Have you ever felt like life is pointless? Well, you are far from the only one. Many of us experience points where we feel this way. There has been a steady increase in the number of people suffering from situational and long-term depression over the years. This means that right now, there is a high likelihood that you or someone you know experiences debilitating periods of hopelessness. They may feel a stronger need for support as they search for meaning, and may even get ongoing treatment for depression for years.
When we imagine the causes behind such feelings, we often link them to points in life where we are in difficult circumstances. No matter how strong we think we are, there always comes the point where we feel lost and nothing we do seems to help. A significant change like a relationship breakup or consistent problems in your professional life can be pain points that trigger such feelings. However, this doesn’t address the underlying factors that cause them, making you feel that your years on this planet have no point and contribute to depression.
Rather than focus on short-term happiness or sadness, it is necessary to find what treatment to apply to our lives on a long-term basis to find happiness. While short-term goals are important, we can fail to see what we truly want years in the future due to what’s staring us in the face at the moment. Looking beyond the here and now to our origin programming can help us find the reasons behind how we feel and discover what truly makes us happy.
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Many of our behavioral patterns are formed by our origin programming. Origin programming refers to the behavioral predispositions that one develops during early formative years. Particularly from childhood to age 18, when one is most vulnerable to influence from maternal or paternal figures. Whatever they did or didn’t do to support you and the meaning you give it leads to the creation of your behavioral patterns. These years also shape your goals. Your dreams. Your expectations and what you think life should be like.
Following someone else’s path thanks to origin programming can cause one to feel stuck in these cycles of depression and lead us to feel there is no point here on Earth. Luckily, this does not mean that your personality is set in stone. By recognizing the impact of your influences during these years, you can take steps to bring purpose to your life and finally master your origin challenge.
These points are explained in-depth in my Udemy course, “How to Master Your Origin Challenge.” Through the course, I show you how my origin programming affected me and how I was able to decode and recode it, and how you can do the same. When you’ve mastered you, being able to see your purpose in life becomes much clearer.
Where Does Your Life Is Pointless Mentality Come From?
We are all subject to an array of influences in our lives, but the negative ones are often internalized to the point where they become a voice inside your head that tricks you into thinking it’s your voice. Every time you struggle with a challenge, that one voice in your head can start to convince you that life has no meaning and contribute to depression. This is your life is pointless demon that interferes with your every decision over the years. Such phrases like “life is pointless,” and “I’m not good at anything” can get stuck in your head and prevent you from improving yourself, seeking support or getting treatment. A studyshowed that in 2019, 19.2% of adults in the US had undergone some form of mental health treatment or support in the previous 12 months. This points to depression and psychological struggles being sadly common, although at least some people are seeking treatment when needed. The only way to grow and feel satisfied with life is to deconstruct these feelings and the experiences that led to the development of this voice.
Before you can determine where your life is pointless demon comes from, you must first find out what “life” means to you. Do you have a narrow, all-or-nothing definition? Unless everything is perfect in one aspect of your life, then there is no point to life? Or do you have a broad definition in which happiness can be created by doing not just one but a variety of things that make you happy? Such as you had a great day out with your kids or a good day at work? The definition of happiness is different for everyone, which is why you need to determine how happiness is created in your life.
Life has never been easy for anyone and you may always encounter situations that can cause you to feel like living lacks purpose. For many, it can be the end of a relationship that lasted for years. Or maybe you’re looking for a job and only find what seems like a lack of opportunity. If you don’t find some form of treatment, you’ll stay in these feelings of hopelessness or dips of depression. They don’t support you and just strengthen the hold of your life is pointless demon. You must address this one voice in the back of your head or this feeling will slowly affect every aspect of your life, holding you back from trying to and actually achieving all that you can. It can cause you to squander once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Which is why you need to take active measures to exorcise this influence from your life.
One critical step to getting rid of your life is pointless demon is to really understand it. The feeling that life lacks meaning can arise for various reasons, but it is commonly created when there is a gap between what we think we want, in many cases defined by the outside world, and what we genuinely need to be happy. One way you can start on the path of self-discovery is to take a deep look at the different aspects of your life and see how these feelings have affected you. The following points will help support you as you dig through years past to find purpose, one step at a time.
