“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.” Albert Schweitzer
“What is the meaning of life?” – To realize one’s potential and ideals
To chase dreams.
To live one’s dreams.
To spend it for something that will outlast it.
To matter: to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.
To expand one’s potential in life.
To become the person you’ve always wanted to be.
To become the best version of yourself.
To seek happiness and flourish.
To be a true authentic human being.
To be able to put the whole of oneself into one’s feelings, one’s work, one’s beliefs.
To follow or submit to our destiny.
To achieve eudaimonia, a flourishing of human spirit. All in this seriesvia Wikipedia
“What is the meaning of life?” – To achieve biological perfection
To survive, that is, to live as long as possible, including pursuit of immortality (through scientific means).
To live forever or die trying.
To adapt. Often to improve one’s chances of success in another purpose; sometimes, as a purpose in itself (adapting to adapt).
To replicate, to reproduce. “The ‘dream’ of every cell is to become two cells.”
Meaning of Life: At different points in our lives, we ask ourselves a series of questions: What is my PURPOSE? What is the meaning of life? Why am I here and experiencing XYX? Like an actor who must define what motivates the character he/she is playing on stage or in a movie, we ask ourselves these questions to make sense of the cumulative events in our lives. The great philosophers, many of whom I studied in my college years, pondered the same questions and tackled them by coming up with a wide range of answers. Whether we considered Aristotle’s Four/Final Cause, Kant’s Categorical Imperative, Plato’s Theory of forms, Stoicism, Enlightenment Philosophy or any of the many religious, scientific, and philosophical discourses on the subject by thinkers over the years, it boils down to a simple question: Why am I here? If we listen to the Sages of old and Schweitzer above, it is to SERVE. What motivates us and our intention to behave a certain way on our path to service is not linear, nor is it the same for everyone. As our lives unfold, we experience hills and valleys and each one provides moments of contemplation on what to do next. We reach a point in life where we might feel the end of the road is near and some of us stop and steep ourselves in contemplation or what others around us view as the mundane. At what point do we feel compelled to be present and not fixate on our “purpose”?
A Story: The Wooden Coffin
A farmer got so old that he couldn’t work the fields anymore. So he would spend the day just sitting on the porch. His son, still working the farm, would look up from time to time and see his father sitting there. “He’s of no use any more,” the son thought to himself, “he doesn’t do anything!” One day the son got so frustrated by this, that he built a wood coffin, dragged it over to the porch, and told his father to get in. Without saying anything, the father climbed inside. After closing the lid, the son dragged the coffin to the edge of the farm where there was a high cliff. As he approached the drop, he heard a light tapping on the lid from inside the coffin. He opened it up. Still lying there peacefully, the father looked up at his son. “I know you are going to throw me over the cliff, but before you do, may I suggest something?” “What is it?” replied the son. “Throw me over the cliff, if you like,” said the father, “but save this good wood coffin. Your children might need to use it.” This and other stories via: Read.Goodweb,
“There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.” Napoleon Hill
“What is the meaning of life?” – To seek wisdom and knowledge
To expand one’s perception of the world.
To follow the clues and walk out the exit.
To learn as many things as possible in life.
To know as much as possible about as many things as possible.
To seek wisdom and knowledge and to tame the mind, as to avoid suffering caused by ignorance and find happiness.
To face our fears and accept the lessons life offers us.
To find the meaning or purpose of life.
To find a reason to live.
To resolve the imbalance of the mind by understanding the nature of reality.
“What is the meaning of life?” – To do good, to do the right thing
To leave the world as a better place than you found it.
To do your best to leave every situation better than you found it.
To benefit others.
To give more than you take.
To end suffering.
To create equality.
To challenge oppression.
To distribute wealth.
To be generous.
To contribute to the well-being and spirit of others.
To help others, to help one another.
To take every chance to help another while on your journey here.
To be creative and innovative.
To accept and forgive human flaws.
To be emotionally sincere.
To be responsible.
To be honorable.
To seek peace.
