A Brief Word on Purpose
While objectively true, the assertion of a complete lack of any kind of finality or purpose is, in reality, quite a limiting perspective on the validity of human existence, as well as the capabilities it affords us for the short time that we are allowed to indulge in it. I would propose the existence, within this seemingly hopeless realm of thought, of a way of thinking that would seek to do away with such pessemistic claims.
Imagine, for a minute, whether you be atheist or religious fundamentalist, that God (read: any higher "power" or consciousness) does not exist. It's not so hard to do, regardless of your perspective; after all, while the odds of our being here by random chance are seemingly quite futile, imagine what the odds are of the existence of a timesless, immaterial being who created and affects infinite change on the material world.
But I digress from my point. As I said, imagine that God does not exist. Imagine that there is no higher power or consciousness in existence to give an objective "purpose" to life. So what are we to do? Are we to assume that there is no reason to live, and simply cease to do so? I, for one, refuse to accept that I lack any kind of purpose, simply for lack of a spooky omnipotent being in the clouds.
So, if there is no God, what are we to do? Some turn to logic and philosophy for their "meaning." I did so at one point in my life, and while I thank that period in my life for bringing me to where I am now in terms of self-comprehension, logical thinking, and self-esteem, I have nothing but contempt for it in itself. While I would not wish the uncertainty and doubt that I myself experienced as a result of this time in my life on any enemy, I would say that, to fully comprehend the new meaning that "meaning" itself takes on for the individual once a form of understanding is reached by overcoming this kind of torpor, one must experience it for one's self.
But again, I digress. While what can be gained by the study of logic and philosophy is invaluable to an individual (perhaps even moreso, in a practical sense, than the understanding that it seeks to reach), the end result will always be unsatisfactory. Truth, complete objective truth, can be neither deduced nor observed, and is therefore logically nonexistant.
Instead, I propose that we look not outside ourselves, to logic or religion or any other external source that claims superiority, but inside ourselves to find truth and meaning. Believe in yourself. Trust yourself to assign your own meaning to life; after all, who has more power over you than, well, you? Why should something immaterial with less power over you than yourself, like logic or God, define your purpose? Does an office temp ever walk into a CEO's office and tell him what to do?
Yet if we do not have logic to guide us in this quest for purpose, what should guide us when we look within ourselves? Surely, I would be a fool to suggest that for one moment you ignore logic, only to contradict myself the next. My advice to you is this: learn to feel. Get in touch with every part of yourself that you've never dared to let out, no matter how frightening or vile it may seem. Stop ignoring and repressing all of the little things that make you uncomfortable; I think them, and I know for a fact that you do too. Play them out in your mind; see what happens. Only in this way can you find where your true feelings lie. Mistake me not: I would hope not to confuse these raw, personal emotions with the petty, materialistic ones we so commonly think of when we hear the word "feelings." These are the same kinds of feelings: love, hatred, fear, desire, et al. But they do not exist outside of ourselves; we cannot express them in any way that would do them justice to anyone but ourselves. Find them, and I promise you that you will need neither logic nor God to fulfill what they desire; they have their own conviction, and are already living out their purpose in your day-to-day life. Don't bother trying to control them; why attempt to ride a horse if you ARE the horse? Discovery of purpose is not for any practical end; it is simply for peace of mind.
In conclusion, I would offer one final statement: be bold. Do not let others tell you how to run your life. Refuse to follow orders. Trust yourself to define a "meaning," or as my colleague refers to it, an "end" for yourself. Every man, woman, and child should know that, in the end, nothing has control over them. The government can make you pay taxes, your landlord can force your monthly bill upon you, but in the end, what you live for is up to you. Set your own goals, define your own purposes; decide what means most to you and work for it, and I can guarantee you, my friend, you will be happy.