The Meaning of Life

Sometimes we get so involved in prolonging life that we fail to enjoy it. This article is a good read…


I am in Berlin, Germany right now and my Finnish contacts are by far happier, invested in our conversations and a lot more fun.

I am planning a second trip to visit there in 1 year.


Maybe you can learn and share their secrets with us!

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Leaving for Japan in 2 days…for a week. Will be closer to you Chris… hahaha.

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I live in neighbour country Sweden and the Finns don’t seem much fun to me :crazy_face:


Sweden is close, nr. 6 :sweat_smile:

must read the report later, to see more in depth what was the metrics behind happiness. I always thought that Finland has problem with depression and suicides.

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That’s because the Swedes have almost as much fun as the Finns!

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You should get some ozone treatment by MAHT, you are in the Country where it originated.

Plenty of places to get this treatment and very inexpensive there.

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They probably don’t have the Muslim Gang problem that Sweden has.

I don’t think the gangs are religious.

Regarding the topic:

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That’s very interesting. I was a philosophy major in college so we spent much of our time debating the happiness issue.
Much of our life consists of circumstances out of our control, but one thing we can control is our attitude toward those circumstances.
The great philosopher/ psychiatrist, Viktor Frankl, very eloquently illustrated that message in his classic book, Man’s Search for Meaning, where he described his capacity to find an inner peace and happiness even in the harshest conditions of a WW2 concentration camp.
It’s not so much the circumstances, but the meaning that we’re able to give to those circumstances that really matters. No one can control our attitude towards life’s events, no matter where we happen to live.


Excellent summary, @rivasp12 . In some regards, I believe that your philosophy regarding life makes an incredible impact not only on your healthspan but also lifespan. This is a fantastic topic that really doesn’t get as much attention as it should IMHO.

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But we can measure and compare the suicide rate, which happens to be high in these “happy” places.

Wow - thats really interesting. Of course, the number of suicides as a percent of the population is only a tiny fraction so may not be representative of a broader population’s mental health or happiness.

Still, I like the initial article on the things that lead to a fulfilling life. I don’t know if “happy” is the right goal. I like the idea of a “rich and fulfilling and interesting life”.


Thanks De Strider. I think you’re right that it’s important to consider and discuss. We often comment on this site that we wouldn’t just want longevity without health, but it’s equally true that longevity without meaning and purpose is less than desirable as well.
Frankl was surprised at first by those who were able to find purpose and meaning in even the bleakest conditions of a concentration camp. But those were the ones who survived, and that observation changed his life.
Meaning, purpose, attitude, and contentment . Those are the main events. Happiness is more of a welcome, and often surprise, side effect. Vicktor Frankl is worth reading.


I have Frankl’s book also and recommended it to many others. His training as a physician and psychiatrist gave him a unique, credible perspective.


I have been in Japan the past week working with Healthcare students.

I asked about suicide as people seem very indoctrinated into… you before me. Students felt many have jobs that are merely work to eat not an element of passion or deep interest, and these jobs offer little opportunity to advance. Once you are educated in a direction… changing that path is difficult. You can see a life of different day same results. Kind of sad.

The suicide rate increased in 2022 (post covid) almost 16 percent from the previous year


That said the people here are truly kind and wonderful.


On the general topic of “The Meaning of Life”…

The New Old Age

What a new life stage can teach the rest of us about how to find meaning and purpose—before it’s too late

By David Brooks

Around that time, she heard about what was then a new program at Stanford University called the Distinguished Careers Institute. It’s for adults, mostly in their 50s and 60s, who are retiring from their main career and trying to figure out what they want to do with the rest of their lives. The fellows spend a year learning together as a cohort of a few dozen, reinventing themselves for the next stage. “Somebody told me it offered breathing room, a chance to take a step back,” Kenner recalled.

But that is not how she experienced it: “It wasn’t breathing space; it was free fall.”

On her first day, Phil Pizzo, who’d been a researcher and dean of Stanford’s medical school before founding the program, told the group to throw away their résumés: “That’s no longer who you are. That’s not going to help you.” Kenner took his words to heart. “I thought, Okay, nothing I’ve done matters. Everything I do going forward has to be different.

Kenner’s first few days on campus were a shock. The fellows, most of whom had been wildly successful in tech or finance or some other endeavor, were no longer running anything. They were effectively college freshmen again, carrying backpacks, trying to get into classes, struggling to remember how to write a term paper. One day Kenner walked into the program’s study area and saw “the guy who was the biggest success and the biggest asshole” in the program lying on his back on the floor.

“What are you doing down there?” Kenner asked.

He couldn’t answer; he was hyperventilating.

Stanford, Harvard, and Notre Dame have three of the most established postcareer programs in the U.S., but others are popping up. I learned about them when my wife and I agreed to teach at the University of Chicago’s version, the Leadership and Society Initiative, which launches this fall. These programs are proliferating now because we’re witnessing the spread of a new life stage.

The idea of adolescence, as we now understand it, emerged over the course of the first half of the 20th century. Gradually people began to accept that there is a distinct phase of life between childhood and adulthood; the word teenager came into widespread use sometime in the 1940s.

In the 21st century, another new phase is developing, between the career phase and senescence. People are living longer lives. If you are 60 right now, you have a roughly 50 percent chance of reaching 90. In other words, if you retire in your early or mid-60s, you can expect to have another 20 years before your mind and body begin their steepest decline.

Full article: