Why do humans seek purpose?

The quest for purpose and meaning is a fundamental aspect of human existence, and it has been a central theme in philosophy, psychology, and existential thought. Humans have an innate desire to find meaning in their lives and to understand their place in the world. This search for purpose often includes questions about the nature of existence, the significance of one’s actions, and the pursuit of personal fulfillment and happiness. Various philosophical and psychological theories offer perspectives on why humans seek purpose. Existentialist philosophers, such as Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus, explored the idea that humans grapple with the inherent meaninglessness of the universe and must create their own purpose through choice and authenticity. Viktor Frankl’s logotherapy emphasized the search for meaning as a primary human drive and a source of psychological well-being. In psychology, researchers have investigated the concept of “self-determination” and the importance of autonomy, competence, and relatedness in fulfilling one’s purpose. Evolutionary psychology suggests that the search for purpose may have adaptive advantages, such as promoting social cooperation and survival. The pursuit of purpose and meaning is deeply ingrained in human psychology and culture, driving individuals to seek personal growth, contribute to society, and find significance in their lives.