Monday, April 30, 2007

What is the point?

I'm going to get right to the point today. What is the point of life? Also, who cares? It's easy to answer that second question; I care. Here I am trying to make my life better and more efficient, and it's pretty clear from where I sit that if I don't put some thought into what that means I could spend valuable time or money going down the wrong path. I know lots of people who put energy into something that turned out to make them depressed instead of happy, and I don't want to go there! I'm trying to optimize or even automate some parts of my life, but what parts?

I read about a guy whose girlfriend said that she always wanted flowers, so he spent $20,000 on a lifetime subscription to monthly flowers for her.
That's automation, but it misses the point by more than a little! And what an expensive mistake! I don't want to automate the fun parts like surprising someone with flowers.

If you want to be really overwhelmed by the question of the purpose of life, read this Wiki arti
cle. The easy answers are "to live and love" or "to make a difference." And of course there are different Christian or Jewish ideas: The Golden Rule, or "Relationship with Christ." Islam has "To Worship God." Those are a bit boring compared to "to make myself into a Work of Art." Like a tragic play? or what about "The Scream?" I can see getting to the end of my life and saying "I did it! I achieved my dream of illustrating just how miserable a wretch a life can be." It doesn't fit the mold but if that is what someone wants to do, can I really argue that they shouldn't? Think Oscar The Grouch.

"The meaning of life" is one of those things that you can't really pin down because if you say that it HAS to be this plan or that plan, you will have someone who tries your plan and then regrets it at the end of life. I've known people who tried "love everyone" and felt they gave too much (me!). But here are some guidelines that I go by:
  1. Learn a LOT. This will help you make quality decisions about what can be done. Learn lots of subjects, but also learn skills. Most importantly, learn how people work. How do emotions work to create people?
  2. Understand yourself. If you know your own capabilities and limits you can have confidence. Know how you react emotionally. With 1 and 2 you can see what COULD be done and what you could do. This way you will make the best choice possible.
  3. Using 1 and 2, choose your dream. Really choose; don't just do what you think you are supposed to do or you will regret it rather than relax into it. You can change your mind whenever you want to, but do so decisively. Don't wait for fate.
  4. Go toward your dream. You can change it, but don't give up. And while you are going, don't lose track of how you can fit into the dreams of others. Think of your dream-life as a thread from your birth to your death; a thread that weaves into the dreams of others as you connect with them. What will be your part in the tapestry of dreams?
That's it. That is, so far, how I guide my life. It has issues though. For one thing, it has a really masculine feel. That is fine for me, but I'm sure not for everyone. I'll say more on that soon.




Anna said...

Jesus not a ghost, is the meaning of our life and worshiping God isn't just for Muslims.

Vida said...

You write very well.