Have you ever stopped to consider what life is?
All living beings are the continuation of a chemical reaction that keeps fueling itself which started about 3,7 billion years ago on a planet revolving just one of the billions of stars in the universe. You and me are no different. The fact that part of us consists of the most complex structure in the known universe, the human brain, and are able to be conscious of our existence doesn’t change the fact of what we ultimately are. A super complex structure with thoughts and feelings, but a chemical reaction nonetheless.
It always makes me chuckle when people claim that chemicals, in general, are bad since the people who say so are a chemical reaction itself and often promoting an organic diet which consists of the results of one of the oldest chemical reactions on earth since fruit and vegetables are the result of the same chemical reaction we emerged from.
Keeping in mind that we are just a chemical reaction can help put things in perspective a bit if you ever feel overwhelmed or are tempted to take life too serious. But does this make life less valuable? Not at all. To change the perspective a bit you could consider the following as well which is equally true: We are a part of the universe that is able to observe and experience itself, which is pretty cool. If we didn’t exist no one would ever notice the universe existed at all. Our existence makes the entire universe more meaningful. Without anyone noticing it being there it would be completely pointless.
Life is intrinsically pointless since meaning is something we assign to things; like a task is only meaningful when it serves a desirable goal. Not just any goal, the intention to achieve it has to be present in order to make it worthwhile. Intention is the key to meaning.
Since meaning is something we assign to things through intention, a meaningful life is one intentionally lived. This doesn’t mean having complete control over it, this is impossible since life is unpredictable and the majority of forces influencing your life are out of your control. However it does mean acting intentionally, setting goals to strive towards, and taking steps to achieve them. Roadblocks will always show up, if you are living intentionally you respond by finding other roads and picking yourself up when you trip and fall. It means consciously deciding what you want to do with your life, not just reacting to whatever happens to you.
Our actions define us. And, as I pointed out earlier, our actions are our real choices. In the end it’s not about what happened to us but how we reacted to it. What defines us, and how meaningful our life was, is how we decided to live it by the actions we took.