What Is The Meaning Of Life? The Answer Might Surprise You

Have you ever felt lost, wondering what the purpose of your life is? It’s a question that has puzzled humans for centuries and continues to do so.

Philosophers, scientists, and religious leaders have all attempted to answer this question through various theories and beliefs. However, recent research suggests that there are three dimensions of meaning: Purpose, Coherence, and Significance.

Think of these dimensions as pillars holding up the structure of our lives. Without one, the whole thing can come crashing down.

The search for meaning is not just an abstract concept but something we all strive for in our daily lives. In this article, we will explore each dimension and how they contribute to the overall meaning of life.

The answer might surprise you – it’s not some grandiose idea or ultimate goal but rather a combination of personal values and experiences that give our lives purpose.

Join us as we delve into this topic with a thoughtful and analytical approach to help you find your own meaning in life.


This section provides an overview of the different philosophies and dimensions surrounding the search for purpose, coherence, and significance in our existence.

The question of what’s the meaning of life is a universal one that has puzzled humanity throughout history. From existential crisis to cultural influences, scientific perspective to historical context, spiritual beliefs to psychological impact, there are various factors that shape our understanding of this concept.

Some believe that life has an objective meaning, while others argue that it is subjective or even meaningless. Regardless of one’s stance on this matter, it’s evident that humans seek to find purpose and significance in their lives as it provides a sense of direction and fulfilment.

Understanding the three dimensions of meaning – purpose, coherence, and significance – can help us identify what we value most in our lives and why.

Philosophical Theories

Get ready to explore the diverse philosophical theories on the purpose and significance of our existence.


From existentialism vs. nihilism, teleology vs. deontology, absurdism vs. optimism, determinism vs. free will, and Eastern vs. Western philosophy, to theological vs. secular views, there are various beliefs about the meaning of life that have been debated throughout history.

Existentialists argue that we must create our own meaning in life because there’s no inherent purpose or value in existence; nihilists go further and claim that life is ultimately meaningless and without any moral principles to guide us.

Teleologists believe that everything has a purpose or goal while deontologists emphasize following moral duties regardless of outcomes.

Absurdists believe that there is a conflict between our longing for meaning and the chaotic nature of reality; optimists argue that life is worth living despite its challenges.

Determinists assert that everything happens according to pre-existing causes while those who believe in free will contend that we can make choices independently of external influences.

Eastern philosophies like Buddhism emphasize self-awareness as a way to find inner peace while Western philosophers like Aristotle stress achieving happiness through virtuous actions in society.

Theological views argue for divine intervention or revelation as sources of meaning while secular views rely on rational inquiry and scientific progress as means of finding our place in an uncertain universe.

Importance of Meaning

Discovering the importance of meaning in our lives can have a profound impact on our happiness, mental health, and overall life satisfaction.

When we find purpose and direction through our values and identity, we are more motivated to navigate the complexities of human experience and avoid falling into an existential crisis.

Additionally, finding coherence in our lives by making sense of our experiences can lead to a greater sense of fulfilment, while recognizing the inherent significance of our existence can provide us with spiritual fulfilment.

Moreover, the social connection within a community can give us a sense of belonging that contributes to both personal and communal well-being.

Therefore, understanding the role of meaning in our lives is crucial for cultivating a fulfilling and meaningful existence.

Three Dimensions

Understanding which dimension of meaning resonates with us most can be a powerful tool for creating a sense of purpose and fulfilment in our journey.

Exploring our Purpose helps us to identify future-oriented goals that provide direction in life.

Understanding Coherence allows us to make sense of our past experiences, connect the dots, and create a narrative that gives meaning to our life story.


Embracing Significance focuses on recognizing the inherent value and worth of our lives, regardless of external achievements or societal standards.

It’s crucial to recognize that each individual has their own perspective on what constitutes meaning in their life, and finding a balance between these dimensions is key to achieving overall well-being.

The practical application involves reflecting on what brings joy, purpose, and fulfilment into one’s life while also considering how it aligns with their values and beliefs.

By understanding these three dimensions, we can take a more intentional approach towards living a fulfilling life filled with purposeful actions aligned with personal values.


