What is the meaning of life?

Here are a variety of answers from WikiAnswers contributors (in no particular order of priority):
To live in many different ways
  • Life is short enjoy it while you can! The importance of life is to live it to its fullest. To live it to its fullest and stop trying to figure everything out.
  • Life's meaning is what it means to you! The meaning of life, to me, is to live life anyway I choose: What do you value in your life? Everyone has their own meaning and their own perception of life. Britannica says it's the sequence of physical and mental experiences that make up the existence of an individual, one or more aspects of the process of living, or a way or manner of "living".
  • The meaning of life - to learn from mistakes. Without mistakes no one ever really learns how to live. You will make some mistakes, as all of us do. We learn from them and grow stronger. We all do the best we can and learn from our mistakes because, quite simply put, humans on earth are on a 'learning ground' and thus, we learn, make mistakes, learn from them, hopefully, and do the best we can.
  • To appreciate the beauty and amazing things going on around us on the Earth that was originally intended for us to enjoy. Since it is no longer entirely in that pure state, we have the job to care for what does remain and, more importantly, to point others to the time when it will be possible to live in a truly perfect place once more through what Christ has done to enable us to be there if we choose. Finding your purpose therefore will be determined by your ability to appreciate every moment by making the most positive use of it because every breath of life you take you are one breath closer to death. So live right and do good always enjoy the existence you have now and if you awaken and realize that this was all a dream, then make it a sweet dream.
  • Life is what you make it: The meaning of life is not the same for everyone. Your life has one meaning, the life of another person will have another meaning, and my life will have another meaning too. You are the one to give meaning to your life by making something of it. Every person is allowed to live their life as they want to. Find the way you want to live your life and live it like that. Be happy. Be healthy. Be loved.
  • Although I'm just seventeen and have my whole life ahead, life has shown me that whatever I put in, I get out., That means for all the effort I put into something, I will get something out of it, I will be rewarded in some way. I tend to live naturally, to love, to learn, and to help, I tend to love knowledge, because it makes me satisfied, it makes me know how things work, it makes me build up ideas and have something to say. It makes me know how to listen, how to talk and spread my ideas. I think the meaning of life is to understand how it is best suited for you and how it will make you satisfied, happy, successful and loved. But one thing I can guarantee: no one out there will tell you the meaning of life, nor the meaning of your life for you will have to find that out by yourself. Take it as a challenge. After all, you wouldn't be asking that if you already knew it, or if mostly everyone knew it.
  • According to Douglas Adams the answer would be 42. The meaning of life, of the universe, and of everything is 42. But put science fiction aside! Look at the smaller, less complicated life species, they live just to live. More complicated life species live and help keep other life alive. We, as humans, should live to be alive and help others be alive. Taken a step further, life is about experience; one should live to experience one's own life and the life of others. (But do not try to live through another person's life). You have to give your own life meaning and not rely on someone else's opinion to give you one.
  • The meaning of life is to live until you die, and to change the world in some little way -- no matter how unknown you are.
  • The meaning of life is to live forever. The true meaning of life is for humans to reproduce so that the human race lives forever and conquer the universe (and multiverses, if they exist) so that humans can rule everything forever.
  • To tell you the truth, I don't think anyone knows the true meaning of life. People say that the only way to know the true meaning of life is to live a full life with many near death experiences, then God tells you an instant after you have died. If you have a complex enough mind, and when God wants us to know, he will tell someone after they die and let that person be revived to tell the rest of the human race. If that never happens then we will just have to live life with many questions and as best we can. That's what God wants us to do. That's one way to look at it.
  • To live the life of God's creation and Gods painting of life.
  • According to me the point of life is happiness. We all are trying to find a place where we are happy, be it by earning money or fame or getting married. Even a person who commits suicide is trying to be happy, thinking that it will end his misery. So I think, the point of life is to stay as happy as possible in any given circumstance and to create a better tomorrow for ourselves.
  • The meaning of life is to grow physically, mentally and spiritually. It's about traveling down different paths of your life and making decisions. It's about being true to yourself, standing alone sometimes when you really believe in something and not fearing retribution. What is the meaning of life has been an age old question since the beginning of time and it's like trying to define the meaning of love. It means to love those around you, help where you can, be known as a person that can be trusted and just do the best you can. If we didn't feel sadness we could never experience happiness; if we didn't get angry on occasion we would never know peace, and if we didn't trust our hearts we'd never know love. Yes, it's about pro-creating, but life is much more than that if you open your eyes, ears and heart and listen!
