What is the Purpose of Life? This question has been explored by philosophers and theologians for thousands of years. Having recently reached the age of 72, I have come to this conclusion: The purpose of life isto be a growing, contributing human being.

With over forty years in the field of human development focusing on what motivates and inspires people, it has become very clear that the most satisfied and joyful people are those who never stop learning and who are engaged in work they believe makes a difference. These people are innately curious and unwilling to settle for a life of meaningless existence.

 Life is experienced on a feeling level. Grief, sadness, pain, joy, fulfillment and laughter, describe feelings. They define what it means to be human. But, apart from the circumstances over which we have no control, each of us must decide what feelings we want most of in our lives and what we are willing to do about it.

The revered poet, Mary Oliver, completes her poem, The Summer Day, with these words: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

This question holds as much power and meaning for me as ever. I believe the creative spirit expires only when we expire. That is why when you read this I will be embarking upon a dream I have had for many years—to go to college. I graduated from high school in Australia when I was fifteen and have never had any further formal education.

Now, of course, many successful people have never been to college and so this is not exactly a career move! I don’t “need” to go to college, I “want” to go to the college. The true wealth of life is not in what we have accumulated, but what we have experienced.

Although this is not a full-time pursuit because of business commitments, it is hard to describe how excited I am. My wife refuses to allow me to share a dorm room or join a fraternity and I am sure many of the freshly minted high school graduates will wonder what this silver haired old dude is doing in their classroom. I can’t wait, however, to not only soak up a whole new field of learning, but also to discover how these young people think and how they view the world.

“Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all,” said Helen Keller, the first deaf-blind person to earn a bachelor-of-arts degree, but that is the choice we face every day.

The desire to feel positive about our lives doesn’t change no matter our age. There is no planet called “Made It”. Just as when we gaze up into the evening sky and see an ever-expanding universe, so does life consistently present opportunities for even more amazing discoveries. I may have to give in to the realities of an older body, but never will I give up on developing an even greater appetite for learning and contributing.

“If our lives are mundane, we have only ourselves to blame.” Source: Mark Of An Eagle—How Your Life Changes the World