Thursday, May 3, 2007

My goal in life

The standard impossible-to-answer philosophical question, which has become very much a cliché, is “What is the meaning of life?” I've answered this for myself ages ago: life has no meaning by itself. Everybody can create as much or as little meaning for his or her own life as they please.

It helps to have an ultimate goal in life. For every decision you need to make, you can check whether it aligns with your life goal. Having a goal also gives your life purpose and motivate you to keep going.

When I read a post by Steve Pavlina a couple of months back, I was reminded of this. What was my goal in life? Steve suggests to write down potential goals until one makes you cry — that is the goal you're looking for. I discovered I didn't need this: the answer popped right into my head, and had probably been there for a long time.

All that remains is to write it down. My goal in life is to continuously keep improving myself, and thereby the world around me.

I'm a pretty altruistic person. Yes, I want to improve the world. But I also have a selfish part. I want to grow, to learn, to become a better person in every sense. These goals don't have to be in conflict. A “good” me also cares about his surroundings, helps other people, tries to make a difference for the better. That's the person I want to be.


Georg Muntingh said...

I share your goal.

Anonymous said...

Hi Thomas: Thanks for your review of the Panasonic PV-GS 320 - I'm almost an owner ! Great Review, too.

I share your philosophical musings. Kinda rare these days, to muse. Bet you've noticed. [BTW: if muse = to think, ponder, what does 'amusement' mean ?].

Are you totally committed to your statement that "life has no meaning by itself....", (other than self-defined meaning)?

Such a view would seem quite difficult to maintain - as if true it implies that objectivity is impossible, in which case why do we bother to read each others words & reflect back upon them, back & forth ?

Rather, it seems to my sense that objectivity & subjectivity relate back & forth, like a dance....

Best Regards to you,

David Alan

PS: I've always wanted to visit The Netherlands, my wife is a 'Vanderheyden'.....

Thomas ten Cate said...

Hi David,

Thanks for taking the time to browse around on my blog – hope you liked it :)

I'm afraid I do not follow your line of reasoning. If life has no meaning (with which I mean: no purpose, but come to think of it I'm not sure if that's the same thing), how would that make objectivity impossible? I do think there is an objective reality out there, but our perception of it is always incomplete, and in places incorrect. True objectivity exists, but is not achievable for us.

The reason why we read each other's words is, I think, to learn, to grow.

By the way, this post is over a year old: most similar thoughts nowadays do not make their way to my blog but rather to my journal. However, if you feel like a philosophical discussion, do drop me an e-mail :)