What is the Meaning of Life?
The question of “What is the meaning of life?” is an old one. Philosophical traditions such as Hinduism have been seeking answers for millennia. For example, the Hindu tradition describes four stages of balanced living. Vanaprastha, or retirement to the forest, occurs at an appropriate age: fifty. This stage involves retreating from the demands of daily life and focusing on study and meditation. A sense-making process is part of the process as well.
Although many philosophers take the traditional formulation of this question to be too broad, some believe that the traditional form of the question does not capture all aspects of life’s meaning. Others focus on the sense-making connotation of meaning. Other philosophers focus on the importance of suffering, value, and purpose, as well as narrative explanations. Whether you are interested in the traditional or the new interpretation, the questions of life are important to consider.
There are three main ways to define life’s meaning: comprehension, purpose, and mattering. The first two are closely related constructs. If one component is weak, the other two will be diminished as well. Fortunately, the three components can be combined and cultivated. Ultimately, achieving meaning in life is a process of personal growth and self-discovery. You should make time for yourself and other people. It is an exercise of reflection and practice.