If I told you that I discovered the meaning in life would you believe me? If you answered no don’t worry I’m not offended because I’d answer the same way too.  I don’t think that anyone can truly know what the meaning of life is because there is no universal answer.  Life is diverse, it is ever changing, ever growing and can not possibly be fully understood.  Wait a minute….then what’s with the title of this post?!  This post isn’t about me telling you what the meaning in life is but rather about helping you FIND the meaning in life for yourself.  Curious? Let’s get started.

You’ll Never Find Meaning Living Someone Else’s Life

Growing up there are a lot factors that will have an influence on your life.  Your parents, your friends, society, culture, religion etc.  All these things influence your behavior and how your think.  We are after just a collection of experiences.  Each interaction, each thought, each action is determined in part by our interaction with the world as well as some biological factors.

With this in mind have you ever stopped to ask yourself whose life are you really living?  Is that university degree you’re working so hard to get because you want it or because you’re trying to please your parents?  Did you get married and have a family because it was something you really wanted or was it because that’s what society says your supposed to do when you get older?

There are so many outward pressures that consciously or unconsciously dictate what we do in life that it’s hard to distinguish between what we as a person really truly want for ourselves.  This can lead us to ultimately never feeling satisfied or fulfilled.  There’s a quote I’ve heard a few times and it goes something like this

Live your life as if your parents were dead

It sounds pretty grim but I think the meaning behind it has wisdom.  In order for you to take the first steps to find meaning in life, you have to first make sure that you’re living YOUR life and not someone else’s.


Life Can Have No Meaning Until You Give It Some

Now let’s say you’ve taken a good hard look at your life and have come to the realization that you;ve been living someone else’s life.  All those years wasted!  What have I done?!  Now comes the easy part right?

Sorry to say it but this next step is probably harder.  First let me clarify there’s nothing wrong with living someone else’s life if you’re OK with how your life is.  For those that are left unsettled by it though there’s more work to be done.  You’re now ready to live your life.  Great!  There’s just one catch.  After living someone else’s life for so long, what life do you really want for yourself?

Finding your own reason for living, your own purpose in life is not easy.  It’s also something that can take a long time to discover and may change as you grow.  Here’s a few things that I’ve found have helped me personally to add meaning and purpose to my life:

Determine the type of person you want to be

What type of person do you want to be remembered as?  Every person needs to have some sort of code or set of values.  By determining what kind of person you want to be, you’ll have an easier time making decisions and staying course in life.  You simply make all your choices based on your set of values.  If something doesn’t agree with your values, you don’t do it.

There’s an exercise I read a while a go that I found helpful in respect to this.  It said to help determine the type of person you want to be, imagine that you’re at your own funeral and your 5 closest friends were saying something about you.  What would you want them to say?  How would you want them to remember you?  Write down what you would want them to say and this will help you to determine what person you want to become.

Discover where you passion lies

I’m not going to delve too much into this as I’ve written a post about how to discover your true passion previously, but I will say that knowing where your passion lies will help you know what you want to dedicate your life to doing.

A life lived doing what your truly love can never be a live lived in regret.  You might only get to do it part-time or occasionally due to other commitment’s, but knowing what it is and having it be a driving force in your life will help give your direction and purpose.

The Secret To The Meaning In Life

Like with any big life lessons the truth is there is no secret.  There’s only living, learning and growing.  That is how wisdom is gained, through trial and error, through failure and perseverance.

I think everyone at some point in life, or at multiple points looks at their life and goes, what’s the point of it all?  (Not in a I want to end my life kid of way, that is not to be taken lightly and is far beyond the scope of this post.  If that is you please know that there are people you can talk to and should, you’re not alone.) Especially in times where things don’t turnout the way we hoped. 

I'd like to think the meaning in life is not something we find while looking outwards but rather something found looking withinClick To Tweet

The meaning in life in a sense is not found, it is given.  It is given to you, by you.  You determine the meaning in your life and give it purpose, whatever you choose that to be.  I hope that you find that purpose and that meaning someday.  It might not come to you, but I hope you never give up in your pursuit of it.  We all have so much to offer, and when we dedicate our lives to our purpose and passion nothing but amazing things can happen.

Here’s to finding your amazing 🙂



Have you ever had days where you wonder what the meaning is to it all?  What did you do to get life headed in the direction you wanted?



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  1. Hey Paolo, what a great post! I think focusing on who you want to be is the perfect way to find meaning in your life. Thinking about what I want my friends to say about me when I’m gone actually gives me quite a clear guide for my behavior and choices. I want people to say I had fun, so I’m off to find some!!
    Cynthia/Adventuring Woman recently posted…North Shore Road Trip: Lake SuperiorMy Profile

    • Paolo Reply

      I think your well on your way to being remembered as fun 🤗 thanks for reading Cynthia!

  2. A great post.
    Thanks for sharing the quote. I’ve never heard it before. Yes, it is grim, but it helps you re-focus yourself. That is not to say to forget about your parents and neglect them, of course.
    I still get guilted almost every single day for living by that quote. But I am happy. And as I keep telling people – only YOU are truly responsible for your happiness. Do not look for others to make you happy. It does not work like that.

    floatinggold recently posted…The new era of shopping – Tips for easier shopping.My Profile

    • Paolo Reply

      Yes never neglect them or forget about them for sure. Wise words indeed you are responsible for your own happiness. Thanks for sharing and reading! 🤗🙏

  3. A very thoughtful post Paolo! I was thinking about this a few weeks back. What do I do because it’s been taught, and what do I actually do because I want to. Like I always talk about wanting to be free, but I’m constantly organising. I agree that passion is important to figure out. To me, that’s what keeps me going.

    • Paolo Reply

      Thank you Laura! I think it’s something we think about from time to time on multiple occasions 😊 I’m big on organizing too lol Maybe it gives us a sense of control? And keep going we must. Thx for sharing your thoughts, always appreciated! 🤗

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