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The Meaning of Life - Really?
What is The Meaning of Life
What's it all about? What is life's purpose? Why are we here?
I am sure you asked yourself at least one of these questions in the last year. I was thinking about this in particular detail while sitting at a seminar about making money. Why do people chase money? Why do they chase freedom?
So, I decided to have a look at the different stages of life and articulate my opinion of what they meaning of life is! Enjoy
The Meaning of Life for Babies
Ages 0-6 - Babies
Babies have three functions. Eat, sleep, and poo! Not much goes on as far as what babies know of except that they require constant attention or they scream wildly. Interesting though, it has been proven that most of our sub conscious programming takes place during these years, which sets us up for later dilemmas!
Conclusion - The meaning of life is just being there.
The meaning of Life 7-12 Years Old
Ages 7-12 - Kids (or children!)
I prefer kids, to be honest. I was just a kid. You get to go to school, but not much of the homework deal just yet. No real purpose of school other than to learn the three R's, which I am not convinced are really taught in today's schools! I never really thought of meanings in those years. They just kind of floated. My only real requirement was a bike, a ball, and a stick. Video games really did not exist, so you had to use a stick for multiple toys. It served as a sword, a bat, a gun, and any other object your mind could dream up.
Most kids I run into today are just floating along, happy to play video games and chill.
Conclusion - The meaning of life for kids is having fun!
The Meaning of Life - Teenagers
Ages 13-18 - Teenagers
This is one of the reasons for this article! I got a shock when my daughter turned into a teenager! Yikes. Going back to when I was a teen.. (now I sound like my parents did when I was a teen!), it seemed much different. Not much changed for me except just a few more pimples and I could get a job. Because I was going to go to college, the only main objective in my life was to maintain good grades and get a decent SAT score. Other than that, it was just like being a bigger kid.
Today, however, it seems all so different. Avoiding suicide seems to be the number one issue. I have compiled what I believe the meaning of life means to a typical teen. Note: This is for a typical teen. Your results may vary and this is not intended to be legal or investment advice.
Looking good at school
Sleeping in whenever and where ever possible
Covering up any noticeable pimples
Not being a geek, nerd, or anything "unpopular"
Kissing at least one boy (if you are a girl, that is)
Not having your parents embarrass you (much)
Driving a hot car (or at least one that is not too uncool)
Having a cool Facebook page with lots of friends
Surviving high school
Well, I am sure that is not the end all and be all of the meaning of life for a teenager, but it is a great start!
Conclusion - The meaning of life for a teenager is to just survive it!
The Meaning of Life - College Students
For most people, this means college. A chance to explore what it is you actually want to do in life or just a chance to party alot. While in college, you play the game of good grades so that you have a decent resume when leaving college and, theoretically, you will get a good job. So, four years of preparation for the big job interview!
If you are not college bound, you are off to the workplace. This will be covered in the next section.
Conclusion: The meaning of life for college - party and prepare!
The Meaning of Life - 20-30's
Adulthood - Ages 20-30
This is where it gets very interesting. You are free! Most likely living on your own and trying out all kinds of new things. This is your first real chance to start a career and earn some money. I lived at home until I was 26 (as most geeks do!) and then got married. This is your first taste of what I call the rut. Back and forth to a job. If you skipped college, you are now 4 years into the rut.
The objective for most at this time is to earn enough money to buy all the cool things that your parents wouldn’t let you buy while you were at home! Once that shopping spree has ended, most of us find a partner and start to marry up. Do the “right” things. Get a job, a mortgage, a car loan, and some credit cards.
Now you are living. You get to go to work 9-5, then squash into 2 days (called the weekend) all of the fun stuff you couldn’t fit into the week.
Conclusion: Meaning a life - get a job, earn money and start a family.
The Meaning of Life - 30-50 Years
Adulthood - Ages 30-50
For simplicity sake (and so you do not get totally bored) I am lumping 30-50 into one category. This is due to the fact that it is mainly the same stuff. With a divorce rate over 50%, most of us now have at least one divorce under our belt, a few kids we have managed to produced, a never ending mortgage, and a heap of credit cards. Why so negative you say?
Ok. Fair enough! We do manage to squeeze in an annual 2 week vacation somewhere and have a couple of boy trips and girl’s nights out.
However, for most people (I would say 95%), life has become a drag. This may sound somewhat auto biographical, but I have spoken to thousands of people in this range and get alot of the same story. Life becomes a series of looking forward to events. Events such as vacations, long weekends, and the occasional fake sick day. We drag ourselves to all of our kids soccer games and music recitals and see if we can squeeze any time for ourselves.
I took a train into the city (Melbourne) this week during rush hour. I did not come across one person who looked remotely happy on that train. Now, I know, I am over the top, but most people were either sleeping or had their head buried in an ipod or strawberry!
Conclusion: The meaning of life is go to work, chase after kids, try to pay off the mortgage.
The Meaning of Life - 50-70 years old
My original thought was to put 50-65 as 65 used to be the retirement age. I am even stretching the truth going at 70! Just go into any Wal-mart or McDonald’s and you can figure that one out!
By now, some may be on their second or third marriage, trying to figure it out all over again. Jitters begin to set in for some thinking about how they will survive in retirement. Based on the few hundred tax returns I do every year, most people are draining whatever monies they have in retirement funds just to get by.
Not only do people in this bracket have to worry about themselves, some find they have to help their children as well.
It is still, for most, the endless job. Day to day. Week to week, etc. Vacations get shorter for most. Disposable income is drying up fast
Conclusion: The meaning of life - just to get by and plan for retirement.
The Meaning of Life - Retirement
Ages 70 and up - The Golden Years
Ahhh. Retirement. You’ve made it! Now you can do all the things you’ve dreamed of for the last 69 years of your life. You can go on long cruises, go fishing when ever you want to, go shop till you drop! WAIT!!!
Here is what’s holding you back!
2.) Need to babysit the grandkids
3.) Your kids need financial help
4.) You hurt your knee
5.) Your arthritis is kicking in
6.) Your pension plan just went bankrupt
Now, I am not saying this happens to everybody, but I can tell you this. I attend alot of seminars (and give them) each year on making income. I believe that the average age of the attendees in these seminars has risen at least by 10 years in the last 5 years.
I have attended share market seminars where people are dumping whatever money they have left into the share market and forex market with the hopes that they can make enough money to live on.
People, in my estimation, are getting desperate to find ways to supplement their income. They are finding that they are living longer and the retirement money is just not there.
Conclusion - The meaning of life - Get by.
The Meaning of Life - Conclusion
With the exception of ages 0-12, I have painted a pretty poor picture of the meaning of life. Maybe that is because I turned 50 this year and started to really look at it closely. Maybe I have just spoken to too many negative people. I have heard it said before that we spend our lives going to a job we cannot stand, to work for a boss we hate, to come home to a disaster everyday, and we end up dead or dead broke at retirement age. This is what 95% of our population will do.
On the other hand, I have heard it said that the purpose of our lives is to experience joy and peace.
But can we find joy in people that are negative all of the time because of their circumstances? Can we find joy in material objects that we constantly struggle to pay for?
What is the meaning of life for you? Why are you hear? What is your purpose?
One favor I ask. Take the poll. Be honest. Your name is not on it. Make a comment. Tell me a different story!