The Purpose of Life

On the bike trail, someone has quoted in chalk a saying from the Dalai Lama:

The purpose of life is to be happy.


I disagree. The purpose of life is to achieve. That can be as grand as climbing tall mountains, travelling to other planets, curing diseases, or finding some new understanding of the universe. It can mean writing a book that others find meaningful, teaching others a skill or idea, building a road, maintaining social order as a law enforcement officer, or saving a life after an accident. It also means doing useful work.

Happiness will be the by-product of achievement. To seek it as the goal is to demand the reward before you have earned it.


10 thoughts on “The Purpose of Life

  1. KimberlyPen-L

    Ah, grasshopper, achievement is the by-product of happiness (not to be confused with base pleasures). When we are happy, our work is done with joy and expertise; when forced, quality diminishes. We need not seek happiness as a goal, but accept it now and embrace our purpose, whatever that may be. IMHO

      1. orlin sellers

        The purpose of life is play.
        “Who was it who said, “Blessed is the man who has found his work”? Whoever it was he had the right idea in his mind. Mark you, he says his work–not somebody else’s work. The work that is really a man’s own work is play and not work at all. Cursed is the man who has found some other man’s work and cannot lose it. When we talk about the great workers of the world we really mean the great players of the world. The fellows who groan and sweat under the weary load of toil that they bear never can hope to do anything great. How can they when their souls are in a ferment of revolt against the employment of their hands and brains? The product of slavery, intellectual or physical, can never be great.” Mark Twain

      2. Greg Camp

        Orlin, that’s a fine way of putting it–as all of Twain’s writing is. Find a job that you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.

  2. Thomas F

    Find an image of Laci the Dog and you will never stop laughing a day in your life…..

    Posting here, because MikeyB gets mad and has permanently blocked me…

    1. Greg Camp

      I’ve seen that one. These gun control freaks are obsessed about how gun owners look, but they don’t quite cut a stunning figure themselves.

  3. orlin sellers

    LOL! That’s kinda how imagined Pooch looking – except maybe a kilt instead of shorts. 😉
    I’m guessing Pooch’s actual dog was too embarrassed to be in the picture.

  4. nrhatch

    Too many people sacrifice happiness they could have today, in exchange for happiness they hope to have tomorrow.

    Sadly, tomorrow may never arrive.

    Life is uncertain. The end of the road may be a short week away. Crossing the street, we might get hit by a bus.

    Or, like Steve Jobs, we might be diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.

    The present moment is the only place that we can find peace, love, joy, and happiness. Fit as much happiness into today as you can!


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