Finding our purpose in life is like uncovering a hidden treasure within ourselves that brings a sense of direction and fulfilment to our journey. Having future-oriented goals gives us the motivation boost to keep moving forward and living intentionally.

It allows us to see beyond the present moment and strive towards something greater, which ultimately leads to personal growth.

Knowing our purpose helps us make decisions that align with our values and passions, making it easier for us to stay true to ourselves. When we’re clear about what we want in life, we’re less likely to get distracted by external factors or societal pressures.

Discovering our purpose may not always be easy, but it’s worth the effort because it gives us a reason for being and provides meaning in everything we do.


Feeling lost and unsure of our place in the world can be overwhelming, but finding coherence in our life story can help us make sense of our past, present, and future.

Finding clarity in personal narratives through a life review can prevent existential crises by allowing us to identify patterns and themes that shape our experiences.

It’s important to understand how cultural influences impact our understanding of coherence as it shapes how we perceive meaning in life.

The psychological benefits of finding coherence include a greater sense of self-awareness, self-esteem, and overall well-being.

By understanding the narrative thread woven throughout our lives, we can create a more meaningful existence and find purpose in moving forward with intentionality.


You may discover a profound sense of worth and value when exploring the deeper aspects of your existence that go beyond the surface-level experiences.

Significance, one of the three dimensions of meaning in life, focuses on the inherent value and purpose of one’s life. It is important to distinguish intrinsic versus extrinsic significance – whether our worth comes from within or external sources such as achievements or relationships.

Cultural influences also play a role in shaping our perception of what gives our lives meaning. However, it is through self-discovery that we can uncover our personal values and beliefs that provide us with a sense of significance.

Coping mechanisms can help us navigate existential crises, but ultimately understanding our own significance can have a significant impact on mental health. Existentialism vs absurdism philosophies also come into play when discussing significance; do we create our own meaning or is it meaningless?

Regardless, exploring significance can lead to a greater appreciation for life and its purpose.

Personal Values

Values identification is crucial in determining the meaning of our lives. Through self-reflection, we can understand what matters most to us and prioritize goals that align with those values.

Cultural influences and the role of relationships also play a significant role in shaping our personal values. By recognizing these factors, we can make intentional choices that contribute to our overall well-being.

It’s important to understand that everyone’s values are unique, and there’s no right or wrong answer. The key is to be honest with ourselves about what truly matters to us and live our lives accordingly.

Finding Meaning

Now that we’ve identified our personal values, it’s time to explore how to find fulfillment and a sense of purpose in our daily lives.

It’s important to understand that meaning can come from both internal and external sources. Exploring our passions and defining success on our own terms can help us identify what truly matters to us.

However, obstacles may arise in the pursuit of meaning, and seeking guidance from others can be helpful in overcoming them.

Ultimately, finding significance in life is a journey that requires self-reflection and an open mind. By actively seeking out what brings us joy and aligns with our values, we can create a more meaningful existence for ourselves.


In conclusion, the search for the meaning of life has been a lifelong pursuit for many. Philosophers, scientists, and religious leaders have all attempted to answer this question, but it still remains elusive.

However, recent research has shed light on three dimensions of meaning that contribute to one’s sense of purpose and fulfilment in life.

Did you know that according to a study conducted by the University of Oxford, people who feel they have a strong sense of purpose in life are 15% less likely to die prematurely than those who don’t? This statistic highlights the importance of finding meaning in our lives.

By cultivating a sense of purpose, coherence, and significance through personal values and meaningful experiences, we can lead more fulfilling lives with greater well-being and longevity. Ultimately, the answer to what is the meaning of life may vary based on individual beliefs and philosophies.

But by exploring these dimensions of meaning and discovering what brings us joy and fulfilment, we can create our own unique path towards living a meaningful existence.

Meryl Roberts

Meryl Roberts

Meryl is a relationship, parenting, yoga, and mental wellness specialist with 13 years of experience in the Bay Area. She has helped countless people improve their relationships and mental health through yoga, meditation, and other holistic methods. She is highly passionate about her work, and strongly believes that a healthy mind and body are essential to a happy life.

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