“What I will be in the next moment, and what I will do, grows out of that moment,
and cannot be predicted in advance either by me or by others” Carl Rogers
Most philosophers have wondered about the meaning of life. For Heraclitus, the question about meaning was a whole process of enlightenment and even what was
called: “the devenir of life” which means knowing ourselves in constant change and therefore, finding a meaning of it. Actually, he was referring to something as simple as this: “What I know and believe I am, is what I was; because what I am being I still cannot understand”. Being in constant movement and not yet being someone stable generates anguish because there is no certainty of anything, but it allows you to assume life authentically and therefore facilitates the discovery of meaning.
Starting from the fact that we are dynamic beings, in constant movement, where nothing is static and nothing stops flowing, Carl Rogers identified how absurd was to understand well-being as a fixed and defined state. Human beings tend to fall into the mistake of thinking that there is a specific “goal” in life or a unique “purpose”.
Conversely thinking about it brings misery and unhappiness, disappointments, and frustrations. When you
start living only in the present moment, you become aware of the valuable things in life,
you begin to live the good life. It is what Viktor Frankl called: “Meaning IN life”, resorting that meaning that the present moment produces, situations or specific scenarios; what makes us sigh and say: This is why I live for”
The good life is a process. Building your future is a process, not a defined goal. Happiness is on the way, not on the arrival. Understanding this is perhaps complex because since we are little we have ideals, which ironically are not created by us but imposed. Ideals of
what our life should be and in general, a wrong ideal has been believing: “when I have that, I will be happy”; “when I fulfill that, I will be happy”; “when I am with him/her, I will be happy”; What if nothing of that occurs? We will be anguish because we have failed in
Soren Kierkegaard said that anguish was the experience of freedom because you have to be exposed in order to make some decisions. Therefore, it is incoherent to worry
about your future when you will not know at that exact moment what decisions you will take. There is no specific meaning, everyone builds that sense through his or her
process, and everyone discovers what happiness is along the way. We usually deny the flow of life and demand to believe or control how things will be, but that is such a rigid vision, and being rigid in life leads to unhappiness.
So, how can we live a “good life”?
Jump fully and boldly into the flow of life
Being brave and accepting that life
is constantly changing will help you flow. You are completely happy when you learn to adapt to what life has prepared for you. Do not expect things to be rigid
like your mind, you will not find meaning there. You lose more by indecision than by wrong decisions.
Live in the present moment
Problems need time, and that is why most of our
problems lie in the past or future; but today, which is the only moment that exists, there are no problems. Find meaning in everything that you are living, enjoy what
you have, what’s in front of you right now. When you live conscious, grateful, and to the fullest, you are complete and happy: is what you have.
Say NO to the imposed ideals
Do not judge your journey, you are building it in
your own way and pace. Learn to continue trusting yourself; your “future self” will make the right decisions with the information you will have at that time. You will not be able to know it right now, just trust that your process will lead you there.
Forget about the “should be”
Break the scheme of “how your life should be” at
your age; nobody can determine that. If your only purpose in life is to do what makes you really happy, do it. Life is not about reaching the last level with everything completed, as in a virtual game; life is enjoying yourself and the process until you get to the final stage.
We all want to live a good life. We all long for happiness and we want it now, but that requires a process. It requires living, learning, making mistakes, and finding meaning over and over again. Nobody can judge your process; nobody can demand you on how to live it. Your present self is building it, through a maze with multiple routes and full of possibilities, where everything will contribute and will add up. In order to live a “good” life, you must learn to remove the stigma from your head of what life should be like.
Happiness is a concept that you build it; just open yourself to what life has in store for you and experience it fully. What you will be, and the decision that you will make, will emerge just at that moment and today you cannot control or predict it. And if the purpose of today is just to read this blog knowing that there is no specific meaning in life, you already fulfilled it perfectly.