16
   

Can life have meaning if your dreams are unattainable?

 
 
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 04:18 am
I'm new to this site, stumbled upon it by google searching "life is a joke".

There are actually some very smart posts here.

I'm 100% convinced that what I want in life is unattainable. How does one continue life in the face of this?
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 16 • Views: 42,680 • Replies: 976

 
michelleyy
 
  2  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 05:43 am
@MichaelJ,
How do you know that your dream in life is unattainable? Getting a nobel prize isn't unattainable. Inventing computers wasn't unattainable. Hell even going to the moon isn't unattainable!

Maybe it's your attitude and you thinking that it's unattainable? Those who think they can't won't, but those who think they can do. Very Happy

Don't be discouraged! Just work towards your goal - you may even discover new dreams and goals and scrap the old one on your journey. Who knows? Just do your thing and keep on laughing, there's always a brand new day.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 05:50 am
@MichaelJ,
Maybe you should reassess what you "want" in life. I'm guessing you don't have children yet, or you would probably already know the answer to your question.
G H
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 12:27 pm
@MichaelJ,
Quote:
I'm 100% convinced that what I want in life is unattainable. How does one continue life in the face of this?

The vast majority of humankind lived under the foot of massive restrictions until developments circa the last two centuries. Perhaps you could consult how they still found life desirable with a far greater portion of dreams denied to them, though written accounts are doubtless scarce due to the level of illiteracy among them.

Levity about such overwhelming misery aside, though, in the West they coped because they were ignorant of any alternative being possible for themselves (in this world). Just waiting for the rewards and higher status that the Christian afterlife offered to the Average Joe toting a load on his back for Lord Ralstaff of the Grand Estate. But once doctrines sporting egalitarian themes were invented, even the outright slave purloined from distant lands awoke to the new conceptual territory, and was keen to be freed and seek his/her own fortune or ruin.

That's why their lingering counterparts in contemporary times may still have to rely on 'ligion yet -- along with dope, booze, medication, and kink to get by. Having the former oppressions lifted in many regions leaves them faced with the stigma of potentially lacking the good excuses of the past for fulfilling some of their dreams. (Some; not of the variety where one wants to go to the moon Titan or be God or time-travel; as opposed to typical fare like body-building and paying for surgical enhancement to become a top male porn actor, etc.)
0 Replies
 
MichaelJ
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 03:31 pm
@rosborne979,
Actually, my dream IS to be married and be a father. My parents died when I was 12 years old and I've always wanted to have a family of my own more than anything because I didn't have that growing up.

However circumstances in my life have given me every indication that this is in no way shape or form ever going to happen. I didn't just reach this conclusion overnight. I've tried every avenue I could. I really think it's due to things in life that I have no control over, such as my socioeconomic status, age (now) ect.

I've been trying SO hard to find beauty and appreciation in other things in life like my job (which is actually a job most people would love), art, friends, recreation, ect. None of it matters to me. I just don't care because everyday bleeds into the next and they're all the same. And I watch all my friends and siblings who are younger than I having families of their own and it fills me with a soul crushing emptiness.
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 03:40 pm
@MichaelJ,
MichaelJ wrote:

...and it fills me with a soul crushing emptiness.

In general, "soul crushing emptiness" is a poor aphrodisiac. Unless you can pull off the "Artsy Loser" character and hang out in dark bars reading poetry.

My advice is to find a way to "lighten your being" and truly enjoy life. Then you're more likely to find what you want.
MichaelJ
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 04:18 pm
@rosborne979,
"lighten your being"? How does one do that? Are you just supposed to fake it? Some people's lives just don't allow "lightness" in. It's just fact. life's circumstances are after all often very random. We as people have much less control than we think.

And my original question was how can life have meaning if your dreams are unattainable?

I'm not searching for an aphrodisiac. I'm trying to find a way to continue living in the face of circumstances that are beyond my control. I don't know if this is possible, but I'm trying.
vikorr
 
  2  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 04:55 pm
@MichaelJ,
Hi Michael,

In reality, you need to speak to someone who has a LOT of time to speak with you. Your questions will likely only ever get answers that raise more questions here.

