mostly unseen, many times unacknowledged kindness. That is what changes the world. That is the point of life.
Writer | Producer | Director
The point of life is to have fun and enjoy the journey.
I used to take myself pretty seriously. In point of fact, my twenty-year-old self seemed to think he had the world all figured out. As I’ve gotten older I’ve come to realize that the rat race isn’t just bad for your health. It’s a black hole of hysteria.
Re-connecting with your inner child is the perfect antidote to the rat race. For most of us, our inner child is buried deep inside, banished to the darkness for the benefit of others. This inner child doesn’t have time for social mores. It wants to have fun, to daydream and finger paint all afternoon.
While we can silence its cries intermittently, we can never rid ourselves of it altogether. Like it or not, this inner child is a part of us and offers us so much more than creative fulfillment. It promises to reconnect us with our truest selves and offers us a healthier outlook on life.
For so many of us, we go through life ticking off boxes that say nothing about us. The miniature versions of you never had this problem. They were only too happy to make time for activities that left them feeling truly content.
Having the confidence to drown out the white noise in search of our unique frequency offers us a whole new way of looking at life. We strip away extraneous activities, replacing them with choices that leave us feeling nourished.
Such a simple act helps us to be a better partner, parent, and friend to our community. We start to really listen to our loved ones, to cherish their company while finding novel ways to show them how much we care. Most importantly we learn to breath easier by savoring the little things.
A truly ‘successful’ life has nothing to do with keeping up with the Jones’. It’s about living life with no regrets.
Coach | Runner |
Author, Depression Hates a Moving Target: How Running With My Dog Brought Me Back From the Brink
When I was younger, I thought the point of life was to be secure. College. A good job. The right partner and the right house in the right neighborhood. I had those things and, from the outside, it looked as if I had found security.
But life often has other plans. A major depressive episode left me unable to practice law, the profession I thought would keep me safe. It threatened my relationships and forced me to rethink everything.
Decades later, my view is drastically different. Now, the point of my life is to be of service to others. I’m not talking about giving until it hurts or putting everyone else’s needs ahead of my own, but sharing my experience, offering support, and being kind. There is no greater joy.
I am a seasoned runner. In our pace group, I greet the newcomer, answer questions, offer encouragement. I tell the new people what I do and how I deal with the challenges.
I teach and coach writers. In my classes, I offer the same type of support. If someone wants to know where to start, I tell them where I began. If they want to know how to get published, I share my great adventure of finding homes for my work.
And I write. My memoir, Depression Hates a Moving Target: How Running with My Dog Brought Me Back from the Brink, serves as my attempt to help others deal with depression and anxiety through exercise.
Nothing pleases me more than when someone tells me they tried and succeeded at something new because of my example or something I said. For me, that’s the point.
Founder & CEO, Mavens & Moguls
The point of life is to find your gifts and then share them with the world.
I started a global branding and marketing firm 18 years ago. I believe everyone has special talents and skills that can improve the lives of others. Figuring out what brings you joy and being grateful and appreciative for what you can do to to make the world a better place gives your life meaning and purpose.
There are so many ways to contribute and give back that enrich your life by helping others. I find the more you give the more you get.
The point of life is to do your best with the time that is given to you.
We’ve been given the gift if life, meaning we have the opportunity to make the best of our respective situations. There is no one path you should take, but the path you do take should involve making the best of your situation.
I like this approach because it’s applicable to everyone, and it gives a chance to people who are facing existential or otherwise dire circumstances. The point of life does not simply disappear if you’re going through troubled waters.
As long as you have this value – the one that states your prerogative is to do your best, regardless of what’s been given to you – it gives you the freedom and motivation to march forward despite the hardships in front of you. You just have to keep moving.
Harvard-Educated Author, Searching for God in the Garbage
When I was 22, I learned the point of life from a great rabbi in Jerusalem. I had been searching for about 10 years by then to find out the point of life. And this rabbi’s answer was not at all what I expected.
Rabbi Noah Weinberg explained that the point of life is to experience the greatest pleasure possible! And what gives us the greatest pleasure possible? Spiritual pleasures!
I learned that the emptiness I felt inside that no amount of food could ever fill, was really craving for spiritual nourishment, and when we provide ourselves with the nourishment that our souls are craving, the big bag of potato chips suddenly stops calling our names so loudly.
Widespread addictions are messaging us. There is a spiritual basis to addictions, and when we recognize that we are souls in need of spiritual sustenance to thrive, then we begin to get what we are here for and how to live joyful lives.
We can fill our souls by spending time appreciating nature, reaching out to those who are lonelier than we are, focusing on being grateful – or whatever works. But as we fill our lives with more and more lasting pleasure, the point of life becomes abundantly clear.
Confidence Coach | Speaker | Author
A mentor once told me that if you give a man a fish he eats for a day. If you teach him how to fish he eats for a lifetime, but if you teach him how to teach others to fish you solve world hunger.
For me, this is the point of life. We are here to discover our superpowers, who we truly are, and then be that person unapologetically.
Easy to say, much harder to do, but immensely empowering when we can embrace and truly own all of our traits—the good, the bad, the ugly, and the awesome.
And when we do that and live by following our hearts we operate from an authentic, unfiltered space and are able to share our superpowers with the world, our version of teaching a man how to teach others to fish.
