The Purpose of Life: Evolution through Action

Esteban Tala

Esteban Tala

Apr 24, 20244 min read

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The Purpose of Life: Evolution through Action

In the search for the meaning of life, many have come to the conclusion that the purpose lies in participating in evolution through action. This idea suggests that by taking meaningful actions, we are contributing to the evolution of the world in various ways, whether it be the economy, society, or the biosphere.

Viktor Frankl, in his book "Man's Search for Meaning," emphasized the need for a fundamental change in our attitude toward life. He argued that instead of constantly questioning the meaning of life, we should see ourselves as being questioned by life itself. In other words, life expects something from us, and it is through our actions and conduct that we can provide an answer.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe echoed this sentiment in his Maxims and Reflections, stating that self-discovery comes not from thinking, but from doing. By performing our duties and taking action, we can gain a true understanding of our worth and purpose.

Phil Stutz and Barry Michels, in their book "The Tools," emphasized the importance of taking action to find a sense of purpose. They argued that purpose doesn't come from mere contemplation; it comes from actively moving toward the future. Just as toddlers learn about the world by crawling and exploring, adults need a constant influx of new experiences, challenges, and problems to fuel their learning and evolution.

These experiences, challenges, and problems can take different forms. They can be external, such as overcoming obstacles in the world or society. However, they can also be internal, such as psychological or spiritual challenges. Both types of experiences contribute to our growth and evolution.

Furthermore, as we accumulate a wealth of experiences and solve numerous problems, we can gain better insight into our values and meaning in life. Values and meaning are patterns that we discover through our interactions with the world and the lessons we learn along the way.

While the search for meaning and purpose is a deeply personal journey, it is important to consider the impact of our actions on our overall well-being. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found a potential link between marijuana use and cardiovascular disease.

The study found that individuals who used cannabis daily had a 25 percent higher risk of heart attack and a 42 percent higher risk of stroke compared to non-users. This risk increased with the frequency of cannabis use, suggesting a dose-response relationship. Interestingly, even without the confounding factor of tobacco use, the higher odds of heart attack and stroke persisted for cannabis users.

One potential explanation for this link could be the inhalation of particulate matter into the lungs, similar to the risks associated with tobacco smoking. About 74 percent of cannabis users in the study reported smoking cannabis, which could potentially increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. It remains uncertain whether edible cannabis products would weaken this association.

While this study focuses on the potential risks of cannabis use, it serves as a reminder that our actions can have both positive and negative consequences on our well-being. Just as meaningful actions contribute to our evolution and growth, it is essential to consider how our choices impact our physical and mental health.

In light of these insights, here are three actionable pieces of advice to consider:

  • 1. Take purposeful action: Instead of solely contemplating the meaning of life, focus on taking actions that align with your values and contribute to your growth. By actively engaging with the world, you can gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your purpose.
  • 2. Seek a balance: While challenging experiences are necessary for growth, it is important to prioritize your well-being. Consider the potential risks and consequences of your actions, both in terms of physical health and overall happiness.
  • 3. Embrace continuous learning: Just as toddlers explore the world to learn, adults need a constant influx of new experiences. Be open to challenges and problems that push you outside of your comfort zone. By embracing continuous learning, you can evolve and discover new aspects of yourself and the world around you.

In conclusion, the purpose of life lies in participating in evolution through action. By taking meaningful actions, we can contribute to the growth of the world and gain a deeper understanding of ourselves. However, it is crucial to consider the potential risks and consequences of our actions, as they can impact our well-being. By embracing purposeful action, seeking balance, and embracing continuous learning, we can navigate the journey of life with greater clarity and fulfillment.

Resource:

  1. "The purpose of life is to participate in evolution through action", https://engineeringideas.substack.com/p/the-purpose-of-life-is-to-participate (Glasp)
  2. "Study finds link between marijuana use and cardiovascular disease", https://arstechnica.com/science/2024/02/marijuana-use-linked-to-increased-risk-of-heart-attack-stroke-study-finds/ (Glasp)

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