Personally, I think life is more about happiness than achievements, or even purpose (I see the purpose of life as 'to be happy'). Do you know what makes you happy? (by the way - having a wife and kids won't make you happy if you don't know what (else) makes you happy...and you will probably make your wife and kids unhappy if you don't know what makes you happy - so find out what makes you happy)

Quote:
Some people's lives just don't allow "lightness" in. It's just fact.
This is NOT fact at all - this is your own personal victim mentallity viewpoint, rather than fact. Have a look at Stephen Hawkwing, who likely has more disabilities than you ever will - apparently he still sees lots of positives in life. One of my brothers is a quadriplegic after an accident - and still finds the sun shine in the day - he still smiles, still laughs, still makes fun of himself and everyone else.

So...are everyone one of your dreams unattainable? Every single one?

And what about things that make you happy - do they not exist, even in the smallest detail? You never laugh? You never enjoy the company of people? You never create anything...even a food dish? You don't take joy in learning something new? What is it that makes you happy...and do you do those things?

By the way, I think it would be helpful if you read a book called 'Mans search for meaning' by Victor Frankl...he was a jewish physchiatrist imprisoned in the german death camps during ww2.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 05:08 pm
@MichaelJ,
The aphrodisiac comment was just meant as a flip metaphor, I didn't think that's what you were trying to do literally.

As for getting a "lighter viewpoint" despite your challenges right now, that's not always easy to do. It is ultimately the right thing, but it's definitely not easy.

Without knowing many more details of your situation anyone here is going to be of limited help because we can only speak to the general concepts of your concern, not the specific.

Soul Crushing Emptiness sounds a lot like Depression though, so you should probably think about getting some professional counseling, if for no other reason than to eliminate the worst possibilities.

Beyond that, try to laugh more. Try to find humor in things even when it's hidden. And try to really feel life from a humorous point of view. It's really all about perception, and it's a learned ability, it takes practice. Wish I could help more but this is not easy stuff, there's just no magic pill for it.

Good luck,
0 Replies
 
MichaelJ
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 05:16 pm
@vikorr,
I don't know what makes me happy outside of the dream I mentioned. Even if that dream never happened, just thinking about it used to give me a feeling of purpose.

I only know times in my life when I was happy, and those were when I had people in my life that I loved. I have many friends, but the people that make me smile, smile for REAL are no longer a part of my life. I know life is filled with goodbyes to people you love, that it's normal but there has been so much loss that it is overwhelming.

I laugh, but it's not the same as it used to be. Food doesn't taste good anymore. I used to like to write, but I can't anymore because I can't concentrate. Every facet if life is affected. So no, I no longer find enjoyment.

I know victim mentality has something to do with it. You are right, but at the same time I know I've tried very very hard, and the bad things that have happened haven't been my fault. I don't know how to escape feeling helpless.
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 05:28 pm
@MichaelJ,
I'm no expert, but it sounds like depression to me. Depression can suck the air out of everything.

You should talk to a therapist.
0 Replies
 
vikorr
 
  2  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 05:49 pm
@MichaelJ,
Micheal - this was why i said you need to speak to someone who has much more time than this forum can offer.

If you do seek a counselor or psychologist - be warned that it's an art form. There are many more poor therapists out there than good ones. In other words, you may have to visit a few (unless you get lucky).

In terms of depression, the only proven long term solution is Activity:

- Running (and like exercises) is proven to lift peoples moods (long run...no pun intended). Being out in the sun is better than inside.

- In terms of not finding enjoyment anymore...I once read a book that depression made you not want to do anything anymore...yet the solution was in once again doing...once again finding the joy that comes from doing things you find enjoyable...so it was a catch 22, but a necessary step for anyone wishing to get over it (with or without medication). This is a conscious choice, but if your willpower is weak, then find help in your friends, or if they aren't available...take small steps, and persist, and persist, and persist, and persist...keep returning, even after you give up in disgust - it's about small steps...always returning...even after you quite multiple times.

Quote:
I only know times in my life when I was happy, and those were when I had people in my life that I loved.
Well almost everyone is happier when that's the case, but to me it sounds like you might have history from your childhood where you did not receive these things - that is something that again, needs to be sorted through by a psychologist with you. I think perhaps your need to have this in your life has lead to you not placing importance on other things...try and find time to stop for a moment and look around you, and find the smallest things that have meaning to you...say something like 'this has meaning to me because...' (and it doesn't sound right, try a different meaning...until it sounds right)

You could try writing such things about anything and everything in your house, or a park that you like, or what you like about playing tennis, or watching your favourite sporting team...etc (and desribe absolutely everything you like about each thing)


Quote:
You are right, but at the same time I know I've tried very very hard, and the bad things that have happened haven't been my fault.
Be aware that when people possess a victim mentallity, they subconsciously go out of their way to do things that reinforce their victimhood...this takes many different forms

In terms of trying very, very hard...multipronged strategies need to be employed...both persistence, and understand, and activity (and reflection on activity)...and growing your awareness (usually requires reading)...and activity...and activity...and activity (while keeping your goal in mind)

Code:I don't know how to escape feeling helpless.
You're trying to stop feeling helpless by attempting to gain the hardest thing you can possibly imagine. Start on lots and lots of small things first, and work your way up.

If you can't thing of small things to master, you could try :
-learning a new language (it's not small, but the steps taken to learn it are),
- learning handwriting analysis (seeing as you like writing). I liked 'Handwriting Analysis : Putting it to work for you' by Andrea McNichol.
- flying a RC Helicopter - they are quite challenging. A really good small one (that can survive lots of crashes) is the Blade MSR X. Expensive hobby though - to fly that well, it's best to have a computerised transmitter (which start at around $200).
- learning about self deception (it's actually a really interesting topic, but with few books on it - apparently it's difficult to write about)
- woodcarving/working (some like this, but you also need the workspace)
- learn magic tricks (plenty of books/vids for this)

Don't forget that of the things suggested - they do need to be in an area you think you would find interest (ie. what interests me, may not interest you)...and of course there are a mountain of other possible activities you could learn...

The point of it all is - that as you start mastering lots of small things, you'll find yourself more confident in mastering bigger things...and you'll also find yourself coming to realise that you can control your life. If you look deeply into your self and work on that each day, you'll also find that you will gain greater and greater control over yourself, your mind, your emotions, your attitude etc...but that takes time, persistence, and a desire to be better each day.

Hope it helps in some small way..but find someone to talk to who can spend time with you, because I think you'll need it (at least at the start)
vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 06:01 pm
@vikorr,
Oh by the way - in terms of feeling helpless : there's plenty of books on the subconscious, which offer plenty of insight into why we do a lot of things we do (we are much more largely habitual than people think).

The subconscious runs lots of automatic programs for us, even ones that are no longer useful and no longer serve us (one that started at some stage in our lives they did). I think the simplest one was "TNT the power within you" (it's been years since I read up on the subject), but there are a plethora of books on Amazon on the subject.
0 Replies
 
MichaelJ
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 07:58 pm
@vikorr,
I appreciate your thoughts. I will think about what you've said.

I know that I need to speak to someone professionally, however I don't have insurance so I fear I won't ever find a capable therapist. I've looked into free or sliding scale counseling and actually tried it. I tried several different people all of which couldn't keep up with my philosophical arguments. Including one woman who I saw for almost two years. She eventually told me that I "couldn't be helped". Subjecting myself to that again, I can't even fathom it.

I admit you are right, my need to have loved ones in my life has caused me to overlook other things, but (and I'm just saying this as blunt as I can) how is learning a new language or woodcarving, or magic tricks ever going to make up for meaningful conversations with someone I love and respect. Or make up for time spent with someone who makes you truly feel alive.

I know, small steps and persistence. Yes, but life is also very short. It's actually my birthday on Friday. I don't have endless time. I just want to feel connected, loved and cared for before I die. So sometimes yes this causes me to overlook other things.
vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 08:28 pm
@MichaelJ,
Quote:
how is learning a new language or... ever going to make up for meaningful conversations with someone I love and respect.


I think you missed my point...it's about :
- developing character and variety in your life so that you love and respect yourself.
- developing your character and variety in your life also develops your unique invidividuality (which is what you contribute to your relationship with the person you love and respect)
- gives you multiple interesting things in your life that you can appreciate, and more things that you can share with others should they also like similar
- helps in developing your passions as you explore more and more areas of life (you start to find things you are passionate about). People like hearing loved ones passions, even if they don't necessary share the same passion.

It's about the quality of your life in other areas (your individual self), which will eventually help the quality of your individuality & life within a relationship, and therefore the quality of your relationship.