Don’t Let Your DNA Become Chains That Hold You Back
Your origin programming is the emotional, psychological, intellectual, and spiritual “DNA” given to you by the people who were around you the most during your first 18 years of life. During these years, one the most impressionable, most vulnerable, most trusting and most programmable. For many people, their parents and siblings are the longest (primary mother or father) and second-longest (secondary mother or father) male and female relationships in their early years. Your primary and secondary parents are the first example you follow and it is easy for you to see their treatment of you as being representative of the rest of the world, and who and what you should be.
From the information you get from your earliest experiences, you derive the way you see the world which can hold you back for years. Even one negative experience can turn into behaviors that get so entrenched you just can’t see a way out. However, while you don’t get to choose the family you are born into or your biological DNA, you can acknowledge the points where your origin programming is impacting you and deconstruct it. Identifying your negative behaviors and understanding where they come from is step one for overcoming your origin programming.
Identifying Your Relationship Behavior Patterns
All relationships need work, but this can become even more difficult to do when you feel like living is without purpose. Your origin programming can trap you in behavioral patterns that you can’t seem to get out of. For instance, you might be the child of divorce or from parents with depression and never got the affection or support you needed. Or maybe you have older siblings and always felt overshadowed by their achievements. This may lead you to develop fears about commitment in your relationships, thinking they are doomed to fail or believing that you will never be good enough no matter how hard you work. These pain points and many others create the depression and hopelessness that lead people to get professional treatment.
Even though origin programming is very influential in how one behaves in relationships, it is not the only factor that affects them. The strain of having to deal with the problems in your path can create life is pointless demons as well. Maybe you just got out of a long-term relationship. The years spent in a relationship change you, and a break from that life you built can severely destabilize your sense of self. You don’t know the next step to take and feel disillusioned about your past. After years spent with a single person, the prospect of putting yourself out there can feel like you’re climbing a mountain with no peak in sight. Giving up may feel like the easier option, and it becomes tough to deny the voice in your head that points to an existence without purpose.
Identifying Common Factors: When Do You Feel Like Life is Pointless?
Overcoming these feelings is critical, but before you can bring change to your life you must be able to identify the common factors in situations that make you feel like any real effort to improve your life is pointless. The next time you hear your life is pointless demon, take note of the points when it happens. What were you doing when you felt this way? And what pain points triggered this feeling? If you feel like you’re having trouble finding meaning in life after a drastic change, ask yourself what part of the experience affects you the most. Rather than accept such feelings as permanent, you can find out what aspects of existence give you true joy and what aspects are making you feel pointlessness, depression, or lacking support.
Taking Ownership of Your Actions to Overcome Your Past Failure Points
We have points in our lives when we do things that we aren’t proud of. We miss the mark. Our treatment of ourselves and others is damaging. Maybe you work hard to support your family but feel like you don’t have a relationship with your children because you never have time to just sit down for dinner with them. Or conversely, because of your life is pointless demon, you second-guessed yourself and were unable to get that job you really wanted. Whether it is due to your origin programming or other reasons, it is essential that you understand the shortcomings that are holding you back so that you can get past them.
While it is understandable that you might be angry because of the factors that are causing you to feel sadness or depression, you should take care not to make these factors justifications for your mistakes. This kind of thinking will not earn you any bonus points on your quest to find purpose. You will earn points by taking ownership.
Taking ownership of your actions is the only way to stop yourself from repeating cycles of mistakes. You can always make excuses or list justified reasons. This will not help you grow as a human being. You can, however, take power away from your life is pointless demon by isolating what your faults are, acknowledging them, and striving to better yourself.
As vital as it is to take accountability for your decisions, you should also remember to engage in compassionate treatment of yourself. That is not to say you let yourself off the hook entirely; instead, it means understanding the goals you are working towards. You know what you need to change in your life and you dictate how that change happens. That means when you slip up, you know why it happened and you can impose positive or negative reinforcement as you feel necessary. Compassionate treatment of yourself allows you to take ownership of your actions while being kind to yourself.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and that holds true for self-improvement as well. You have to consistently choose to overcome external pressures to carve a path for yourself and find victories in your everyday attempts to bring change in your life. However, some days may be worse than others, and you might begin to feel depression creeping back in. This is why you need to know your happiness formula and find your own personalized self-care treatment support system so that you can have consistent growth with purpose.
