Making sense of life and self

This page last updated February 9th, 2020

Few of us enjoy being bored and aimless. We want to have purpose, direction and meaning in our lives. We want to feel like life is worthwhile. We want to be happy

Psychologists tell us that these are universal human needs, and they are all connected. If we have purpose, we are more likely to be happy and fulfilled.

But where do we find purpose and meaning? Is it in pleasure, having a good time?

For some of us, that is enough. Others of us are willing to settle for that, even though we would like more. But others of us desperately want more than mere pleasure. We want to make a difference. We want to leave the world a better place.

Religion is one source of meaning and purpose, but in a secular age, what else can provide what religion used to?

This section of the website takes a look at some of these questions.

wonderingWhat is the meaning of life?
We need to have purpose in life for our psychological health, but where do secular people find their purpose? Psychologists make recommendations, but will such a purpose provide the meaning we need? Perhaps there is more.

Certainty and uncertainty
We are programmed to want to resolve doubt feel certain about things – about the future, and about our attitudes, values, beliefs and opinions. Yet uncertainties abound, and dealing with them well is the way to reach greater maturity and wellbeing. So how should we deal with uncertainty in a positive way?

helpingMeaning, beliefs and happiness
Altruism, working for a cause, and religious belief all provide meaning in life, and so add to wellbeing and satisfaction in life.

Photo Credit: Ivana Vasilj Flickr via Compfight cc

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