Since we have no real purpose here in this Universe, what keeps you going every day?
My purpose is apparently creation. I am destined to the wonderful OCD of writing songs, literature, photography.
I'm sure you have your own "callings". Call them what we may we each have those innate skills we enjoy immensely.
The universe CAN have a purpose. You just have to find what that can be to you.
Helping educate the public at the zoo. Helping women through abortions at Planned Parenthood. Helping to preserve history at the local historical society. Being kind to anyone I can help. My animals..my ''sweetie''...simple things are the most satisfying, aren't they?
Being "OF USE"....
i struggle with this a LOT! also bipolar and have discussed suicide openly with my psychiatrist who is fascinated and fascinating.
i told a new-ish, but already important, friend that i don't know if there is an importance in anything i do. i want to be important. But i can't even define what that is.
What was my purpose when I believed in my youth that there was a God? I couldn't read the mind of God. I didn't know the purported plan. I didn't have a roadmap for my life. Yet I felt listless and without direction for a time when I stopped believing. Why? Nothing actually changed in reality. I didn't lose some clear purpose and meaning I previously had. It was entirely emotional. So, I strive to find something real in my life to be passionate about. Close friends and family, volunteerism, creativity, learning… These are aspects of my life I value, these give me purpose/motivation, and these are where I find meaning.
Enjoying the journey, trying to live life to the max without compromising my spirit's balance in the process.
I hope that you do not consider found meaning and purpose to be unreal somehow, perhaps because it's not bestowed from on high.
Anyway, to answer your question, I find lots of purpose in my life and it suffices. I just got home from a business trip, which consisted of a meeting with about 25 colleagues who appreciate my contributions to their success, doing work I thoroughly enjoy and am well compensated for doing. I came home to a house full of people and animals who love and appreciate me just for me.
Of course ... none of that appreciation is perfect and it was all earned with a lot of hard work and, at times, despite unwanted losses and setbacks. But chosen hard work, done diligently and with excellence, has always been its own reward to me anyway.
To pass time on the plane on the way home, I worked on serialization / persistence logic for a b-tree class I've been fiddling with in my spare time, just for fun. That's meaningful too. Which goes to show you that one person's meaning is another person's torture.
The other thing I do is I don't overthink things or have excessive expectations. Meaning is found in small, mundane things, not in grandiose, transcendent things. Purpose is right under our nose, not some shining city on a distant hill.
“When a man lives with the wilderness he comes to an acceptance of death as a part of living, he sees the leaves fall and rot away to build the soil for other trees and plants to be born.
“To me the goal was to learn, to see, to know, to understand.”
The Walking Drum
The Human Project. We create our own meaning in the context that are our lives. The endeavour to run 100 yards in 9 seconds, to split the atom, go to Mars. For me...It is the existential moment of gut wrenching laughter or endorphin producing sex or sport. Unfortunately our lives are ruled by capitalism, politics and pain.