To Thine Own Self Be True: Find Your Happiness Formula
Your origin programming establishes your sense of what is good and bad. This also extends to your ideals. Your ideals on what you “should” achieve are modeled after the influences of your parental figures and society at large. But often what you are told you should want is not what you actually want from your life. Only by understanding how your origin programming has shaped you can you make the best choices and give your life real meaning.
We get an endless amount of input about what we should want and what we should do with our lives from the outside world. It can be hard to differentiate between what we really want and what we think we want based on what we see around us. This is why an essential step to stop feeling like life has no value is to find your happiness formula. Your happiness formula is something that is unique to you, separate from external expectations. You can start to develop your happiness formula by asking yourself a series of three questions:
- Do you know what makes you truly happy?
Make a list of people, things, places – anything that makes you happy. Try to answer this as specifically as possible without judgement. Don’t worry about any other considerations such as the magnitude of the thing or how deeply its meaning affects you. Some examples of this could be your friends, the memory of a trip to a different country, a particular restaurant that you love, whatever comes to mind.
- Do you know why those things make you happy?
Continuing with the previous list, think about each item and consider why those things support your happiness. Maybe you like to work in your garden or have dinner out with your spouse. Notice how these actions make you happy. What feelings do you get when doing them?
- Do you know how to apply these answers to create a formula that maximizes your happiness opportunities? How can you take full advantage of those opportunities and find extraordinary happiness and meaning for you and your family?
Identifying the things that bring feelings of happiness into your life allows you to figure out what these things have in common. These commonalities are the factors that give you the most happiness, which in turn allows you to calibrate your path accordingly and generate those feelings more often – your very own happiness treatment plan. These three questions put you on the path to find your own happiness formula.
Having lived a life that many considered successful, I was still unaware of my happiness formula. After being forced to resign from my company, Cyberonics, I had to face the fact that I had never thought about what made me happy. So I had to look into myself to develop my happiness formula. While there were things that made me truly happy, I didn’t know the reason why they made me happy. By comparing the points that made me happy during my time at Cyberonics to that of my new life, I was able to find the core elements that bring joy into my life. I was then free to make decisions that set me on the path to creating more happiness opportunities for myself. It’s hard to feel like life is pointless when you’ve got a happiness treatment plan in place!
When you look back, there will be countless points in your life where you have done things that your current self wouldn’t do. At that point, you can only wish that you knew then what you know now, but that doesn’t have to be the case if you do a course correction now. Your happiness formula will also continue to change as you do, so the aim of asking yourself these questions is to change the trajectory of your life and make decisions that make you and those you care about happy regardless of what anyone else says.
However, happiness can feel difficult to maintain in a world that offers no end to problems. It can sometimes feel like you’re fighting a losing battle to hold on to the scraps of happiness you have. At points like this, you have to remember that you have the power to make a change in your life by making choices oriented towards achieving your happiness. For the large majority of people, happiness is a choice. And it’s one that you have to make every day. Keep these points in mind as we talk about another aspect of happiness and kicking out the life is pointless demon: self-care.
You Can Feel Like Life Has No Point if You Don’t Know How to Self-Care
Self-care has become a buzzword over the past few years without people really understanding what it can do for them. It has become synonymous with just doing things that you enjoy, but it is far more than that. As we saw before, your happiness formula isn’t just a list of things that make you happy, but an in-depth consideration of the points and commonalities in your happiness that will give you joy and peace on a long-term basis. Self-care is similar in that you need to find the tasks that make you happy so that you can engage in proper treatment of yourself, which in turn allows you to support others effectively.
Society often encourages you to be selfless and put the needs of others ahead of yourself, but you can’t help others if you are running on empty. Being stuck in such situations where you are constantly taking care of others but not yourself can give rise to life is pointless demons. Instead, it is more effective to have compassionate treatment towards yourself and dedicate time to self-care. Because if you don’t love yourself, respect yourself, value yourself and support yourself, do you expect your treatment from others to be different?
What counts as self-care to one person might not work for others. There is no standard operating procedure for the correct treatment of yourself. You need to discover the essential points that you need in your life to find your own happiness. It might be going on a run every day or maybe it’s reading or listening to a new book that caught your eye. Determining why these actions give you joy and practicing them puts you in the best possible frame of mind and is critical to give support to yourself and your relationships. You can help determine your self-care needs by asking yourself a series of questions from my self-care test.