  • The point of life lies in the question of whether or not you are just living to die. Because every breath of life you take, you come one breath closer to death. So the time you spend bothered by what could or should be is time wasted in imagination and fantasy.
  • A person who cannot find contentment, cannot find peace. A person, who cannot find peace, cannot find fulfilment. Prosperity, Power and Popularity are not the solutions to human suffering, because you may have them all and still feel incomplete. There are many prosperous, powerful and popular individuals who need mind altering drugs and other freaky activities to keep them excited, and still aren't content.
  • The meaning of life is to make life meaningful.
  • Many people believe that there is no "point" per se to life; life simply exists, and the meaning of an individual's life is up to the individual.
  • In Buddhism the meaning of life is found in the "true insight" of Enlightenment, which is called a "perfect peace".
  • The point (purpose) of life for each individual depends on his/her beliefs and values. The choices people make are usually dependent on the psychological conditioning they are exposed to, from the moment of foetal conception, to the point of completion of their social/cultural programming. This social/cultural programming is similar to the programming of a computer's processor with data that is considered to be factual. The computer then compares all incoming data against its programmed intelligence, in order to generate a conclusion. Similarly the human intellect processes incoming data based on the morals/values they have been conditioned with. Some of these morals/values are inherited from genetic sources and the others are learnt from the environment to which the absorptive mind is exposed.
  • A humanist would say we each make our own meaning by the way we live. The meaning is whatever meaning/purpose you care to assign to it... or none at all. If you have a religion, you could find meaning there; a particular philosophy, ditto. If you're a nihilist, you might conclude that there is no meaning at all.
  • We, being animals, the meaning of life is to reproduce ourselves to continue the species. All the other stuff is just to make it interesting.
  • One aspect to enjoying being alive is considering how incredibly complex the function of your body is and how it is difficult to believe that we consist of billions of living cells that allow us our senses and work literally like they were programmed, just to keep us alive.
  • The meaning of life is to utilize our main driving force, curiosity, without which none of us would even exist. Discover and find out new things. Space travel, for example, will lead to great new discoveries - including life near and far from us.
  • No one really knows the answer to this. Philosophers and religionists have been debating it for thousands of years.
  • I think that there is absolutely no point in life. God does not seem real, so we are all going to die without an afterlife.
  • I don't believe in God. I think eating pie and watching football is good enough for me.
  • Live fast and die young.The irony in life these days is that, in order to find its meaning, you merely have to Google it.
  • The meaning of life is that we exist, that we are products of a force called creation, and that we should all support and affiliate with that force in every one of its manifestations. The difference between life and the inanimate is that life has consciousness.
  • No one knows the meaning of life, some choose God, and some choose self or try to be God. Life is full of discovery and to give you a little hint on discovery try thinking outside the media. I recommend studying quantum physics or learning more about the superstring theory or the chaos theory. Everything is composed of waves, sound waves ranging at all frequencies, you could almost say that we are just a wave in this world seeking complete harmony.
  • Living with a meaning: "To be the eyes and ears and conscience of the Creator of the Universe, you fool." - Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions.
  • The meaning of life is purity.
  • There is no meaning of life. Nobody asks to be born, but you're here anyway. Make the best of things while you're here. If your life needs meaning, then join a cause.
  • You can make your life to be what you want it to be, within reason, and you don't have to become famous or rich to do it. Some of the most successful people have been those who gave without question, such as a teacher that cares about his/her students and makes a difference, or a doctor, a mother, father, a person with disabilities of their own, etc. One can volunteer for people, children or pets and ease some of the suffering of all. I live by rule of thumb ... when you are lucky financially (that's just keeping your head above water) and even though you may be limping through life, you should always give back to those less fortunate. One day you just never know when you'll need someone there for you too. This makes your mind, body and soul one. It gives you a source of peace when the world around you is going mad.
  • Consider this when trying to understand the meaning of your own life. An old guy once told me that the meaning of life was survival. I thought he was crazy, but as I get older, I think that the crazy guy may have something.
  • The answer to life is being. It is all anything has ever done, it is all anything will ever do.
