The Search for Meaning in Life is Simple

You Just Have To Know Where To Find It

Micah Partee, Reporter

From the very beginning of time, humans of every background have searched endlessly for the existential question that seems to be still unanswered to this day. What is the meaning of life?

Clearly, this question isn’t as simple as I put it, but what if it is? We have all watched movies and read various novels, yet we are still left fantasizing and, let’s be honest, unsatisfied.

No matter your situation in this world, it is unlikely that you haven’t once wondered what you’re doing on this huge rock and what purpose you serve.

You are put on this earth with little to no direction and expected to succeed right away. Society expects it, your family and friends expect it, and after a while, you begin to expect it of yourself.

But why is it we’ve come to expect so much success, with such little preparation?

Doesn’t it seem like just yesterday you were watching Blues Clues with no care in the world? Such childhood innocence seems to quickly disappear through the years. It seems like there is no grace period in between these two largely different periods of time: which makes it very difficult to adjust accordingly.

It seems as if we all go into an auto pilot mode and allow life to just happen as it does with little initiative taken by us. Is this why we are so vulnerable to allow others goals to be forced onto our own lives? Possibly because our goals seem insurmountable?

It is so easy for us to fall into an echo chamber of ignorance. An echo chamber created to cope with the possibility of those high expectations just not being reached. Expectations of good grades, of being a good employee, of contributing to society .

As a result, we seek short term joy to ignore the real problems around us. Living only to get by daily rather than succeeding for a prolonged amount of time.

It is so easy to have such a day by day mindset that you often allow the evils of the world to consume you in the process. Evils you partake in simply because everyone else does or because it seems like it will help ease the pain and stress you are going through. This continues until you cannot even recognize who you are anymore.

It’s simple. We’re products of our environment. As humans we have had to adapt to survive life on this planet.

Whether we admit it or not, we yearn for a certain type of lifestyle. A plastic one. Society pushes this life with a perfect family, nice materialistic components, and no flaws. One with no dents and a flashy exterior. Well, that is simply not genuine, and because of that true joy is unattainable from this reality.

Real life is tough and ugly. But at the end of the day, that is the veracious beauty of it. The unknowing of what may come if you make the wrong decision. The unpredictable nature of your next move. This is the real meaning we yearn for. This is a life of substance and significance.

Stop living life exclusively for the enjoyment of others and start thinking of yourself. This is not selfish: this is self care. You can not truly assist others with their needs when you cannot handle your own needs. There is no shame in this.

Sure, it’s important to succeed and lead a life of importance. But never let this distract you from the true purpose of it all. To be satisfied. To be content.

Because being content with what you have in your life is true happiness. And true happiness, as we all know, leads to a meaningful life–a reason to wake up, a reason to smile, and most important of all, a reason to keep going when that seems so hard.

Reject the societal constructs often pushed onto us. Seek uniqueness and individuality. Seek what personally intrigues you and not what everyone else seems to like. This leads to a life well lived. Why? Because it’s a life of your own choosing. Raw and untampered by the very same people who would rather exploit you for personal gain than to genuinely enjoy your presence.

If you are not content with your life what should you do? Make changes. Surround yourself with people who not just appreciate your flaws and insecurities, but love them along with your better qualities. Break away from your routine if it leads to a pointless conclusion. That’s how you break such a difficult cycle. That’s how you take control of your life back. It’s all up to you.

Considering we only truly see life through our own eyes, no matter your levels of empathy, it’s easy for your perception to be one sided. It’s completely normal as long as you recognize those around you feel the same pain and emotions you do. You’re no different in this regard than a classmate you do not normally speak with.

Writing others off just based on rumors or presumptions is not just ethically wrong, but it most importantly causes you to miss out on life changing experiences. Looks can always be deceiving. And that kid you may chalk up as weird, could be the best friend and the backbone in your life that makes your tough days that much easier. This can never even be discovered if you allow a presumption to overtake first-hand judgement. You could possibly end up living your whole life with people who only hurt you instead of assisting.

In the broad lens of things, life is insanely short. So short you often forget to look around you and experience the true joys of everything. The sweet smell of your favorite food, the warm feeling you get when you make someone laugh, and most important of all, the unbreakable bonds we share with those whom we love and trust.

Because, after all, happiness is only real when shared. A wise quote from wilderness explorer Chris McCandless who often pondered the similar questions of meaning in life.

I don’t just encourage you, but I urge you to chase after your desires. No matter how large or little. Talk to that person you always think about but would never approach, stroll through nature and admire the vast uniqueness that consumes the earth in which we stand on, shoot that shot in your sports game, and of course; spread love and positivity.

If last year didn’t teach us anything, it at least revealed the sorrow which life can carry if we allow it. This is your life, something no one can take from you. Free from influence and interference. Leave a powerful legacy in the way that makes you and only you happy and content. Because being content with that you have is true happiness.

If you get nothing else from this, I strongly advise one single takeaway. Seize the day. Take control of your life and be the happiest you can possibly be. It’s easier said than done, and I’m aware that some days are harder than others, but you’re not alone. Because no matter how perfect someone’s life may look from the outside; no matter how much it may seem they have it all figured out, we’re all searching for that one answer. The true meaning of life. A never ending race that unites us all.