How does the question “Why are you here?” make you feel? Pay attention to that for a minute. Why are you here, reading these words? Why are you here, in this life? Former president Bill Clinton, in an appearance with friend and former president George W Bush once said,
Some day for all of us, it will be our last day, and what will matter will be the steps we took along the way, and what they amounted to.
There are many paths we can take, roads more and less traveled, yet echoing through ages of human experience is this profound nugget of advice: find a path with a heart.
How? The sum of many philophies is this: Start by exploring. Know yourself and become aware of the world, its many lessons, joys and sorrows. Next, do the work to pick a life path using your greatest unique strengths to reach the destinations you value on your life journey.
Where do you want to “go” with this life?
My path of choice is a decades-long mission is to consider core lessons we need, as a species, to avoid extinction, to have a satisfying existence and, as a whole, to make it to whatever our “next level” will be. I want to help humanity survive for billions of years. I want everyone to have a long, healthy, happy, fulfilling life.
Why are you here?
Mull it over. Work on it, for years if necessary, until you have your real answer. It’s not a hostile question. What is the purpose of your life? There is no accusation in it. Why do you exist? This is not intended to cause any anxiety. However you feel about these questions can show you what your next step in life should be. Confused? Challenged? Satisfied? The question, why am I here, makes me feel resolute. I know my mission. Finding your own unique “voice,” be it as a musician, an artist, in business, or in love, can sometimes take a lifetime because we get stuck in various ways. Some never find a life purpose. Others find theirs early on. For some, it changes over time. Still others feel they have several different purposes.
Be honest about, as Bill Clinton says, the “what it amounts to” part.
Look at your life. What does it all say about your purpose? If your actions and thoughts add up to simply making as much money, power and/or fame as possible, or to experiencing as much pleasure and avoiding as much pain and misery as humanly possible, perhaps stop and consider if this is what you most want from life. Are you, in full self-honesty, on your own right path, the path that amounts to the things about which you most care?
With luck you will, over time and with experience, perceive that within your reach are long term highs, states of experience felt as deep and lasting satisfactions, next level joys that surpass physical pleasures and comforts.