To do and be good
Purpose of Life: As I worked on this post, what became clear is the fact that when we are presented with a series of questions about the value of life and its ultimate purpose, we come to our answers from different pathways. Our upbringing, environment, beliefs, and experiences inform our overall attitude and responses to the questions. The point of our purpose on this planet could range from the most practical, to the esoteric, and even to a strong belief in nihilism; we live, we die and that’s it. But, whether we spend any time thinking about it or not, it behooves us to consider what drives us to act on a daily basis. Does that drive change? Does it seem pointless at times? No matter our belief system, one thing remains constant: we live, we act, we die and what we are doing while all these markers are lined up in our lives is our purpose. Or perhaps, as many a great Sage has advised, life is about mastery over our fear of death. As I read through the answers given on the meaning of life (see block-quotes above and below), I was struck at the range and simple, yet, meaningful answers that people gave. Even those who felt it had not meaning, held a perspective that was rational and fair. If there is no point in life, then why do we agonize over situations and the outcomes of our actions? Perhaps anticipating the results and seeing the fruit of our labor makes it all the more special…? Perhaps it is about gaining mastery over our collective fear of death?
A Story: Mastery Over The Fear Of Death
Tajima no Kami was fencing master to the Shogun. One of the Shogun’s bodyguards came to him one day asking to be trained in swordsmanship. “I have watched you carefully,” said Tajima no Kami, “and you seem to be a master in the art yourself.
Before taking you on as a pupil, I request you to tell me what master you studied under.” The bodyguard replied, “I have never studied the art under anyone.”
“You cannot fool me,” said the teacher. “I have a discerning eye and it never fails.”
“I do not mean to contradict your excellency,” said the guard, “but I really do not know a thing about
The teacher engaged the man in swordplay for a few minutes then stopped and said, “Since you say you have never learned the art, I take your word for it. But you are some kind of master. Tell me about yourself.”
“There is one thing,” said the guard. “When I was a child I was told by a samurai that a man should never fear death. I therefore faced the question of death till it ceased to cause me the slightest anxiety.”
“So that’s what it is,” said Tajima no Kami. “The ultimate secret of swordsmanship lies in being free from the fear of death. You need no training. You are a master in your own right.”
The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for July and August are:
07/06 – FREEDOM
07/13 – WORRY
07/20 – WEALTH
07/27 – GRACE
08/03 – TIME
08/10 – CONTROL
08/17 – PURPOSE
08/24 – FAILURE
08/31 – HOPE
“What is the meaning of life?” – To have power, to be better
To strive for power and superiority.
To rule the world.
To know and master the world.
To know and master nature.
“What is the meaning of life?” – To love, to feel, to enjoy the act of living
To love more.
To love those who mean the most. Every life you touch will touch you back.
To treasure every enjoyable sensation one has.
To seek beauty in all its forms.
To have fun or enjoy life.
To seek pleasure and avoid pain.
To be compassionate.
To be moved by the tears and pain of others, and try to help them out of love and compassion.
To love others as best we possibly can.
To eat, drink, and be merry.
“When you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible.” Howard Schultz
“What is the meaning of life?” – Life has no meaning
Life or human existence has no real meaning or purpose because human existence occurred out of a random chance in nature, and anything that exists by chance has no intended purpose.
Life has no meaning, but as humans we try to associate a meaning or purpose so we can justify our existence.
There is no point in life, and that is exactly what makes it so special.
“What is the meaning of life?” – One should not seek to know and understand the meaning of life
The answer to the meaning of life is too profound to be known and understood.
You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.
The meaning of life is to forget about the search for the meaning of life.
Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.
“What is the meaning of life?” – Life is bad
Better never to have been.
What is YOUR Purpose? In the scheme of things, it can be anything that we discern for our lives. Some of us have very grand ideas about our purpose, while others have very conservative ideas or none whatsoever. Personally, I believe that our purpose in life is to be of service to humanity; by that I mean we are here to perform our actions with gratitude, focus, and a sense of responsibility to the rest of our community. I believe we are here to grow in spirit and overcome our fear of failure, death and even success. We are here to learn about life and its many gifts and limitations. How we go about it is entirely up to us. What are your thoughts? More responses on the subject below.
