Last week I wrote about what you have in common with others, by demonstrating how normal you are compared to me.
At the very least, I showed that if you hate sunshine, don’t have kids, or hope never to retire, you’re not alone.
This week I want to focus on difference — specifically, differences between your philosophy of life, and someone else’s.
Why does this matter?
Everyone has a philosophy of life. You have one whether you’re conscious of it or not.
Your philosophy of life has a direct impact on your sense of meaning and purpose — things I know you care about.
The Meaning of Life
It’s hard to find meaning or purpose in life if you’re not clear on what life itself means to you. You could accidentally get caught up in someone else’s idea of the meaning of life, or of what your purpose should be.
Check out some common philosophies and see if any of them fit for you.
If life is a journey, you’re a traveler here. You’re collecting experiences until, ultimately, you find your way back home. If you learn and expand your horizons, you’ve succeeded in life.
“Life is a journey, not a destination.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
If life is a challenge, you’re being tested. You’re here to prove your mettle, and the goal is to experience your own ability to overcome. If you endure hardship and survive with your head up, you’ve lived a good life.
“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.” ~ Moliere
When life is a canvas, you express yourself and your creativity through how you live. Your goal is to make your very existence into a kind of cosmic art. Your purpose is achieved through your uniqueness.
“Life is a blank canvas, and you need to throw all the paint on it you can.” ~ Danny Kaye
When you see life as a project, the very act of living is full of productivity and engagement. You’re here to build something before you leave. Your meaning and purpose are found in your life’s work.
“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” ~ Aristotle
If life is a game, you’re here to beat the competition and win the spoils available only to the winner(s). If you can have fun doing it, so much the better!
“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.” ~ Albert Einstein
These aren’t mutually exclusive, of course. Do any of them resonate with you? If not, how do you look at life?
Me, I view my life as a project. My job, as I see it, is to bring whatever gifts I have to the world before I die. That’s the meaning of my life, and my purpose.
… That, and to predict the next Bachelorette on CBS’s show of the same name.