The Meaning of You / by Kenneth Buff

I read blogs and social media posts by people that question when they’re going to find themselves. Just when are they going to feel happy and complete. I feel like this is the wrong question.

People have been trained to believe that the meaning of life is to be happy. That’s not the meaning of life. The genetic meaning of life is to reproduce, as it is for every living creature on the planet. The emotional meaning of your life is something you have to figure out.

For me, being useful, and creating things gives my life meaning. I like creating things with my hands (doing handy work around the house, fixing broken things) and with my mind (creating stories I publish on Amazon). Those are things I do for me that I enjoy. I try and look at everything with a long lens too. Everyone is so focused on the immediate. If you’re not constantly thrilled in the moment, people of my generation seem to think they’re doing something wrong. You can’t think that way, or you’re destined for disappointment. Life is not a movie. It’s not filled with story beats that make you cheer. You have to decide what you want out of your life, and create a plan for that image. And it has to be a realistic image. If there are things you want that involve another person, you need to talk to that person and be open and honest. Here, I’m referring to romance. If you’re unhappy with things, talk to your significant other, and create a plan with them for change. Holding some fantasy in your mind that real life isn’t living up to does you no good. Talk to your significant other, and figure it out.

And you can apply that logic to everything in your life that you’re unhappy with. Now, I’m not assuming everyone reading this has something in their life they want to change (but really, if you didn’t, you probably wouldn’t be human), I’m writing this more for the people I’ve seen write blogs and social media posts about trying to “find themselves” or whatever else. I think you’re focusing on the wrong things if you think you’re doing life wrong.

If you have a goal, and you’ve created a plan to get to said goal, there is no wrong way to do life. If you’re finding you’re not getting to said goal, tweak your plan. Modify your benchmarks, and create realistic expectations that you can live with. If you reach your goal, create another one. Life’s too short to sit around wondering what to do with yourself.

And I think that’s it. The secret to life is that there is no secret. I think this obsession with trying to find your path is a waste of time. People don’t find their paths. They make them. Figure out what you want, create an executable plan, and when you reach that goal make a new one. Tackle things, and tackle them until you get results, and then keep going. Life will happen along the way, and you’ll keep yourself busy doing something you enjoy. And don’t compare your “path” to others. This is probably inevitable, but when you do it, don’t obsess over how the other person is doing it right and you’re doing it wrong. You’re doing it differently, but as long as you know what you want and how you’re going about getting to your goal, you have nothing to worry about.

That’s it. There’s my advice to people looking for their path or their meaning. Make it and then follow it. And then make it again.

This, again, is where that long lens comes in handy.