Meaning of Life

If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us the “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.

Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation, and a foundation for inner security.

From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that we are here for the sake of each other — above all for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, and also for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labors of my fellow men, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received. Life isn’t worth living, unless it is lived for someone else.

If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things. Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed. Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible.

Never regard study as duty but as the enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community.

Do not grow old, no matter how long you live. Never cease to stand like curious children before the Great Mystery into which we were born.

It is humankind’s duty to respect all life, not only animals have feelings but even also trees and plants. It is every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it.

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.

Source: Excellence Reporter June 5, 2019. Excerpts from Albert Einstein’s works and sayings.