2019-07-08 🕐 10 mins Thoughts
From time to time I used to wonder about the meaning of life. Or more exactly which is the goal of life. Why are we here for? If you have wondered about it too without getting to any satisfactory conclusion, I'm sorry to tell you that I don't have an specific answer. However, as the time goes by, I am less worried about finding it. Yes, this is going to be a dense post.
In my opinion the fact that we don't know which is the objective of life (or if there is one in first place) makes life beautiful. It allows the life of each person in the planet to be unique and different. Which sense would make to plant peppers on the backyard if the life is meant to, let's say, eat as much chocolate as possible? But still, there is beauty in planting the peppers and we can enjoy and learn by doing it. In the same line why would we play football, listen to music, cut our hair, develop software or dance salsa if that doesn't help us getting more chocolate?
If life had a goal, it would be simpler and we wouldn't feel so lost sometimes, but it would have a downside too because we wouldn't explore as many possibilites as we do now (e.g. to quota an extravagant experiment, we sent a Tesla across the universe, can you believe it!?).
We can discuss whether having a specific goal would make life better or worst, but possibly you don't care about it neither I have the reflective skills to come up with a comparison. Let's just assume the wide range of possibilities that life offers and that sometimes we will feel lost and overwhelmed. If you are still reading, at this point you are probably thinking "Where are you going with this, Paulo Coelho? All of us have similar thoughts about existence but we don't write about it in a blog".
My point in the subject is that instead of searching for the meaning of life, we should aspire at most to find the best way to make use of our individual time in life from within all the available options. "Which are the best things I can dedicate my life to?". That's a way easier question to find an answer for. In first place because we step out of the philosophy domains to land in the kingdom of practicality, but also because it is simpler to think of an answer that gives meaning to your single life, from your point of view (who else could judge your own answer anyway?), than finding the theory of everything that holds for the rest of the humanity, the animals, the planets, the infinite and beyond.
The latter question is then easier to answer but the answer becomes subjective, so you are again left alone in dark and you will have to find it for yourself. It would be unfair however to leave you empty-handed, given that you have read all along this post, so I want to leave you with an answer candidate, which might or might not fit your expectations: Learning.
Learning what? Doesn't matter. Learning anything new or learning more about something you already know but you can do better. Specially practical things (e.g. martial arts, cooking, salsa, play an instrument, a language, etc.) which can easily be practiced on a daily basis and might eventually turn useful. Learning about the string theory might be very interesting for the intricate minds, but is a different kind of learning and it doesn't provide the sense of accomplishment that I am trying to explain.
Why learning? And why is not important the subject to be learnt? Because our brain is genetically configured to be good at learning. Natural selection rewards the species that learn from their mistakes, and remember the expensive consequences of making them, allowing them to survive while the species that do not learn are doomed to an eventual extinction due to the unfitness of their behaviours. So, like it or not, our brain is good at learning and your neurons are eager to form new connections!
What to learn will depend on you, but I am sure that you will feel realized during the process and you will be proud after having acquired new skills. Also, learning gives you a goal. Is not the great goal of life but is a goal you can understand, choosen by you, which makes it meaningful, and that will keep you focus and motivated for as long as you decide. Finally, the more you learn, the better you understand the world that surrounds you and the more connections you will find between apparently unrelated things. So don't worry too much about finding the meaning of life and go learning something out there! See you in the next post