Wednesday, June 27, 2007

My Search for Meaning

Wat are you really living for - is it money, fame, helping others, power .. or wat?”

A friend of mine had asked me this important question sometime back. Trying to figure out what was the very purpose of my life has had a huge impact on my approach towards life and might have on you if you try and answer the question. Hence, I have decided to share this correspondence with you…


I would like to quote the following para from 'Man's Search for Meaning' which pretty much summarizes my take on life.

'...the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person's life at a given moment. To put the question in general terms would be comparable to the question posed to a chess champion: 'Tell me, master, what is the best move in the world?' There simply is no such thing as the best or even a good move apart from a particular situation in a game and the particular personality of one's opponent. The same holds for human existence. One should not search for an abstract meaning of life. Everyone has his own vocation or mission in life to carry out a concrete assignment which demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone's task is as unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it.'

'...In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.'

As you can see, I think life is not about being unidirectional in our pursuit towards a specific purpose. Rather it is the multi dimensional approach towards fulfilling various aspects of life that makes it interesting. Moreover this reminds me of an excellent quote by Einstein,

'A life directed chiefly toward the fulfillment of personal desires will sooner or later always lead to bitter disappointment'

Currently the very purpose of my existence is to learn value investing and be successful at implementing it in the real world, there has been one instance where all I wanted to do was hang on to 'dear' life and nothing else mattered, there will be a time when I might be drawn towards the idea of building good libraries for the public...(the role of family/guru/friends constitute such a large portion of our existence that it becomes synonymous with our very own existence)

Moreover it is not the feasibility of a particular idea that drives me, it is the act of me being responsible towards that goal that drives me. And talking of goals they are like the series of next best thing you want to accomplish - not the ultimate thing you want to accomplish. The ultimate goal is to live life to the fullest, which in itself is all about being dedicated towards a never ending pursuit called life.

I will always be grateful to you for asking me a question that led me to search for the very meaning of my life...

Thanks & rgds,


Blogger Ranjit kumar said...

Hi Arpit Ranka,

Nice to see your post again long after september 2006 and your articles are thought provoking and very interesting. Please keep posting :)

Ranjit kumar

3:03 AM  
Blogger rajeev said...

Hello Arpit
We can ask the grandmaster always "what is the purpose of playing the game" as we ask "what is the meaning/purpose of life".

Asking the grandmaster "what is the best play now" is similar to asking "what should I do today in my life".

The purpose of life of a man is dictated by his desires. Thoughts->desire->action->Thoughts->desire->action->Thoughts->desire->action->
form an infinite loop.

The equation breaks when we take out the desire out from middle.

Desires can be of infinite variety. From good bad mundane great ugly devine etc.

Just my 2 cents.
Best Regards

11:25 AM  
Blogger COMMUNINVEST said...

I think its the most difficult question Nobody knows the answer and everybody behaves like they do. I think best answer would be from a movie A wonderful life where u see without your small contribution world is not as beautiful as it has to be. Solets make our world a beutiful place to live

12:20 PM  

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