The Purpose of a Purpose in Life

What’s the purpose of life? If there is a definitive objective answer to that question, I have yet to find it.

Existing answers are unsatisfying: just why would things like faith or service matter? Keep asking why, and you will eventually arrive at happiness.

happiness = (pleasure - pain) / time

The purpose of pleasure and pain is motivating an intelligent being to engage in certain activities and avoid others, ultimately improving chances of survival. Consciousness ultimately evolved to enhance fitness.

The reason that happiness is so hard to attain is that we’re not designed to be happy all the time. Yet.

What all of this means is that we have to define our purpose for ourselves. A good reason to do so is that it simplifies decision making: when the most high-level decisions are made up-front, low-level decisions tend to fall into place more easily. Better decisions lead to more happiness.

But whatever your purpose may become, remember that it’s just a tool among many.