Yes, I stole that from the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy. For those of you who are familiar with it, you'll know that a Supercomputer was built to provide the ultimate answer for "life, universe and everything", and it succeeded. The answer was "42". The baffled audience comes to know that the ultimate question to which 42 is the answer is something that only another even more advanced supercomputer will be able to answer. It leaves us to question what then, could be the ultimate question? What could be the purpose of life, of all this? If your world-view has changed recently during this pandemic, for whatever reason, you would have walked down this lane.
Well, there is no easy answer to this question. Brace yourself. There is no one purpose
to life. "The Adults" in the problem, the philosophers, don't have one set answer either. They have various schools of thought on what might be the way to live life. They decided you can pick what suits you. In other words, you've got the responsibility to do whatever brings you a sense of meaning. I feel you, I did not want to be born only to know that I have the burden of figuring out my own life's purpose and doing it. It’s a common feeling for us all. Existential Angst is the term for it- a dull fury of being born and forced to live a life. But, we're here and the only way through time is forward (for now). Victor Frankl, an existential psychologist says If you don't know your purpose, finding the purpose of life can be a purpose too.
I hear you-“How do I find it? I can't even find a decent restaurant to eat at!”. The fact is, it is
easy. Because, there is no rule about the meaning or purpose in life- they're all more like
guidelines. That was my breakthrough- that there is no definition of what my meaning to life should look like. We are all in love with the idea of a purposeful life with your very own ikigai or meaning. They make it seem easy in the movies. Meaning is not what an author or director of a piece of literature or media believes to be. The fictional characters, even in the success stories of real life people, seem so strong-headed and sure, but the reality is different. It can not be without a shred of doubt, a double back or even a slip-up. Such a content blissful life, full of inner peace or an eventful energetic driven life all the time is not the only reality.
While it is depressing to hear Life can not be defined, it is equally freeing- Life just cannot be defined- which means there is no pressure to define it. Trial and error is the only way, no algorithm. I found that being authentic to myself was my journey towards the purpose of life. Being authentic i.e., true to yourself and your
needs is an everyday process that helps to get in touch with your purpose. So pick a purpose for now and go at it as authentically as you can. It means to doubt yourself, retrace steps, regret choices, make mistakes, do it all trying to figure it out. It's all part of the journey of authenticity. Slow down and reflect- if you are acting opposite to your beliefs, take responsibility and think about what inside you caused the shift, be curious to understand yourself. Take your time on the journey, there is no pace to it or any standards. If being basic is your authentic self be it, there is no judgement. If you cannot find your purpose through the journey or if you don't want to go on the journey, that is also okay, you are still being authentic to yourself.
Basically, Whatever works because C'est la vie