The point of life is twofold, first, is to discover yourself, second, is to improve yourself for a better life.
Throughout history, many philosophers and writers said that hell is not in some other world, hell is on this planet, in our world. With all the miseries, illnesses and misfortunes people encounter on this planet, many will agree with this statement.
Evidently, we ended in this world because we have not been very good in our previous lives, worlds, experiences. It’s possible to find, through self-discovery, what was “not so good” about us, improve it with self-improvement and never return to a world like ours again.
Self-discovery is the journey of a lifetime. It can happen spontaneously but you should also work on it. For example, many things in which I thought I was good, I was not that good.
Sometimes, I mistook rudeness for being straightforward. I could not communicate my needs and expected people to “guess” what I did not like or needed, and I even did not notice it. Now, I am working on it. I am sure there will be more self-discoveries like this for me in the future. I am trying to improve myself, failing, then trying again.
It’s very difficult because if we do something right or improve something about ourselves, we expect something in return. But nothing will be given to us in return. There will be no prizes. No one will notice, and if they do, they would be condescending, dismissive or would sabotage what you are doing. Sometimes, it will leave you frustrated – what’s the point of being “good” or working to be good and without any gratification?
The point is to never come back to the world like ours, but to some better place, fairer, with better people, one of whom will be you, without wars, diseases and so on. Also, if you fail or get tired of it, the main thing is to start again, because starting again is easier than to start for the very first time.
So, this is the point of life – to discover yourself and to improve yourself, so your next life/world will be better than this one.
Meditation Coach | Yoga Instructor, Splendid Yoga
Buddhism breaks down the point of life thusly: we are here to learn loving kindness, appreciative joy, infinite compassion, and to want this peace for all living beings.
It’s not so different from the golden rule that encompasses most religions: be kind to each other, as you would be kind to yourself.
To simplify it further, there is only one reason we are all here, and that is to help each other. The point of life is to develop the understanding of the universal truth that we are all energetically connected; that we are all the same; that if one of us is suffering, then all of us are suffering. Once you accept that truth, you are free.
We use that truth to build compassion, and we use that compassion to fuel our appreciation for our current circumstances, and we use that appreciative joy to fuel the motivation to make the world a more loving, kinder place to live.
Business & Lifestyle Coach
The point of life is to uncover the mystery of what our purpose is, to seek it fully by discovering the intersection where our talents and passions come together, and to unapologetically pursue that purpose; to dust off our mistakes, embrace the journey and truly enjoy the people we’re blessed to have alongside us for the ride.
Manager & Frontman, Aqua Seca Band
The point of life is a difficult question to answer. To sit here and think that I actually have the final answer would be ridiculous. However, I would like to think that the way I live my life would show some meaning to that answer.
When I ask myself what the point of life is, I often find that the answer is “to dedicate myself to meaningful work and relationships.”
Not a very detailed answer, but at the end of the day, what do I value most? My work and my relationships. And every day I am trying to make both of those things better. I am investing my time into each of those things so that way tomorrow they can be even better.
Take somebody who does not have meaningful work: he is more likely to engage in vices to subdue his agony, which is more likely to negatively impact his relationships, and hence his life will suffer as a result.
The other side of this coin though is the so-called “Goal of Happiness”. Happiness is not the point of life. Life is meant to have its ups and downs, that way when you are down, you have something to look forward to when you eventually come back up. And the best way for me to come back up, as stated before, is to fully dedicate myself to my relationships and my work.
Because at the end of the day, that is all that matters to me.
A purposeful life is not numbered by days, but rather is a story worth telling.
Professional Travel Blogger, The Rolling Pack
The point of life is to experience love in all its forms, and the most important way to experience love is through self-love.
When you love yourself fully then it becomes easy to express love to everyone you encounter- relatives, friends, and strangers alike.
True self-love makes decision making easier because when you love yourself you also trust yourself. It allows you to approach an adversary with empathy rather than anger.
Self-love makes it easier to take healthy risks that will enrich your life. When you love yourself you have faith in your ability to get through even the most difficult circumstances, and that faith in yourself can lead you down very unique and beautiful paths.
Self-love is important as it helps you to cultivate healthy, fulfilling relationships with romantic partners and friends, because when you love yourself you will only grow close to people who also love you.
When you love yourself fully life falls into place, and you will find yourself experiencing love in so many different forms. Love is the point of life, but you must start with loving yourself.
Award-Winning Author | President, GoTracee Publishing, LLC
Contained in every soul is a life’s path. The spiritual energy patterns that offer the dynamic obstacles, and the blueprints to their resolution–in one package.
The point of life is for each individual to absolutely, under-all-circumstances, be themselves. Find their own righteousness and cultivate a deeper relationship with themselves and the world in which they live.
It gives a slightly shifted concept of destiny, where you are no longer relegated to specific karmic events, but as you follow your specific path, always opening and expanding your mind, heart, and integrity–your destiny expands into multiple options and opportunities for you to be yourself and fulfill your life’s purpose. Getting to know the individual imprints of your soul is the fun part.
The point of life is to be able to lay your head down on your pillow at the end of the day knowing you spent your hours awake being the most loving person possible.
When your purpose in life is keeping the love tank of others full, nothing else seems nearly as important.