Many of us wander through life without ever thinking about our own purpose. Those who do struggle to find their own individual motivation. The great Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy became suicidal at the thought of a meaningless life — even as a successful writer. What is it about the purpose of life that plagues us so much upon reflection?

If you think about it, you may wonder if your actions are worth doing. Sure you can say that there is no meaning, but no one wants to be a nihilist. We need to know what pushes us forward, especially with the torments we go through in our daily lives. For Tolstoy, he eventually found his meaning in religion. That is not the case for everyone. Are we really a part of God’s plan or do we have to get our purpose of life from within?

One could take the external, religious approach and say, for example, that it is to serve God and go with a plan that most of us are unsure of. The life we live now will determine our afterlife. The truth is though, we are not entirely sure if this being exists (or which), and even if he did, then we are basically complicated creatures made to serve.

Abdalgadir, Sally

Abdalgadir is a geology senior and Community Voices columnist for The Shorthorn.

I don’t completely believe in this because if we were made to serve God, then why as human beings is it sometimes hard for us to believe in this omnipotent being without questioning and raising doubts every once in a while? We also go through struggles and watch others go through worse because in the large scheme of things, there is nothing we can do about it. All this pain and suffering seems so senseless.

As someone who is somewhat religious, sometimes I wonder why we weren’t made like mindless robots. Some say that God gave us free will, although it may not even be real considering that most of us make important decisions based on our surroundings and senses.

If free will is real, is it just a test? I don’t think it is. Especially since God already knows who’s going to pass and who’s going to fail. So then, what’s the point?

Personally, I would like to connect with people more, but it is already proving to be a challenge considering that I am an introvert. The fact that I am open to putting my opinion out there for people to judge is a good step. However, there are other aspects of my personal life that still make it difficult to come to terms with, but I need to if I’m ever going to be happy. I would like to try to accept myself more and dig deep into what I really believe if I want to fully realize the purpose of my life. I don’t want to look back at my life with regret.

Many can find meaning outside of this. Probably the next best thing is to find the meaning internally. Now, this complicates things a little more because you would have to find out what you want to accomplish by the end of your life. Do you want a family? How about the simple life? Do you want to devote all of your time to help the needy?

These are difficult questions to ask, but at least they provide us with some direction. At least we are forced to learn a little about ourselves and what we want to accomplish. Finding the purpose helps us move forward.

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