Take the Self-Care Test to Understand Your Needs
If you were to ask most people what they do for self-care treatment, they would probably not have a clear answer. We aren’t taught to ask ourselves what we need to support ourselves, which leaves us untethered when we face a crisis and are too drained to deal with it effectively. I designed the self-care test as a way for people to find out what their needs are and give yourself the treatment you need. The entirety of the test is available in my book, “Mastering You From The Inside Out”, but you can get started with the points below.
- Do you love yourself unconditionally? At all times?
- Do you forgive yourself for making mistakes?
- Are you grateful to yourself and others for the positive things in your life, small and large?
- How often do unreasonable expectations prevent you from being happy?
- Are you living with integrity, or are you carrying around a guilty conscience?
Such questions bring us closer to the point where we can find what steps to take to address the gaps in our personalized self-care treatment plan. But it can be hard to fulfill your self-care goals without accountability. You should first create a plan to beat your life is pointless demon in a detailed way, then you can ask for support from a friend.
Explaining your goals helps you reinforce your decisions. Inevitably there will be some setbacks, but as Babe Ruth said, “Every strike brings me closer to a home run.” Sharing your plans helps to hold yourself accountable for any lapses so that you can learn from them. You’ll also have someone to share the pride of success with as well as the daily struggles that occur. Choosing to bring change into your life and scoring happiness points for yourself is an ongoing challenge, but your ability to analyze and combat your demons allows you to enact long-term positive change.
The Pointlessness Crushing Power of Gratitude
In a similar vein to the self-care test, you can also get closer to understanding your personal needs and find life’s meaning by taking the gratitude vs. pointlessness test. So often, we make assessments about our lives on the basis of things that are negative. You might have a list of grievances that are holding you back from happiness, but this does not paint a complete picture. We have to contrast these negative things that seem to have no point with the elements of your life that you are grateful for and give life meaning.
To take the test, make a detailed list of everything that affects you on a daily basis. All things personal and professional, no matter how insignificant they may seem. Think about every item on the list and rate them on a scale of 0 to 5, with 0 being somewhat pointless and 5 being entirely lacking meaning. Start with the items rated zero or one and ask yourself what you can do to make those items less pointless. Then identify what points on the list you’re grateful for. These things don’t have to be universally pleasurable experiences, but if you’re grateful for them then they do have a point. By doing this, you are able to see the factors in your life that you want to reduce and reinforce your gratitude for the things that you do find meaning in.
Here are some possible aspects of life where you can assign a points rating:
- Your family
- The value you add to your family
- Your kids, you as a parent
- Your hobbies
- Your friends
- Your job
- Your relationships with your coworkers
- Your home
- The lives you improve personally and professionally
- Your social life
One person’s list will be different from anyone else’s, which is why it is important that you look at yourself and make a list of points that truly reflect your path and not the expectations of others. When doing this, you are building a treatment to combat the demons of pointlessness by reminding yourself of what you have to be grateful for, even during the tough years.
Master Your Origin Programming One Step at a Time
Years of programming can be hard to deconstruct without support, which is why my Udemy course, How to Master Your Origin Challenge, provides you with a formula and the tools to dig into your programming. Through the course, you can understand and take full ownership of your origin programming. You will then be able to revise that programming and reach your full potential.
Because of my lack of introspection, I allowed my origin programming to run my life and destroy my career, reputation, net worth and relationships for over 50 years until I wrote Mastering You From The Inside Out. Writing the book forced me to completely understand and own everything I know now that I wish I knew then. Rather than just regret my past, I created a plan to master my origin programming from the inside out. This finally freed me from all the powerful outside forces that had been mastering me from the outside in.
No matter how defeated or lacking you might feel, you can take steps to improve your life through concrete action today starting with these points. You can master your origin challenge, find your happiness formula, find meaning, engage in appropriate self-care and slay that life is pointless demon once and for all.
Skip has lived a life full of opportunities of a lifetime at full throttle, following his maybe wrong but never in doubt philosophy. A life full of extraordinary successes and accomplishments, devastating tragedies, and spectacular mistakes and failures. All of which he owns, has embraced, is grateful for and from which he has learned many valuable lessons. Skip hopes to use his experiential knowledge to help you Master You, personally and professionally.