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What is The Meaning of Life?

https://markmanson.net/the-meaning-of-life

markmanson.net

What is The Meaning of Life?
Well, fortunately, I figured it out while I was at the gym this morning. I'm pretty sure it's a ham sandwich. And no, I'm not saying that just because I'm hungry. There's an explanation here. I'm going to explain it, clickbait titles and all, in, oh, the next eight minutes or so.

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Meaning is the associations that our minds draw

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

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: Eating is better than starving.

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Meaning is nature’s tool for motivation

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

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

 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

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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Happiness can’t be a goal in itself. Therefore, it’s not something that’s achievable.

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” - Ralph Waldo Emerso...
The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Happiness is merely a byproduct of usefulness. You don’t have to change the world or anything. Just make it a little bit better than you were born. When you do little useful things every day, it adds up to a life that is well lived. A life that mattered.

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