One of the biggest questions I ask myself is ‘what is the meaning of life?’. Why exactly are we here? What is it that makes us live a fulfilling life and is not scared of dying anymore? Maybe that is the biggest question. ‘What in life makes dying less scary?’ The Buddha always said that you should not think, but if you must think, you should think of the moment you will die. Only that will help you make the right choice. Of course, I ain’t the only one thinking and looking for this meaning of life. Many spiritual, political, psychological, and human leaders have talked about the meaning of life. For some, the meaning is to leave the world better than it was before. For others, it is living a life full of their deepest desires. There are so many different ways people look at the meaning of life. But is there one single meaning of life?
I don’t know really. I can only guess, but I am as clueless as a dog with a blanket over his head. Waiting for the blanket to be lifted off. As a side note, this is a highly fun thing to do and a great test to see if your dog is actually smart. Because if he is, he will throw off the blanket almost instantly. But that’s not the point here. The point is that I a blinded and don’t know how to lift the blanket to see for certain. It’s this unknowing that actually drives me. It lights me up. This drive to find meaning in life has not brought me any closer. Yet I believe I have found it.
I’ve read a lot of spiritual books, of big spiritual leaders. Like the Buddha, the Bible, Eckhart Tolle, The Dalai Lama, Ram Dass, and some more unknown. In most of these books, I never found a mention of the meaning of life. It was simply that you lived. That is enough. Trying to be as present as possible. Experiencing rather than dreaming. Now let me tell you a story.
A few months back I started to think deeper about Today I Lived. I figured that the brand wasn’t clear enough on what it stood for. Why it should exist and why I started it in the first place? I was slowly trying to pick away all the rubbish that wasn’t in any way what I intended TIL to be. In that process. Of digging, changing, and rethinking something struck me. It was at my desk whilst trying to articulate the reason for following TIL. It was at that very moment with the sun entering the room through a dirty speckled window gently touching my face, the obnoxious but cute snoring of my dog Bob who was laying next to me, that it hit me what the meaning for life is.
We all wonder on this earth. Trying to enjoy our lives. Which most of the time means, spending time with family and friends. Doing the work we love. Traveling and seeing the world and overall to experience the beauty of living. Aha, wait a minute. Isn’t that it! That is how I got to it. In the end, everything we do. Everything I do. Is to experience the beauty of this life. I write to understand and see the world differently. This sparks joy within me and gives me a purpose, a meaning for existing. I can actually help others with this. Now I understood why a lot of spiritual teachers never really talked about the meaning of life. It is life itself that is the meaning.
Do not search, rather start digging
The meaning of life is not to search for it, but to experience it. Each moment again. The meaning of life is to live and in that find many reasons to keep living. Therefore you can’t find just one all enclosing meaning for life. It is personal for each one of us. We all have something else to live for. Each moment again. Viktor L. Frankl is a psychologist who’s book is a beautiful example of how this works. He, and many other Jews, were in great numbers executed from this life. This cruelty we all know. Viktor was one of those humans who lived in a concentration camp, multiple to be precise. Luckily he survived and had the power to articulate what happened in these camps.
He observed and noticed that even in these horrifying circumstances we can find meaning. By helping others with the last piece of bread we have. By being courageous and thinking of the day you get out of camp and find your wife and kids again. He found out that the rare few people who kept hope but mostly found meaning in their suffering lived the longest. They could withstand more horrors and pains than those with a broken soul. I could highly recommend his book men’s search for meaning if you want to know more about our meaning of life.
Instead of searching for the meaning of life start digging. Start digging within yourself. Find a place in yourself in which you can simply observe everything that is happening. The good, the bad. All of it. Too, day in day out remind yourself to be present. To experience the beauty of living. Now that doesn’t mean everything should be beautiful. Beauty can actually mean something you love and love is universal. It is not determined by the choices someone makes or the looks of an object. Beauty is found within everything, everyone, and every moment. Whether cruel or soothing. We can all find meaning in living. In experiencing it all.
So the meaning of life is to simply live. Do the best you can at living your life. Risk some things. Experience some new things. Don’t attach too much because the more you can experience the richer your life can be. No that does not mean you should now go and sniff up some white powder just for the sake of experiencing it. The beauty of living is found in experiencing it sober. If you can do that, I will guaranty you that you will have the ability to experience joy and happiness in every moment. Live today my dear friend. You have already found your meaning right here at this moment. Small or big, doesn’t matter. Meanings change each moment. One moment your meaning of life is to poop, the other it is to help children in need. Isn’t this duality a beautiful thing?
Today I Lived.