Quote:
She eventually told me that I "couldn't be helped". Subjecting myself to that again, I can't even fathom it.
As I said - it's an art form that many never achieve.

The other thing you can do (if you're inclined towards this sort of thing) is read lots and lots of books, and look for the themes that bind them all together. This should always be accompanied by trialing things discovered.

Quote:
Yes, but life is also very short
I very much disagree...Life is endless until the day we die. By that I mean - we can choose to constantly learn, push our boundaries, experience knew things until the day we die. A year is nothing when learning something that positively affects the rest your life...3 years is nothing when the same is profoundly achieved. In 21 years, you could have 7 profound areas of your life.

But if you don't have 21 years of life left, then there are shortcuts that only work for a few lucky people...there's Hypnosis, self-hyposis, NLP, and creative visualisation that I know of, creative visualisation works for some. They are all forms of training your subconscious mind. Outside of that, training your subconscious can be hard work.

On the good side, you can expect that, as you learn more numerous things...you start to learn how to learn...and so the period taken to learn becomes shorter, and the learning becomes less difficult.

Personally, anything new that is learned is quite precious, and moreso when it is useful to some part of your life (even if it's just to your curiosity, or thirst for knowledge)

Quote:
I just want to feel connected, loved and cared for before I die. So sometimes yes this causes me to overlook other things.
I think perhaps you sound disconnected from your own self. Which makes learning different things rather important - find out who you are again, find out what makes you happy, find what you are passionate about, find what you find funny...etc

At the end of the day, anything we desire as humans is generally achievable...as a generalisation. So say you desire 'to be married to Marry Poppins'...well that may not be achievable (because Ms Poppins has a say in that, and you can't force her to like you), but desiring to be married to 'a woman who finds me desirable, loves both my strengths and weaknesses, laughs at my jokes, and treats me with respect'...is achievable. Being rich is achievable, even by broke people, should we truly desire it. Being an expert at something is achievable. Being 'a sincerely warm and charming person' is achievable...etc. The secret is true desire...one that persists, one that focuses, one that searches for ways to improve towards the goal, one that puts energy and drive into the achievement of the desire...it's the same for almost all goals in humanity (though I guess some like 'Becoming the King of Mongolia' may be out of your reach, and mine)
CalamityJane
 
  2  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 08:47 pm
@MichaelJ,
You need to change your way of thinking: the only person that can make you happy is yourself! You have to find a way to find happiness within yourself and no other person can give you that. If you're looking for others to fill your voids, you will be very disappointed in life.

If you're bringing an unfulfilled dream and unhappiness to the equation, no one wants to burden themselves with you. It's the people that are content,
self assured and vibrant that attract others, not someone who is needy and relying on others to fulfill their dreams.

It doesn't work this way. My advice to you is: work on yourself to find life
enjoyable - and it certainly is! Build up some confidence and try to volunteer in your community. Nothing makes one more happy than to help others!
0 Replies
 
Procrustes
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 09:16 pm
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 09:25 pm
@MichaelJ,
MichaelJ wrote:

I'm new to this site, stumbled upon it by google searching "life is a joke".

There are actually some very smart posts here.

I'm 100% convinced that what I want in life is unattainable. How does one continue life in the face of this?


Id say that perhaps this goal is unrealistic or you need to chop it up into smaller goals that are perhaps easier to achieve. Getting parts of the whole complete is better than facing the large impossible wall.

I am skeptical that you have even thought about this or that there is even this so called unobtainable goal. It really couldn't be that hard or you have a problem accepting reality.
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 09:27 pm
@Procrustes,
I like that video!
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Feb, 2012 09:28 pm
@Procrustes,
Who is speaking in that video?
 

Related Topics

The end of men - Discussion by FreeDuck
Are women a minority? - Discussion by DrewDad
Do Women Sexualize Themselves? - Question by lizaveta
Name the most dangerous woman in the United States - Discussion by BumbleBeeBoogie
Are Women free of Converture laws today? - Discussion by BumbleBeeBoogie
Why are some women attracted to bad men? - Discussion by BumbleBeeBoogie
What can women do better than men? - Question by Robert Gentel
Women through the Ages - Discussion by George
50 Great Things About Women Over 50 - Discussion by Robert Gentel
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Can life have meaning if your dreams are unattainable?
Copyright © 2017 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 11/22/2017 at 07:59:53