According to Ray Dalio, mankind’s highest purpose is to evolve. Why? Because evolution is the fundamental nature of the universe. Not just with living things, but also planets, stars and galaxies are constantly evolving, continually trying to align themselves with the way of the universe.
Dalio talks about how the more one evolves, and the more one grows, changes, solves problems, builds relationships with good people, and perpetuates the human species, the more meaningful one’s existence becomes. This explains why people who have “quietly quit” are so unhappy- life seems meaningless if one has stopped growing.
This also fits in with Frederick Nietzsche’s famous quote, “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” One doesn’t evolve by watching Star Trek reruns on weekday mornings while eating Cheerios from the box. One evolves by facing difficult problems. The more difficult the experience, the more it has a profound impact on you. The more impactful, the more you change, and the more meaning you extract from your existence.
“Shower on him every blessing, drown him in a sea of happiness, give him economic prosperity such that he should have nothing else to do but sleep, eat cakes, and busy himself with the continuation of the species, and even then, out of sheer ingratitude, sheer spite, man would play you some nasty trick.”
They say a company is either growing or it’s dying. One could say the same thing about human beings, as well. Or anything else caught up in the evolutionary cycle.
We are here to evolve. Evolution is painful.
When Buddha said, “Life is suffering,” he certainly knew what he was talking about. But that, it seems to Dalio, is what makes life totally worth it.