The Purpose of Life

Image courtesy of jscreationzs] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I am 31 years old, rapidly approaching my 32nd birthday. In some regards I am young and inexperienced, in others I am almost expert. There is one thing I know better than any other person: my life. I know my life because I’m living it, and I live it according to what I believe is the purpose for life. I figure that all people on this planet have some concept of purpose for life, even if it isn’t clearly defined and written down. Maybe not. For me, having a purpose in life, or a purpose to life, gives me direction, hope, and peace during trying times. I’d like to share my definition of the purpose of life with you now.

Billy Joel sings “I don’t care what you say anymore, this is my life.” While I love the song and appreciate the lyrics at different moments in life, this is not my feeling generally. I want to know about your life and I want to tell you about mine, specifically what we think our purposes are. Why do we exist? Why were we born, why has so much effort been put into our survival, and what, if anything, will we leave behind for others when we die? I have answers to these questions for myself, but I’d like to know what everyone else thinks about this topic as well because I want to learn. If you are so inclined, write a post on this topic for your own blog and then post the link in the comment section here. Or simply leave a comment defining your purpose of life. I think we can learn a lot about each other through this topic.

I define life in two basic terms: education and experience. Education can come by way of hearing about a topic or reading about a topic. Experience comes through the use of sensory organs and the brain. When education and experience are combined the result is wisdom. I don’t believe it is possible for us to obtain too much education or experience, or to ever reach a point where we cannot make any more progress in wisdom. Simply put, the purpose of life is to grow. But I don’t think this purpose exists without a specific context. The context I fit this concept into is one of God and eternity.

I believe that all people are the children of God. God is the Father. He created the Earth with his son Jesus Christ for the purpose of providing his children (all of us) with a physical place to be educated and have experience. We are essentially experiencing a test. We are given the chance to live in a world of opposition to see which paths we will choose. All paths equate to life or death, progression or damnation (to be damned means to be halted in progression). Life is a time to prove ourselves, will we choose to follow God and receive his promised reward or will we choose our natural inclinations and receive the temporary reward of pleasure? Because it is a test, God provides guidance through means other than empirically provable events. Faith is a factor of life.

Just as I am born in the likeness of my mother and father, I believe all people are born in the likeness of our Eternal Father. I adopt the tendencies of my parents on Earth, and have the potential to become like them in every way, if I choose to. I can follow my dad’s choices and live a life similar to his, or I can choose to go another way. I think this pattern was given to us in similitude of an eternal truth, that we can become like our Heavenly Parents.  Life is a school, it is a proving ground, it is a test, all for the purpose of finding out if we will seek our own interests, be distracted by opposition, or follow the direction of our Eternal Father.

I believe that we all have the freedom to decide what to believe and how to act on it. I believe that this generates perhaps as many different perspectives on life as there are people on the Earth. As we are each individually unique we each interpret information and experiences differently. This is why I am interested in learning how other people define the purpose of life. I believe that I am in a proving ground to become like my Heavenly Father, which helps me face challenges with a little more hope, and rely on faith; giving meaning to difficult circumstances as experience that will work for my good in the long run. I find peace in the devastation that life sometimes brings because I know that I exist beyond the 80 or so years I might hope to live in this mortal situation. I am able to let go of things beyond my control and things that seem unjust because I trust in God’s eternal justice. I have strong convictions on these things, but I know I can learn more and be strengthened by the convictions of others.

Life lived without purpose seems hollow and hopeless to me. It is hard for me to conceive of it, but I’m sure there are people who feel differently. I often see behavior that I don’t understand or beliefs that I can’t comprehend and I wonder what the person behind them thinks of life. If I can know how someone conceives the purpose of life I think I can understand something of their motivation. Knowing how I define the purpose of life helps me to be more aware of my personal motivations and points me in the direction of any changes I feel I need to make.

Why do we do the things we do? I think that if we understand this topic better we will be more appreciative of each other, especially in disagreement. We would all benefit from that situation.

Please comment below.

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If you are a blogger and want to take on this topic, leave a link to your post in the comments below and I’ll add it in here:

From Hugo: What is the Purpose of Life?

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About paulbrodie

I am a writer and a musician. My education is in psychology with emphasis in industrial/organizational psychology. My work experience has been primarily with electronic document management. Academically and intellectually I am interested in criminology and sociology. I am married to my favorite person in the world and we have one daughter.
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5 Responses to The Purpose of Life

  1. mrhugo2013 says:

    This is a topic I often ponder on, I think I might be inclined to do a blog thanks for the inspo! As usual great thought provoking post!

  2. Pingback: How Does a Purpose of Life Construct Help Me? | Paul Brodie

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