The lifelong question of “what’s the point of life?” is one which no one truly knows the answer to, but one that hasn’t stopped many from trying to answer it, including philosophers, religions and scientists. Everyone has a viewpoint and the following is mine.
We’re here for the experience
Put simply, we’re here for the experience. I am referring to the act of physically or mentally immersing oneself in a moment creating a positive experience. Life is finite, fact, yet many seem to miss this point entirely. Instead of enjoying the precious moments we have, people end up working endless hours in pursuit of the “perfect” lifestyle. A moment where they can simply travel the earth without a care in the world. However, the reality can best be explained by the following quote:
“Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” – Dalai Lama XIV
If people do get a second to breathe in the rat race they’ve chosen to follow, they end up “enjoying” the little free time they have usually by going on short breaks away. The short breaks keep motivation levels high providing a little tease of what life would be like when they’ve finally “made it”. However, the short breaks never really end up being breaks at all. They end up being mad rushes to see everything they’re friends posted on Facebook the year before! The result is that no one moment is truly enjoyed, but simply snapped to be filled away for a few likes on their virtual walls. Ironically, not only do people then hate the jobs they do to finance their holidays, but they’re tired from the holidays they take to rest from their jobs. Not quite a positive experience, but one which is more bitter sweet.
What do you mean by experience then?
If a photograph is worth a thousand words, then an experience is worth a million. Since life is finite, the experience itself is the reward. The following may help to improve your experience of life:
- If wealth is the pursuit, that’s okay, but don’t do it at the cost of your health. In addition, do something you enjoy and love, and don’t increase responsibilities e.g. have children before you have found this true calling. This is a win win situation, because even if you don’t quite become a millionaire from your passion, at least you will enjoy what you’re doing.
- If you do hit the big time or manage to earn a decent living, don’t be afraid to spend it. The money won’t be worth much if it’s never spent. If food is your thing, then go out fine dining. If you enjoy traveling, then lap up life in 5 star hotels. Do less, but whatever you do, do of high quality as anything that helps positively increase the experience will be more memorable.
- Put down the camera. Next time you’re on holiday, take a step back and really take in the view, sights and sounds. Try spend at least a few minutes to really embrace the destination you’ve been lucky enough to visit. Try create a memory which will be worth more than a few shots of the famous landmark that everyone has already seen!
- The final piece of advice is best explained by a famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”. In addition, learning something you enjoy, is an experience in itself. Learn it well and you can enjoy the experience for as long as you live.
In summary, the only true meaning of life is the experience of life itself. If anyone can truly depict my view of “living for the experience”, it would be John Butler Trio. The following 12 minute and 5 second beautifully played acoustic tracked called “Ocean” shows his life’s experience, passion and love. You won’t regret a moment of the 12 minutes and 5 seconds, I promise. Please experience, enjoy and share.