  • The meaning of life to you is dependent on your value system. Your particular set of morals/values are those that you inherited from genetic sources and from the environment within which you were raise. What is the meaning of life is finding the answer to the following questions:
    • Who am I?
    • Where am I?
    • Why am I?
    • The meaning of life for you depends on your belief systems.
    • Who are you?
    • Are you an organism that was created from a chemical combination of other organisms?
    • Are you just living to die or is there an existence beyond this body that was created from organic digestion (the food you eat)?
    • Are you an absolute entity called a soul?
    • What gives all of matter its intelligence?
    • Where do atomic and subatomic nanoparticles get their intelligence?
    • Can something be created from nothing?
    • Why are you here?
    • Did you have a choice in the matter?
    • Does your existence have a purpose?
    • Do you add value to the universe?
    • Are you a link in the cosmic chain of evolution/creation?
    • Where are you?
    • Are you resting on a bed somewhere dreaming all of this?
    • Do you know that you are dreaming when you are dreaming?
    • How do you know that it was all a dream (illusion/virtual-reality)?
    • Are you a speck of dust in a massive cosmic sphere?
  • The meaning of life is yo die and multiply.
  • Many great minds have pondered 'what is the meaning of life' and it basically comes down to each individual and what their needs are. Some people enjoy peace, living on a farm or ranch, while others want to hit the big cities for careers, investments, etc., but we all have to make ourselves happy and feel fulfilled no matter what and I doubt that most humans will ever totally attain that. There will always be some regrets. We should be kind, considerate to our fellow man. We should have some belief system of higher power. We should know the good from evil and help those that can't help themselves. We should not constantly feel powerful over another, but be humble enough to know where help is needed. That's power!
  • The only reason I know for life is that it's a test that we have to pass the right way for reward in the life hereafter.
  • Evolution has determined that the point of life is to reproduce and to be the most successful species. That is the meaning of life for all creatures. If it was not their point in life that species would've died off long ago. (Mainly it is the urge to pass along your own genes).
  • Life is to just live. We should enjoy each and every moments. If you are suffering from a problem, really you are great. The problem came to you because you can solve the same and come up in life. At every situation remember one thing. This present is not permanent. It may be either a sad time or a good one. Follow these tips:
    • 1. Do not vex if sad,
    • 2. Do not enjoy to the core when in joy
    • 3. Share your feelings to your beloved. Both sad and sweet
    • 4. When you grow respect others
    • 5. Maintain patience at any cost.
    • 6. You should know that there are thousands of people suffering a lot more than you.

  • We as organisms of infinitely complex chains of chemical reactions truly designed through creativity, formed by atoms attracted by neutral chemical compositions, actually interpret ourselves, the universe, and the atoms we consist of to ask these kind of questions. There is no question that the only thing that keeps us alive is the flow and exchange of electrons. The integration of god and morals is still a question of, right or wrong, what do we do, what do we not do; relatively, why are we here or why are we not here. Life is not just humans interpreting their surroundings; trees through inter-cellular communication interpret gravity and the location of the sun. And just as the tree stretches out for the sunlight, we as humans reach out for each other and strive for knowledge and meaning. In this way, life is a necessary outcome in the displacement of energy and completes necessary chains of events. "Life" allows these necessary connections in the flow and displacement through forms of energy; as humans, as trees, as the flow of a river or the explosion of a volcano. This interpretation, communication, and ultimately exchange, could be said is the meaning of life. The atoms, quarks, muons and gluons that we as humans consist of can indirectly, through many exchanges and chemical reactions, interpret the direct energy displacement of other prominent metabolisms of energy (like other humans) and other things that effect the chemical reactions through communication of light, sound, pressure, and temperature. This is why we are "conscious". Every atom is either repelled or attracted to each other; the fact that this occurs means that every atom is effected, or "conscious", of another. The exchange of electrons with another atom and change in composition, are the same exchanges occurring in our brains to make "conscious" decisions and interpretations.
  • I've got two theories. There is no meaning but of what you make it like some of you may be to have kids, find a lover, climb a mountain that stuff. The other theory is that it is change, meaning nothing lasts forever accept change, one day I will die, the worms will eat me, and a bird will eat that it will reproduce. What I mean is there is always a state of change nothing will last forever everything hangs on a tip of a knife the balance always changing.
