Do you know who you are? Do you know your life’s purpose? Are you wasting your life away on tasks assigned by someone else? Do you rely on “God” to show you what to do? We are born and we have no pre-defined purpose for existing but we have free will to search for answers in a world that has no answers to give. We must seek out our own answers.
The philosophy of existentialism became popular after World War II where many people saw the horrific acts of the Nazis and realized that there is not a moral deity watching over them, punishing the bad and rewarding the good. So therefore, we are all responsible for steering our own life’s direction.
Existentialists believe that we are all born a unique individual that cannot be stereotyped or grouped together with values or meaning given to us by society, government or even our parents. We are defined by our actions not our words. What happens in our life, just happens, whether or not you are a “good” or “bad” person. Existentialism is for people who aren’t happy with their life and need something more real than religion can serve on a silver platter.
So maybe your life’s goals aren’t really to go to college, get a job, get married, have kids and then die. That’s just how you were brought up to believe. It may be surprising to think that you can be an amazing human even if you choose to not follow these archaic guidelines of life, in order for you to hone in on your craft and change the world.
You don’t have to add to the overpopulation problem because some ancient ideas (when population was low) said that you should have as many babies as possible so we can populate the planet. This is not relevant anymore. We now have an overpopulation problem and no paradigms are updated to this fact. Having babies to make your mom happy or because you are bored, lonely or to try and fix your marriage is a horrible choice to make. In unhappy marriages, after having children, the marriage will be stressed to the max and possibly fall apart.
You don’t even have to get married if you don’t get along with people and are more content being by yourself. You don’t have to go to college in order work for someone else to be successful, in fact working for a boss is the WORST way to make money. Surprise!
The unexamined life isn’t worth living so you must look at your life and see how you could tweak it. Some people are afraid to sit down and analyze their life because of existential fears.
Freedom and Responsibility
We are completely free to choose how we live life and it is our responsibility to make those choices and not let someone else do it for you. We will all eventually have to accept and exist with the above issues. You must consider them before it’s too late. Avoiding reality is not going to change it.
Existential therapy helps people to learn to take responsibility for their life, their decisions; and how to choose paths that are in alignment with their new found beliefs. This will help them to live a happier and more authentic life. The therapist is not some snooty psychologist, but a fellow human who has experienced existential anxiety has found some ways to help guide others through their path of acceptance of the inevitabilities of life.
One of the founders of Existentialism Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) has stated
“You might assume that there’s some authority figure you could look to for answers, but all of the authorities you can think of are fake. Those authorities are really just people like you – people who don’t have any answers, people who had to figure out for themselves how to live.”
He has said that “the best way to live your life is authentically and that if there are no guidelines to life, then each of us is forced to design our own moral code, to invent a morality to live by.”
Existentialism states that there is not an inherent reason for the universe, the world or anyone in it. If you want to have importance or meaning, the truth is that you must create it for yourself. Any meaning your life has is because you have created and given it to yourself. No one else is you, therefore no one else can tell you your purpose. You choose your meaning by the values you have hand picked beforehand and by the things you do.
If you would rather accept someone else’s idea for your purpose, then you have what Sartre has described as “bad faith” or burying your head in the sand and pretending that there is meaning naturally in the world.
The Foundations of Existentialism
We must devise our own meaning in life, not accept someone else’s (or the group’s) entire philosophy. We should explore philosophy’s and choose or create which ideas resonate with you.
Existentialism believes that we should look within to find our own individual meanings. We are all different and do not all follow the same path to personal fulfillment. A person is best when they are struggling against their individual nature, fighting to improve their life.
We are unique because of the decisions we’ve made throughout life. We continually evolve into the person we create, by the daily choices we make.
Anxiousness is natural and we must deal with it in order to live authentically.
We each have an abundance of freedom and we can think in any way we see fit. No police or government or religion has any power over what you think about or choose to do with your life. They want you to believe that they have power over your life. When you are alone they want you to think you are being observed by some invisible man or maybe big brother is watching, so that you always behave in accordance to their beliefs.
Search for your reason of existing, try things out and Google it. Take everything with a grain of salt and use your fascinating, powerful brain to manifest your own custom, personal philosophy. Establishing your outlook and beliefs will make you a more confident, strong, happy and intelligent human being.
What meaning or purpose will you give yourself today?