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 Happiness = Health + Money + Social Life + Meaning



Meaning = Purpose + Accomplishment


Meaning means different things to different people, but is generally defined as the human purpose for existing. Scott Adams describes Meaning as "serving a purpose larger than yourself."


A recent post by Scott on his blog asks us to discuss our permanent age. (this may not be relevant in this section)



Meaning of Life


To discuss the meaning of life, it helps to know what we are talking about. What do we mean by the phrase, "the meaning of life"? Here are some possibilities:


  1. Something to do with personal fulfilment, of having a feeling of value or self-worth.
  2. The literal meaning of the word "life".
  3. The Ultimate Answer to the Great Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.


1. Personal Fulfilment


In this context it is important to note that use of the Happiness Formula presumes that Happiness is a meaningful pursuit.           

The Meaning term, however, does not refer to the presumption of Happiness as a worthy goal. Rather, Meaning in this sense is transcendence of the self-doubt, emptiness, and depression that can accompany satisfaction of Health, Money , and Social Life. This is typically accomplished through a sense of purpose and feeling part of something larger than oneself. While meaning is often. 

Editing this wiki is an example of Meaning.


2. Literal Meaning


Meaning is the phenomenon whereby one assigns a respresentational value to a symbol; usually a spoken or written word. Consider the difference between the word "tree", and a physical tree standing in front of you. In this case, the word "tree" is the symbol, and the physical tree is the meaning of that symbol. Similarly, the word "life" is a symbol, and the actual life you experience every day is the meaning of that symbol.


Confusion can arise when people begin to ask for the meaning of things which, themselves, are already the object of meaning. Having learned the meaning of the word "tree", it is absurd to ask for the meaning of a real tree. In the same sense, having learned the meaning of the word "life", it is, strictly speaking, equally absurd to ask for the meaning of one's actual life.


Note that in the above, we are obviously speaking about meaning in a purely linguistic sense. But in many cases, when people who seek deeper "meaning" to their lives, it often boils down to a harmless confusion of language. In fact, the emphasis of certain Eastern philosophies, such as Taoism or Zen Buddhism, is to clear up this kind of confusion. For them, Enlightenment comes from experiencing of that which already is meaning, without being distracted by verbal descriptions or explanations (ie. symbols) for that meaning.


3. Ultimate Answer




Of course, reaching the Ultimate Answer will have no impact on the meaning of your life unless you have discovered the Ultimate Question. Maybe you should start on that first.


Possible Questions can be found here. The most common Question is "What do you get if you multiply six by nine?"


4. Hats


It is possible that people are simply not wearing enough hats.


5. Alternate Answer


Happiness = the total number of Jell-O shooters consumed in the last hour


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