What Matters Beyond the Physical Details of Your Life

The Meaning of Life

What life in general, and your life in particular, are about

Home                             Topical Index to all subjects

Depending upon your religious and philosophical principles, you may or may not believe that life in general has meaning, or that your own life has some particular meaning.

But whether you believe that life gets its meaning from God or some other source, or whether you believe that your life is meaningful only subjectively – i.e., because you assign meaning to it – it remains your choice what to do with that belief. Will you embrace some vision of the meaning of your life, and will you commit yourself to fulfilling that vision – or will you fight it, deny it, ignore it, let it die out?

One way to look at it: the second half of our life is when we cash in on the investments we made in the first half of our life. In our early years, we gained knowledge, skills, experience, and at least some wisdom – and we paid a price for all of that. In the second half of life, especially when external demands may be starting to decrease, we have the opportunity to turn to good account what we paid for in our younger years. We can decide what we really believe our lives are or should be about, and we can commit ourselves to pursuing the remainder of our lives with that vision in front of us.

And if you need a little extra incentive, at least one study indicates that people who report having a real purpose in life appear less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease or its precursor, mild cognitive impairment!

The Meaning of Life relates to other areas of Spirit:

The Meaning of Life relates to other areas besides Spirit:

The Meaning of Life Sub-Topics and Resources

If you belong firmly to a particular religious or philosophical tradition, you can easily find materials that discuss the meaning of life within that context. Such references are not provided here. Instead, we offer more generic resources that can be of potential help to just about anyone.

Here are some resources to help you deal with major life changes / crises in general. But help with various specific kinds of life-changing situations is provided elsewhere in this set of pages, so check out the “See also” segment below for links to those sections.

In this section, the “Free resources” entries deal with the (important) details of measuring your stress and finding professional help. For self-help purposes, though, the books listed under “Other resources” are better than the websites in dealing with non-crisis situations, because a longer, slower, more detailed and meditative approach is generally more therapeutic than just a quick analysis of the key concepts.