A life worth Living / Ein lebenswertes Leben / Uma vida que vale a pena Viver / Una vida que vale Vivir

When was the last time you sat down, or took a walk, to think about what makes this one life you have meaningful. What makes it worth living. When was the last time you took a break from solving problems, completing tasks, and pursuing your goals to ask whether those goals were the right ones to pursue.

Generally, you need to devote some serious time to self reflection to figure out what really makes you want to get out of bed in the morning. You do not have to resolve to save the World, but you do have to find your reason to live.

Forces bigger than yourself – most of all marketing and pop culture – shape your goals without you realizing it, guiding your life for you, often in directions that, were you to think about it, you would want to resist. Life becomes a series of consumer decisions based on your preferences for this or that experience, or a mad race for some vaguely-defined success.

Religions (Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam) and philosophical (utilitarianism and Nietzscheanism) traditions of imagining the good life have oriented the lives of billions of Humans for centuries, and they offer deep, fertile resources for our reflection on what matters and why.

And philosophers have made it their business to answer that question in all sorts of unique ways. Yes, life is worth living because God made us this way or because we are something special in the universe. But in our secular culture you might need a better answer. 

Shifting from your success mindset to a meaning mindset is the key to the answer to turning things around. And since purpose is subjective, it is not important what you choose, it only matters that you have it – and that it is truly meaningful to you.

In an ideal World, most people will want to live a life of pleasure, positive engagement, and meaning. However, throughout life you often have to make tough choices between what is right and what is profitable or between what is meaningful and what is pleasurable.

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