A Story: Slay The Dragon In Your Mind
There was once a huge dragon in China who went from village to village killing cattle and dogs and chicken and people indiscriminately. So the villagers called upon a wizard to help them in their distress. The wizard said, “I cannot slay the dragon myself, for magician though I am, I am too afraid. But I shall find you the one who will.”
With that he transformed himself into a dragon and took up position on a bridge so everyone who did not know it was the wizard was afraid to pass. One day, however, a traveler came up to the bridge, calmly climbed over the dragon, and walked on.
The wizard promptly took on human shape again and called to the person, “Come back, my friend – I have been standing here for weeks waiting for you!”
“What is the meaning of life?” – Meanings relating to religion
To worship God and enter heaven in afterlife.
To reach the highest heaven and be at the heart of the Divine.
To have a pure soul and experience God.
To understand the mystery of God.
To know or attain union with God.
To know oneself, know others, and know the will of heaven.
To love something bigger, greater, and beyond ourselves, something we did not create or have the power to create, something intangible and made holy by our very belief in it.
To love God and all of his creations.
To glorify God by enjoying him forever.
To go and make new disciples of Jesus Christ.
To act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.
To be fruitful and multiply. (Genesis 1:28)
To obtain freedom. (Romans 8:20-21)
To fill the Earth and subdue it. (Genesis 1:28)
To serve mankind, to prepare to meet  and become more like God, to choose good over evil, and have joy
Positive Motivation Tip: Our purpose in life is to serve humanity. How we go about it is up to us.
Motivation Mondays is open to anyone who wishes to share a motivational quote, photo, personal challenge or a post that encourages others to start the week on an upbeat note.
Basic Instructions: Each week, I will have a motivation word to help us create a response. (See listed words for the months above/below)
Email address: You may email or share your post as a comment and I will add it to the round-up of related posts. email it to: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com
Category tag: – Share your post using Motivation Mondays
Twitter hashtag: – Use this on Twitter #MotvnM
Dedicated Page: There is a dedicated page for Motivation Mondays. It has the same instructions and will include other helpful tools and a link to the round-up
Facebook Page: MotivationOnMondays Join our page and add your post and/or any motivational piece you think will be helpful to others.
Facebook Community: We have a Facebook community forum to compliment the page. It serves as another way to share uplifting posts and thoughts. Please join in and add your voice.
Badge: – I created a fun badge using PicMonkey’s free photo editing tools. You can create your own, use WordPress’ integrated tool on your blog or you are welcome to use mine. (see dedicated page)
Tag: – Motivation Mondays
Hashtag: – #MotvnM
- Motivation Mondays: CONTROL (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: TIME (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: GRACE (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: WEALTH (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: WORRY (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: FREEDOM (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: TRUST (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: DETERMINATION (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: SACRIFICE (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: POSSIBILITIES (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: SIMPLICITY (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Honoring SERVICE (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: WHAT’S A WELLNESS, FITNESS, HEALTHY LIFESTYLE? (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: HAPPINESS (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: APPRECIATION (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: MINDFULNESS (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: GROWTH (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: MISTAKES (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: PERFECTION (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: STRENGTH (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: HEALTH (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Responsibility (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Patience Is A Virtue (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: READ – Honoring Dr.Seuss (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: CELEBRATION (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Presidents Day & Leadership (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: LOVE (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: ATTITUDE (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Comfort Zone (mirthandmotivation.com)
- Motivation Mondays: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Most Inspired Quotes(mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Perspective (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: SILENCE (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Regrets (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Joy! (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Compassion (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: The Busy Busy Trap (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Forgiveness (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Acceptance (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: GRATITUDE (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Forgiveness (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Courage (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: Dream (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: CHANGE (mirthandmotivation)
- Motivation Mondays: (mirthandmotivation)
- RIP Zig Ziglar: King of Motivation… (mirthandmotivation)
- Reflections: Be The Change… (mirthandmotivation)
PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: Zen Stories via Read.Goodweb, All Photos: Gauguin – Where do we come from?, Rembrandt, Hieronymous Bosch, Sanzio 01 Plato Aristotle, MARTIN John Great Day of His Wrath, The Scream, Humanism, Golden Aum, Dharma Wheel,Khanda, Yin Yang, Shinto torii, All Is Vanity, via Wikipedia and Others from my Personal Collection.