In January of 2018, I experienced my first depression. I just didn’t know why should I try. I could play games, eat unhealthily, and nothing would happen.
It was severe and I don’t want to encounter it ever again.
This is the philosophy of my life, I did a lot of thinking and research on this topic, but I’ll be probably expanding it and changing it whenever I change my life views.
There is no meaning
Objectively, if you look at the Universe, we don’t matter. We’re so tiny and even if you were the one to nuke the world, it wouldn’t matter.
Once we die, even if people remember us in a good or a bad way for a few hundred years or thousands of years, they’re all going to perish and the memory of us with them.
Simply, our actions don’t matter. If you cure cancer, objectively the Universe doesn’t care. All species come and go and we probably won’t be different.
That sounds scary because then there is no objective point of trying.
This could lead some people to the nihilistic version of thinking and suicidal thoughts, but I disagree.
No to nihilism
We can’t forget that all people have subjective feelings. We experience pleasure and we suffer.
Subjective feelings explain why suicide is not the solution. Everyone has people that care about them. It would hurt them. It could destroy them. Also don’t forget, if there is an afterlife, it could be even worse.
If suicide is not the solution, then being nihilistic is stupid. Nihilism promises avoidance of all responsibility. You don’t have to do anything, because nothing matters. But it’s a false promise.
Why is nihilism a false promise?
Because you’re still going to suffer and in reality, you’re going to suffer more. Suffering is unavoidable and attempts to avoid suffering usually lead to more suffering.
Let’s say you have a problem that bothers you a lot. You could go and solve it. But instead, you go and drink alcohol. You temporary relieved yourself of suffering. But when you wake up in the morning, you have two problems: your problem and additionally you have a hangover.
If you overeat because of nihilism that tells nothing matters, you still have to face the consequences of being fat. If you become a drug addict because of nihilism, you still have to face the consequences of being a junkie.
Nihilism promises no responsibility, but it can’t deliver that. Nihilism luckily wasn’t the answer and that kept me digging more.
We should consider
1. The probability of us being born is so tiny.
Imagine how many ancestors had to be lucky to survive from all the tigers, hunger, and danger and then out of all the possible sperms, it’s exactly you.
The one who has access to the internet, can read, and has probably an over average intelligence because you’re reading about this topic instead of distracting your mind.
2. We don’t realize what progress our ancestors made. Were they perfect? Not at all! Should we be grateful? Hell yes! Once again, life is full of suffering, but thanks to our ancestors, they improved our choices.
It’s better to suffer because you have too much food and you can’t it eat all than when you didn’t have any food.
It’s better to suffer because you have too many options to pursue in your career instead of being a slave and work on some field for your whole life.
We live in such a privilege that it would be a shame not to build on it instead of wasting it.
3. All of us get limited time here. But because the date of our death is usually not known and far away, we don’t care. But once we die, there will be nothing. My brain will stop working and that’s it.
I want to be able to say at the end of my life: this was a life worth living.
What’s the point? Enjoy life!
There is no objective meaning and the subjective one is created by us, but it’s not real. We have only shot to live, the time is restricted and we should be grateful how lucky we were to born in the best age so far. The world will perish and it’s not scary, it gives us the freedom to do things.
Therefore, I propose we should enjoy life as much as we can.
How do I that?
It might sound like YOLO, do drugs, alcohol, be lazy, play games, etc. but I don’t think these things maximize joy. Temporarily they do, but then you suffer much more.
If you’re lazy or unhealthy now, your pain of being sick, pain, and unsuccessful is much worse than the immediate pleasure you had.
I simply don’t find leisure as the end goal. Leisure for a long time is boring.
No one wants to stay in bed forever.
Instead, I started looking for what I enjoy the most. So far, I’ve found these:
- Spending quality time with people
- Helping other people
- Impressing and inspiring other people
Everyone will probably have a different list.
I’ve found out that for me the biggest driver of happiness is progress.
When I learn something new, I improve, I get stronger, faster, funnier or whatever, it just makes me so happy.
Progress is also important to the other 3 points.
Spending quality time with people
Spending time with friends, joking with them, being nostalgic. Having deep conversations with interesting people.
The better you’re, the more interesting you’re to other people. Also, you have better things to talk about.
Helping other people
It will sound selfish, but I actually like the feeling when others are happy from receiving my gifts.
I also love to be useful and helpful to others.
And the better you’re the more you can help other people.
Impressing and inspiring other people
Everyone loves when people respect them. But the respect has to come from the power of your personality.
My possibilities for changing the world are restricted so far, but whenever I see I have some influence, it is really motivating.
In the end
I know I could waste my life, but instead I want to improve, figure out things that can be helpful for others, and enjoy life while doing it. I know, I’ll suffer, everyone does, but I would rather choose how I suffer.
If you don’t work hard, your life is going to suck. Progress and people in life bring me the real joy.
PS I don’t want to be a presumptuous atheistic prick who denies the existence of God. There might be, I don’t believe in it, it might be beyond our comprehension. Even if there is and it is going to judge us once we die, God won’t care if you believed in it, but what were your actions or rather your trajectory of your behavior.
PS2 Also, I was born in one of the best countries in the world into a middle-class family. I know nothing about poverty, I suffered a bit, but not really. However, it’s not a competition. Rather, I’m very grateful for how lucky I was and want to build on that.