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What is The Meaning of Life?

markmanson.net

Meaning is the associations that our minds draw

Our brains invent it as a way to explain all the crazy shit that is going on in the world around us. This helps us predict and control our lives.

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Types of Meaning in Life

1. Cause/Effect Meaning primarily involves the logical parts of our brain: You kick the ball, the ball moves.
2. Better/Worse Meaning has to do with the nature of our values and relies mostly on the emotional parts of our brains: 

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Meaning is nature’s tool for motivation

It’s how evolution made sure we got shit done. When there is great meaning attached to something, we will go to insane lengths to make things right. 

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Meaning does't exist outside of ourselves

It is not some cosmic universal truth waiting to be discovered, that will change our lives forever. It requires action and is something that we must continually find and nurture. 

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 2 ways to create meaning in your life

  1. Solve problems: The more work you do towards that problem,  the more meaning you will feel.
  2. Help others: Our well-being is deeply tied to the quality of our relationships, and the best way to build healthy relationships is through helping others.

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Goals are good tools for building motivation

But by themselves, they are arbitrary and empty. Goals are dangerous because the meaning they provide when you’re working towards them is the meaning that is taken away once you achieve them.

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