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What your purpose in life?

  1. Mar 2, 2009 #1
    I suddenly realize that my life has no purpose. Is this how slackers feel because now I don't feel motivated to anything since it will lead me nowhere.

    Don't get me wrong I'm not suicidal or depressed.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 2, 2009 #2


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    Well you life won't have a purpose until you give it one, IMO.

    How old are you?
  4. Mar 2, 2009 #3
    25. From an evolutionary point of view, I guess my purpose in life is to make babies. I'm not married though.
  5. Mar 2, 2009 #4


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    Sure, our reptile brains want us to breed like rabbits.

    But as far as life's purpose, well, I think our grey matter has more say in that decision :smile:.
  6. Mar 2, 2009 #5
    I'll have to think about that for a while. The purpose of all life is to eat, reproduce and be eaten. Humans have the added need to avoid boredom and this provides most with a purpose.
  7. Mar 2, 2009 #6
    Why does there have to be a purpose?

    Well, from an evolutionary point of view, the gray matter inside the head developed into a one giant pattern finding system. Humans continually seek patterns and try to make sense of them, even if the conception is irrational.
  8. Mar 2, 2009 #7


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    Don't worry - be happy.


    Don't Panic.

    "The basic business of one's life is to have a wonderfully good time." source: Zaphod Beeblebrox.

    Don't forget your towel.
  9. Mar 2, 2009 #8
    We have a nihilist in the making, here. :P

    All jokes aside, I understand how huge of point in your life this is. I'm actually younger than you (24) but have gone through what you've just begun. In some ways, that point in my life still lingers, mostly in memory, but sometimes it manifests in some form or another.

    What helped me? Someone recommended a book named "The Virtue of Selfishness" to me. It's a book by Ayn Rand that many here will likely be familiar with. I've probably guaranteed myself a few pages of criticism by even alluding to the Objectivist philosophy, but I really would like to emphasize the importance if it. While you may not agree with everything she has to say, Rand's ideas are very affecting, if not just incredibly important. Don't be confused by the the title of the book, either. It's probably not what you're thinking.

    If you're interested in it, shoot be a PM and I can give you a hand on where to begin. You may have read either "The Fountainhead" or "Atlas Shrugged". If you liked them, I'd be more than happy to help you expand on the philosophy the books fictionalize.
  10. Mar 2, 2009 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    Wanna make a bet?

    1). Go do something that you've never done before [you don't have to feel like it].
    2). Figure out what is important or appealing to you and pursue it [doesn't have to be important, and you don't have to feel like it]
    3). Change your attitude by force of will
  11. Mar 2, 2009 #10


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    david90 is expressing an experience with acedia more than depression.
  12. Mar 2, 2009 #11
    After reading the wikipdia, I think I have that too. Does acedia need clinical treatment? or just reading some inspirational books would be enough?
  13. Mar 2, 2009 #12

    Tom Mattson

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    I could be wrong, but I think the latter has no impact on the former. :tongue:
  14. Mar 2, 2009 #13
    Welcome to my clinic.

    You have acedia? Terrible, just terrible. I think I have just the thing for you. I'm going to prescribe that you force yourself to try something new, maybe something you've always found interesting. Also, I'd like you to go out with friends, regardless of how much you'd like to stay home and be anti-social.

    Take two and call me in the morning.
  15. Mar 2, 2009 #14


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    David, didn't you have a lot of plans to go into business for yourself? If those did not pan out, don't give up.
  16. Mar 2, 2009 #15
    "We don't know". I think that's the answer you're looking for. I'm not sure any more needs to be said. There's no great answer that I know of that says you have to have a purpose. If you don't feel motivated, I guess you don't feel motivated. I'm not going to give you any sugar-coated crap about cheering up and how wonderful everything is and how much purpose there really is if you look underneath it all because that would just be opinion.

    If you need cheering up, that's a different request. But for purpose, no one here can give you a correct answer.
  17. Mar 2, 2009 #16
    My purpose in life is what life's purpose is in me.
  18. Mar 2, 2009 #17
    I Don't let go of life even when I have multiple chances to do so.
  19. Mar 2, 2009 #18
    I'm not looking for any cheering up. It is what it is. My current teacher told me that he's not a pessimist or an optimist, but instead a realist. It is a great mindset and I adopted it.

    Maybe it's just a phase.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2009
  20. Mar 3, 2009 #19
    I like to call this "pragmatic." I think it's a good thing.

    But remember: Chance and probability even will sometimes swing good things your way... and while you don't think your actions have larger purpose, they can perhaps increase the probability of good things coming your way.
  21. Mar 3, 2009 #20

    Ivan Seeking

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    That sounds more like fortune-telling than pragmatism. Pragmatism tells me that one person, and sometimes the least likely, can change the world.

    Case in point: A black guy named Hussein...

    However, if you are just using this as an excuse because you don't care about anything, that is another matter.
  22. Mar 3, 2009 #21
    I totally agree, and those are the things I try to live by. Easier said than done though, I have to constantly remind myself of those simple words. But every time I find my doing things in a haste I stop and think: "forget about that deadline/missed appointment/whatever and get cool again". Being cool is the only thing really worth caring about, because once you regain a calm mind the problem of the day will work itself out a lot more efficiently. It's like trying to use a bulldozer to break down a brick wall rather than walk around it.
  23. Mar 3, 2009 #22
    Like I said before, you're on the nihilist track. Don't confuse it for the realist track.

    Realistically speaking, you can control your own happiness.

    And yeah, it probably is a phase.
  24. Mar 3, 2009 #23


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    OMG! Honestly I think 1 shouldn't start a family before clearing things with himself/herself and life, since I'm not sure that children with parents like that , grow up as happy and successful people. I mean they are very likely to face the same problem(have no purpose in life) as their parents:wink: But well I guess yo can find some purpose for your life if you think about it more.:smile:
  25. Mar 3, 2009 #24
    I find it hard to understand why the meaning of life is to have children unless you actually find that meaningful. It'd make as much sense to say that the meaning of life is to breath or walk, i.e. things we do because they are "physiologically convenient".
  26. Mar 3, 2009 #25
    I disagree. Yes, evolution has imbued us with the urge to see to the propogation of our genes, but there are multiple ways to achieve this.

    The worker bees in a hive will never have offspring, but they slave over the eggs of their sister the queen, and they lay down their lives if needed to defend the hive.

    A life can have purpose - even absent offspring - by working for leaving the world a better habitat for future generations. In fact, we can use our brains and recognize that the strains of overpopulation threaten everyone's offspring.

    However you perceive a need and fill it, that's your purpose. I work for peace, human rights, and rational thought, because without these the stable society that future generations will need to thrive on this over-taxed ecosystem is not possible.

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