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A post by @WMDistraction

I was browsing TED Talks last night (Link), when I came upon a video titled Martin Seligman on positive psychology. Intrigued, I clicked the video. He discussed what he called the "11th Reason for Optimism." Now, I can't necessarily remember what that reason was or why it was important, but I also don't want to spoil the end of the video for you, so my forgetfulness is your saving grace.

The video, to me, was extremely interesting, and he kept bringing up his site: AuthenticHappiness.org. Well, the video was interesting, and this site has to do with the exact field of psychology I just got done watching a video on, so I visited (at 2AM). I took a quiz here, a test there. In total, I think I took about three. There was a common theme throughout that made me score fairly low on certain areas of this test that, in my opinion, I was pretty damn good at.Apparently, I have no meaning to my life; I agree with this. I don't--no one does. I'm an atheist, which means that I have no reason to believe that I have a purpose or meaning in my life. We're here, and we should make the best of it. That's about the extent of my philosophy on the "meaning" of life.

What made me question the validity of this test is that it immediately equates having a "meaning" or a "purpose" in life (whatever that means) to having ambition and drive in your career goals. To me, this couldn't be further from the truth. Sure, I may not have a "purpose" or what-have-you, but I have a drive to make a difference in other people's (or peoples') lives.

As of right now (I'm a college sophomore, after all, in one of the worst down economies to come along in nearly a century.), I want to become a Professor of Composition. Now, that could change. My interests change. I'm young, and that's what young people have a tendency to do. I have no commitment to life right now, and I'm taking advantage of that lack of commitment in order to explore my options and see what goals I would like to set. I could become a Doctor of Law or a politician or a business policy writer or a news reporter. Regardless of what I do, I'm nearly 100% sure it will have to deal largely with rhetoric in some way, shape, or form. It's an odd bedfellow of mine, and I like its companionship.

If I have a purpose--if there is such a thing as purpose--I sure as hell do not have one during one of the most dynamic periods of anyone's life, let alone mine. I have an ambition to become... something. What that is yet, I don't know, but I want to use my skills as an idealist (Not in the sense that an ENFP is an idealist, but in the actual use and definition of the word itself.), communicator, and a writer in order to improve the lives of others. Whether that is educating the incoming generation on something that--I believe--is one of the most important skills to develop, advocating for someone in the courtroom, representing a population I care about, writing a policy or contract for the company I work for, or reporting on an event or issue that people (I assume) would want to learn about, I want to make a difference. If that's not ambition or "grit," I don't know what is.
 

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I couldn't phrase it better myself!
I am too an atheist and people could claim that I don't have "meaning" in my life. But I really do! Actually, the fact that I'm an atheist helped me getting to this meaning. If, according to my belief, there is nothing higher that I'm supposed to please or worship, and if I'm a temporal creature, then the only thing I should care about is whether I'm happy or not. Why doing things that make me miserable? For a higher spirit? There is no higher spirit to me because I don't believe in any! I'm temporal, but it doesn't necessarily mean that nothing matters because everything will fall anyway, like most people would probably think that I think. It only means that the present matters the most! Therefore happiness of myself and others is the most important thing and my goal in each and every step I take in my life. Yes, even when I choose what to eat for lunch, I choose with my heart and I listen carefully to what would truly make me happy right now. :)
 
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