  • Life's meaning is having fun and living through the bad times and good times and that makes you the person you are. The meaning of life is to take care of our planet. To be hard working and serve God. To help out in fixing communities - that's what life is about; you should not live only for fun but help others enjoy life too.
  • The meaning of life is to contemplate questions like this.
  • The purpose of life is to serve your soul's purpose as a human.

Here is a variety of religious views from WikiAnswers contributors (in no particular order of priority):
  • The true meaning of life is to love and serve God.
  • Perhaps the true meaning of life is to find peace with God. For most people it is impossible to believe in God because it doesn't make any scientific sense for such an entity to exist. But to others the "Big bang" as a cause for the creation of the universe might be equally difficult to believe in. To find God is peace. To find God, you need Jesus, because he can free you from your sins. But while we're alive on this Earth, we might as well try our best to have a good life and be the best we can be, as long as we stay true to ourselves.
  • The "meaning" of life is a test. This is only a test. Our life here is so brief yet our spirits are eternal. The "purpose" of life is to choose whom you will be loyal to. Either you will show yourself willing to live under the rule of the God of the Universe or you will choose to live as a slave to self and to sin.
  • There are a lot of answers to what is the meaning of life and they are all so detailed, but too detailed so they miss the point. The meaning of life/purpose in basic terms:
    • 1. to acknowledge a Creator of the universe and all
    • 2. to know He's one and only
    • 3. to know He watches your very moves to see if you do good in life hoping for your success in life
    • 4. to give praise to Him, so He can praise you back
    • 5. to obey HIS book of wisdom, The Torah of succeeding with perfection. For a Jew obey the 613 mitzvot of the Torah, for a non-Jew to obey the 7 laws of Noah and this will make you gain perfection opening a spot for you in heavens glory.
  • The meaning of life is that God created us and loves us, and wants us to know and love Him, and to join Him in Heaven one day. He has created the way for us to do so, by sending Jesus His Son to die for our sins. Now we can receive Him as our Lord and Saviour and have a new life in Him on earth, and one day join Him in Heaven. Life is like a test. God wants to see what you can do, and if you do good things in life and help others.
  • To live the life of God's creation and Gods painting of life.
  • If you believe in the Bible, the meaning of life is Jesus Christ, because He is the only one that defeated death.
  • To understand the meaning of life we have to turn to the source, or creator. If you believe in such things, that is God. If he put us here, it was for a purpose. So He may be the only one able to provide us with the answer. Some people will acknowledge that everything we need to know about the purpose of life and about God himself is found in one book, the Bible.
    • If you believe in the Bible, the meaning of life is in God's inspired words: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it." Luke 9:23.
  • Ecclesiastes 12:13 "Fear God and obey His commandments for this is the whole duty of man."
  • I believe it's to enjoy the beauty of God's creation.
  • Any Christian should know the purpose of life is simple: to serve God. Any Christian who doesn't know this needs to build up their relationship with God; He'll show you all you need to know.
  • The Serenity Prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
  • Jewish answer: The philosophy of Judaism is that this world is a purposeful creation by God, in which all people are tested concerning their use of free-will. We possess a soul which lives on after the body dies and is held responsible for the person's actions. Anyone who is worthy, Jewish or not, can merit reward in the afterlife. The world is not chaotic or the result of chance. Life is the work of a deliberate, purposeful, intelligent and kind Creator; not a melancholy chaos or a string of fortuitous accidents. God is at the center of reality and the center of our world-outlook and thoughts. God's ways are also eternal. God is not capricious, forgetful or fickle. Investing in a relationship with God is the only thing that will bear eternal benefits.
'What is the meaning of life' is a question that some find difficult to answer because it's very subjective. To some, the meaning of life is we are born, we live our life and then we die. To others, they believe that they have a purpose in life. This might be something to do with a career or chosen lifestyle.
Life is a test. We are being tested by our actions and how we deal with challenges and. We have what is called free agency which is the ability to choose from right and wrong and we are being tested on how we use that free agency. Life is also a chance for us to gain a body and live on this Earth.
the mining of life is to live life and do what you want
The collection of all your memories in locked inside your subconscious mind will describe the meaning of life, which is why they say the meaning of life is different for everyone.
Do everything you wanna do cos life's too short to live with regrets and 'what ifs'