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The Existential Approach to the Question of Life Purpose

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I remember the first time I went to a funeral when I was a kid I was around 8 years old. Like, most 8-year-olds, I did not understand what death was until my parents told me. Since then I have always wonder what the meaning of life as a human is. Of course, everyone else also wonders the same questions. Likewise, the most common questions about the purpose of life that everyone wonders are for example, who are we? Why are we here? etc.

What is it to have meaning in life? The meaning of life for an individual can be anything from religion, spiritual journey, or through something that brings joy into your life. Furthermore, an existential crisis is when a person starts to think or question his or her purpose in life when he or she realizes their own mortality. In addition, thinking about a meaning to his or her life. There is a plethora of different philosophies about the meaning of life or trying to find one. For example, one of those philosophies is existentialism is the study of an individual’s existence in the universe and that individual’s free will to choose in good or bad choices having complete control of their own development, there is no meaning in life until you give it a meaning.

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Death is one of the biggest factors when it comes to an existential crisis. Moreover, No one likes to think about their own mortality, this can cause people to freak out until the event passes. When you have an existential crisis, you can have the following symptoms, depression, and anxiety. Again, people tend to push the thought of death out of their minds until there is a reminder that we will die one day, that is when most people start to have anxiety, makes you feel worried, nervousness, or unease about death. In fact, it can cause depression, a mood caused by server sadness in most people as well. In addition, this can have a big impact on a family as well. For example, a father who’s friend died makes him think about his own life and mortality, he becomes depressed and has anxiety because of it. Indeed, this can have an emotional and physical strain on the person like headaches, fatigue, and thoughts of suicide. Furthermore, death has a heavy impact, when I was 8 years old my uncle died it was a sad event, it was the first time I have ever gone to a funeral. Of course, obviously, I would miss my uncle but as time passed I had time to grieve his death, but the one thing I could not forget was that I was terrified at death, the action. After all, fearing death lead me to question the reason of us living life, what do we live for? What is our purpose as human beings? And, what do we do with the little time we have?

These are existential questions humans have asked themselves for centuries. For centuries people have tried to figure out these old aged questions about the meaning of life. Furthermore, one of the famous western philosophers, Aristotle had a theory of his own when it came to the question about our purpose of life. Aristotle’s theory was that the purpose of one’s own life was the pursuit of happiness, Aristotle’s definition of happiness was that reason of a person is to live life in a certain way, this life is supposed to be a person’s function if the action is done well then the person gets happiness because of their virtue, habit, and practice. For example, if an athlete finishes first place in his or her respective sport then he or she is has done excellence. However, Aristotle believed that happiness is out of the total of your life instead of a couple of moments. Also, Aristotle had examined that there are four things that exist in life; minerals, vegetables, animals, and humans. Indeed, Aristotle believed each of these had a purpose for life, plants purpose is to have nourishment and grow. An animal’s purpose is to have pleasure and reproduction. However a human’s purpose “acting according to principles, and in so doing taking responsibility for their choices”.


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