The meaning of life is rooted in the philosophical and religious conceptions of existence, social ties, consciousness, and happiness. Emerging research shows that meaning in life predicts better physical health outcomes. Greater meaning has been associated with a reduced risk of diseases. Why are we here? We are here anyway so live the life to the fullest. Fullest means giving maximum contribution to the world. Some of the well-known views on purpose of life are as follows:
Neuro-science describes reward, pleasure, and motivation are the main focus of human life.
Plato suggested the meaning of life is in attaining the highest form of knowledge.
Life’s purpose in Christianity is to seek divine salvation through the grace of God and intercession of Christ.
In Islam, man’s ultimate life objective is to worship the creator Allah(God) by abiding by the Divine guidelines revealed in the Qur’an.
In Hinduism individual person is a reflection of God, is a part of God and it is the rightful pursuit of a person to fulfill four objectives life: (Dharma, Artha,Kama and Moksha). Dharma recommends righteous and regulated living. Artha means acquiring wealth, prosperity and glory. Kama includes fulfillment of wish, desire, love and sensual pleasure. When one realizes the futility of temporary gratification, one eventually seeks moksha (liberation). According to Hinduism all these four are equally important. If any one of these objectives is done half-heartedly life will remain incomplete. Balancing and fulfilling these four objectives is the highest duty of human being.
There’s a zen proverb that says “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water” and I consider this saying often. No matter how much you understand or don’t about your life, you still have to do the living.
Socrates said “the life that is unexamined is not worth living”
Writer Maya Angelou said: “Since age two I’ve been waltzing up and down with the question of life’s meaning. And I am obliged to report that the answer changes from week to week. When I know the answer, I know it absolutely; as soon as I know that I know it, I know that I know nothing. About 70 percent of the time my conclusion is that there is a grand design. I believe that the force that created life is betting that human beings will do something quite wonderful–like live up to their potential.
I am influenced largely by Blaise Pascal and his wager. Pascal advises us to bet on the toss of a coin that God is. If we win, we win eternity. If we lose, we lose nothing. I’m looking out a large window now and I see about 40 dogwood and maple and oak and locust trees and the light is on some of the leaves and it’s so beautiful. Sometimes I’m overcome with gratitude at such sights and feel that each of us has a responsibility for being alive: one responsibility to creation, of which we are a part, another to the creator–a debt we repay by trying to extend our areas of comprehension.”
Spiritual master Amit Ray said “You are here to evolve and make your consciousness high.You are here to dance, sing and celebrate life. You are here to help others to make their life happy. We are here not to compete, but to learn, evolve and excel. We are not here to make divisions in the name of prophets and religions. We are here to encompass the world with love and light.” – Amit Ray
Boxing champion Muhammad Ali said ” All the wealth on this earth, all the wealth under the earth and all the wealth in the universe is like a mosquito’s wing compared to the wealth we will receive in the hereafter. Life on earth is only a preparation for the eternal home, which is far more important than the short pleasures that seduce us here. We have stopped under this tree of life for a short while. We have stopped under a tree of temporary comfort. We have enjoyed its shade. One day life on earth will end and a new world will be resurrected. On that day the entire record of our good and evil deeds will be presented before God for final judgment.”
37th US. President Richard Nixon said “Unless a person has a reason to live, he dies-first mentally and then physically. Self-gratification is not an adequate reason to live. Only a life lived for others is worth living. We cannot live a full life unless we have a purpose bigger than ourselves. We all cannot expect to be great philosophers, scientists, statesmen or business leaders. But we must always seek to reach up and reach out to achieve our full potential. Some of the most heroic lives are lived by those who cope with the tragedy, adversity and daily drudgery of life and rise above it. It is a mistake to assume that we can ever achieve perfection. But it is an even greater mistake to cease trying. Without risk there will be neither success nor failure. As Thomas Aquinas observed: If the primary aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever.”