Existentialism is a philosophy based on analyzing one’s existence and finding where you fit in the world. Do you know who you are or your life’s purpose? Are you wasting your life away on tasks assigned by someone else? Do you rely on “God” to show you what to do?
Existentialists believe that we are all born a unique individual that cannot be stereotyped or grouped together with values or meaning given to us by society, government or even our parents. We are defined by our actions not our words. What happens in our life, just happens, whether or not you are a “good” or “bad” person.
We are born and we have no pre-defined purpose for existing. Luckily, we have the ability to search for answers in a world that has no answers to give. We must seek out our own reason for our existence.
The Foundations of Existentialism
The philosophy of existentialism became popular after World War II where many people saw the horrific acts of the Nazis. They realized that there’s no moral deity watching over them, punishing the bad people and rewarding the good. Therefore, we are all responsible for steering our life’s direction.
Existentialism states that there is no inherent reason for the universe, the world or anyone in it. If you want to have importance or meaning, the truth is that you must create it for yourself. We must devise our own meaning in life, not accept someone else’s (or the group’s) entire philosophy. We are all different and we don’t follow the same path to personal fulfillment. Anxiousness is natural and we must deal with it in order to live authentically and a person is best when they are struggling against their individual nature, fighting to improve their life.
Each human is unique because of the decisions they’ve made throughout life. Each day we continually evolve into the person we create, by the choices we make.
You don’t have to _____.
Perhaps, your life’s goals aren’t really to go to college, get a job, get married, have kids and then die. ou don’t have to go to college so you can work for someone else, in fact working for a boss is the WORST way to make money. That’s just how you were brought up to believe. It may be surprising to think that you can be an amazing human even if you choose to not follow these archaic guidelines of life, in order for you to hone in on your craft and change the world.
You don’t have to add to the overpopulation problem because some ancient guys (when population was low) said that you should have as many babies as possible to help populate the planet. This is not relevant anymore. We now have an overpopulation problem and paradigms are not updated to this fact. Having babies to make your mom happy or because you are bored, lonely or desperately trying to fix your marriage is a horrible choice to make. In unhappy marriages, after having children, the marriage will be stressed more and possibly fall apart.
Speaking with a therapist helps people to learn to take responsibility for their life, their decisions; and how to choose paths that are in alignment with their new beliefs. This helps them to live a happier and more authentic life. The therapist is not some snooty psychologist, but a fellow human who has experienced existential anxiety has found some ways to help guide others through their path of acceptance of the inevitabilities of life.
We are completely free to choose how we live life and it is our responsibility to make those choices and not let someone else do it for you. We will all eventually have to accept and exist with the above issues. You must consider them before it’s too late. Avoiding reality is not going to change it.
The unexamined life isn’t worth living so you must look at your life and see how you could tweak it. Some people are afraid to sit down and analyze their life because of existential fears.
Freedom and Responsibility
One of the founders of Existentialism Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) has stated
“You might assume that there’s some authority figure you could look to for answers, but all of the authorities you can think of are fake. Those authorities are really just people like you – people who don’t have any answers, people who had to figure out for themselves how to live.”
He has said that “the best way to live your life is authentically and that if there are no guidelines to life, then each of us is forced to design our own moral code, to invent a morality to live by.”
Search for your reason of existing, try things out and Google it. Take everything with a grain of salt and use your fascinating, powerful brain to manifest your own custom, personal philosophy. Establishing your outlook and beliefs will make you a more confident, strong, happy and intelligent human being.
If you would rather accept someone else’s idea for your purpose, then you have what Sartre has described as “bad faith” or burying your head in the sand and pretending that there is meaning naturally in the world. Search for your reason of existing, try things out and Google it. Take everything with a grain of salt and use your fascinating, powerful brain to manifest your own custom, personal philosophy. Establishing your outlook and beliefs will make you a more confident, strong, happy and intelligent human being.
Any meaning your life has is because you have created and given it to yourself. No one else is you, therefore no one else can tell you your purpose.