Sunday, February 23, 2014

Purpose of Life : In Search of Happiness and Meaning to Life - Is that all What We Need/Want ?

I have read and thought about this topic profoundly  and the patterns I found could be  summarized into two

  1.  "Happiness" and 
  2.  "Meaning" for  Life

Happiness is an emotion. You have a need and when it is satisfied you are happy.  You are hungry, you eat, you feel satisfied/happy, you are exhausted, you sleep, you are happy. Human beings have needs/wants - they are satisfied and they are happy

 Happiness in the modern days could be mostly after material progress and on external (tangible stuff) or  occasionally through intangible feelings for that special someone who Completes You.  Either way it is an emotion which follows the law of impermanence which means it won't last forever.

So you adapt your brain and heart to deal with it  but "Meaning" on the other hand is something bigger than yourself.

Simply put while happiness could be taking, meaning is giving.  When you give/and are looking for something above and beyond you, that gives meaning for your life.

 I really like some of the examples in  the book "Man's search for meaning" by Victor Frankl where he mentions about how unhappy and painful a mother in labor is but it is the most meaningful thing for her life, giving birth to the baby.

As such Victor interviews people in the holocaust camp who don't know when they would die

one of the scientist says all he wants his research work to be published and that will bring meaning to his life

Another father says, if he can meet his son once before he dies that will bring meaning and purpose to his life and he hopes to meet him one day.

Victor Frankl mentions it is important to find meaning for life.

So did I find the meaning of my life ? Did you ?