Goal of life
Updated: Dec 7, 2020
What is the purpose for us being here?
The subject is goal of life. Is there a purpose for us being here?
If we look at the whole universe - the stars, the moon, our planet earth, several types of animals and plants, animate and inanimate objects—everything has a purpose.
A mountain has a purpose. A river has a purpose. A tree has a purpose. A rose has a purpose. A thorn also has a purpose. Each and every type of animal has a purpose.
You and I also have a purpose.
How does each and everything in this universe meet its purpose?
If we look at the sun or the moon, they move in a particular orbit in a particular fashion. When the sun rises and sets, when full moon or eclipse arrives, when seasons come and go, when the air cools and warms, etc. All these follow a cosmic rhythm, deliver a particular function, and are predictable.
Take the trees for example; some live for thousands of years, some hundreds. They act as balancing agents and also nourish other plants and species. Similar is the case with each type of animal. They deliver the single or multiple functions that they are supposed to in a perfect manner. If any of them deviate from their functions or purposes, an imbalance in nature results. In other words, they are meeting their purpose, without necessarily being aware that they are doing so!
Then, for human being, for each and every one of us, what could be our purpose of life? For this, each one of us has to look within and find his/her own purpose.
Uniqueness of human being and meaning of life
When it comes to human being, we have a thinking faculty that differentiates us vastly from other species on the planet. While others don't have the thinking faculty of knowing itself and improving itself, not only can we understand our own purpose of life we can also align ourselves to the purpose of life in order to improve ourselves and reach the goal.
We can set a direction for our life, and we can utilize our thought in such a way so as to navigate ourselves to the destination we set out for.
Our life is on this planet a journey for a certain duration. Whatever time we have spent so far, it is already lost. Even a second cannot be regained. Now in this remaining duration, we have to make a journey. To make this journey, we have only the remaining time. If we understand this point, and set a goal for ourselves, then our life is going to be meaningful.
If you want to have a meaningful life and want to understand its meaning, somebody else is not going to set your goal of life. You have got to set your goal of life.
Present day challenges in goal setting
The present day challenge is that the general environment does not allow us to think deeply about our inner aspiration and the real purpose of life.
Today we are exposed to so much input from media, mobile phone, and the internet. There is so much Information. The sensory inputs are very high. In fact, we are fully occupied by our senses. At any given moment of waking time, we are either seeing something, watching something, reading something, listening to something, or doing something. Before we may think of anything, several options are already given to us, and we are made to think in those dimensions only. The point is that we are not having the time and mental space to think about ourselves or about our inner aspirations.
The result of processing so much input and information that is thrust upon us is that we lose time. In addition to this, we often are stressed out and lose our emotional balance. Our work in day-to-day life is becoming inefficient because the ability to focus attention on the task at hand is becoming difficult. This has become a common phenomenon for almost all age groups, not just the younger generation.
What is goal of life – Happiness to one and all
Now we have to come to a common agenda. What is goal of life?
Happiness. Happiness to one and all.
The point here is, how do you define happiness?
My happiness gives unhappiness to another person. That is not happiness.
“I live in my own world, good only for myself, and not troubling anybody else”. It doesn't work that way.
Happiness to one and all. Our happiness has to have a (positive) influence on others and on the community around us too.
Take for example a garden where we have several trees of the same variety. For example a mango garden. Every tree has to grow in strength, and should give good amount of mango fruits. And it should produce a good environment in such a way that the other trees also do the same.
Therefore, first of all, the strength of an individual plant has to be good. Secondly, the entire garden has to be good. Both are important. Otherwise the fragrance from the garden cannot reach visitors and attract them. It can't contribute significantly to the society.
In the same way, every one of us as a human being needs to have that strength. We have to find happiness within. We are that change. That change has to be introduced into us, so that we find meaning for our lives. This way, our happiness percolates into the environment around us, and produces those positive vibes.
What is happiness? Defining happiness
Now what is meant by happiness? There are multiple varieties into it.
When things are under our control – both happiness and unhappiness being present in them.
Let’s suppose we are enjoying tea, and we feel happy. But someone suddenly troubled me, and the tea has spilled on my dress; so I feel a little bit vexed. I change my dress, come back, get tea again and am happy again.
Another example. A teenager was watching a TV show he wanted to see in an ideal setting. While it was going on, he felt good. Suddenly the parents came home, and demanded that he stop watching the show immediately and focus on the homework due tomorrow. The boy switched off the TV and did not feel good. Immediately some amount of sorrow or low feeling took over. Later, when the parents permitted him to watch TV after homework, he got back to the show and again he felt good.
These, in fact, are pleasures. These are but short-lived things. And in these situations, there are two conditions: one is happiness and the other is sorrow. Both are there -- happiness and unhappiness, both are present. When things are going good, you're happy. Here, in both situations, you should understand that things are in your control.
Let’s suppose you were riding a bike; some problem occurred, you fixed it and you moved on. When the riding of the bike is happening, very good, you enjoyed it. There was some problem, you fixed it. Some amount of uncomfortable situation was there, and you fixed it. Again, you moved on. And you felt good. So both the states are there. Things are in our control in this circumstance.
Next level: when things are not under our control - both happiness and unhappiness being present in them.
Now let's go to the next level. Somebody who is dear to you, who is your closest, suddenly fell sick and you came to know about it. You felt very sorry for them, but you are helpless. The sorrow has come into the picture. You pray, they take proper medication, and somehow their health is restored to normal. Then again, you feel happy.
Take another example. Somebody has a good job, and things are going well. He feels good, happy. Suddenly he loses the job. The moment he loses his job, he gets into a sorrowful situation. Now he has to search for a job. When can he get job again? Nobody knows for sure. But when he gets the job again, he is back to happiness.
So both the situations are there; happiness and sorrow both are there in the things where we don’t have any control. The job is not in your control. Your own health is not in your control and somebody else’s health is also not in your control.