What is the meaning of life? Why are we here? Is there a God or isn’t there, and if there is a God, what is its nature? Of all the world’s religions, which one is the most correct? Is there an afterlife? Are we primarily physical beings or spiritual beings?
People have struggled (to try very hard to do sth when it is difficult) for millennia to tackle (to make a determined effort to deal with a difficult problem) these questions. Wars have been fought over them. But as much as these questions cause people to lose their heads (sometimes figuratively, sometimes literally), the bottom line is that these are very practical questions.
Behind the Wheel
The way we answer these questions will provide the ultimate context for everything else we do with our lives. If we place any value on our lives at all, we must give some consideration to these questions.
Let’s say you have your life organized around goals, projects, and actions. You set a goal like starting a new internet business. You break it down into projects like writing a business plan and launching your web site. And then you break those projects down into actions like going to the bank to open a business account and registering your domain name. Fair enough.
But why start the business in the first place? What’s the point? Why pick this goal vs. any other goal? Why even set goals at all?
What determines the goals you set (or don’t set) is your context. Your context is your collection of beliefs and values. So if the values of money and freedom are part of your context, you might be inclined (wanting to do sth)to set a goal to start a new business. But with different kinds of values — a different context — you may be disinclined to set goals at all.
The most significant part of your context is your collection of beliefs about the nature of reality, which includes your religious, spiritual, and philosophical beliefs. Your overall beliefs about the universe will largely determine your results. Context dictates goals. Goals dictate projects. Projects dictate actions. Actions dictate results.
Within a certain context, it will be virtually impossible for you to achieve certain results because you’ll never set the required goals that will lead to those results.
Your context works like a filter. When you are inside a particular context, you lose access to the potential goals, projects, and actions that lie outside that context. For example, if your context includes the belief that criminal behavior is very bad, then you aren’t likely to work towards becoming a future leader in organized crime.