Life is an absurd, existential dilemma because we must go through it without knowing the answers to the most important questions:
- What caused the Big Bang?
- Does God exist?
- Do souls exist?
- What happens after we die?
- What’s the difference between right and wrong?
- What is the meaning and purpose of life?
Our lack of answers to these questions affects our lives every moment of every day. Why do you get out of bed in the morning? Why do you go on living? Is it because you’re working towards a goal that’s meaningful to you or are you just surviving out of habit or because you don’t want to die? Do you even have any personal goals? Are you letting the tides of society determine how you spend your days?
We’re destined to live and die lost, but that doesn’t mean we’re doomed. If you can find a goal that’s important to you personally, and actively work towards fulfilling it, then you won’t feel purposeless and unfulfilled. If you don’t pick a passion and follow it, you’ll feel existentially depressed even if you believe in God and Heaven. So, it’s a moral imperative that you pursue self-actualization.
Nobody is going to cram self-actualization down your throat. You can’t rely on your parents, schools, mentors, bosses, religious leaders or luck to turn you into a fully-realized adult. The social, political and economic systems that run the world aren’t designed to walk you through the steps of growing up and fulfilling your potential. They’re more designed to starve you, grind you down and exploit you. Your life is your responsbility. It’s up to you to study all of humanity’s wisdom and systematically pick out the most useful instructions on how to create yourself.
You’ll find more relevant information on that topic in psychology textbooks than in ancient religious tomes written by warring tribesmen who made human and animal sacrifices to Gods. Parts of your “self” were defined by your biology and the environment you were raised in. So In order to understand yourself, you have to understand how your nature and nurturing molded you into who you are today. Before you can begin working on achieving a goal that brings you personal fulfillment in this absurd, existential vacuum, you have to fully understand yourself: your strengths, weaknessess, aptitudes, tendencies, predispositions, personality type, emotional type, intelligence level, etc. Then you need to use that information to define your wants.
After you define your wants, the rest of your life will be a race with no finish line, as you continue to explore and pursue your passions. Maintaining this level of dedication requires a systematic understanding of motivation and success skills. You don’t need to go to college to find these answers. All the wisdom of history is just a Google or YouTube search away.
If after all that work, the only finish line we’re ever going to cross is death, which erases all our accomplishments, why bother? Well, it’s like climbing a mountain. It’s not the destination that matters, it’s the journey, the pleasure and meaning of which, is determined by how high we climb.