How to be an existentialist

Existential Values And How To Be One

How being an Existentialist can help you grow and live your life full of meaning.

When you think of an existentialist, you may think of someone who explores their purpose in life. Or a middle-aged person going through an existential crisis, making up for lost time and trying to be hip again. Although both perceptions are correct, there is a lot more than that. The reason is that everyone’s essence, or purpose, is different in life. And what we perceive to make us happy is subjective. What makes you happy may seem tedious and foolish to another and vice versa; you may think the same of their happiness. To find one’s true essence, everyone will have to undergo their own constructed journey. And where and how they conclude that essence will ultimately be different.


An existentialist understands that we all have a place and reason for being on this earth. And it is up to the individual to find and know what that is. Because largely what it’s really about are freedom and individual dignity, and that’s what existentialism is. And understanding what each of those qualities is and how they can empower you to find your essence will be a critical time in your life. But when you unlock it, your mind will be enlightened, and your senses will be heightened to new beginnings, regardless of age. All by understanding who you are and your purpose in this life. But again, there is a path everyone must take, and understanding certain principles to help find what that purpose is, the rest will be entirely up to you.

First Principle Of Existential Values: The Acceptance Of Pain And Suffering


Accepting pain and suffering will be one of the most challenging hurdles. Humans are so focused on avoiding pain and suffering that our brains constantly have been wired to avoid it. But just because one accepts pain and suffering does not mean that one has to search for and endure it actively. However, pain is one of life’s most valuable responses. It tells us something is wrong. But, something doesn’t have to be physically hurt for us to understand that something needs to change. In fact, mental pain can be just as agonizing, whether it be a heartbreak, an unfulfilling profession, or the passing of a loved one.


Accepting the reality of pain and suffering will allow us to know the dangers in this world and help us realize that our time on this earth is short. Regardless if it has been lived with total health and prosperity. But paradoxically speaking, pain can be a positive indicator. We have all heard the saying no pain no gain. And as painful as exercising can be, it’s necessary for optimum health. We all know the frustrating feeling of learning something new. And the countless hours of studying mind-numbing material just to pass our exams. But, anything worth working towards will not be an easy goal to obtain. Accepting pain and suffering to achieve your goals will give you a positive perspective on life.

Second Principle Of Existential Values: Facing Your Fears and Anxieties

Anxiety and fear are one of the most crippling things that can happen to a person. It’s where the mind has overcome the soul. And things like self-doubt and negative thinking sets in and control people’s true instincts and motives. An existentialist is someone who overcomes their anxieties and fears and recognizes them as such. They face their fears head-on and can care less about them. Existentialists set aside things that don’t matter, especially things they can’t control. It’s a very proficient way of thinking because worrying has never done anyone any good.


For example, there is no point in worrying about tomorrow. You can do nothing to change the outcome of a situation that is not attentively present. There is no reason to worry about the job you have right now because any job, anytime, can fire you for any reason. Also, there is no reason to worry about asking someone out on a date because it’s either a yes or a no. The person you like is either going to like you or not. But worrying about that outcome and having anxiety about it only hinders you from getting into a mindset to be successful. Anxiety and fear may be mental matters, but if done in excessive amounts, which we intend to do, they can appear physically, making matters even worse. But an existentialist will stop worrying about the things they can’t control and just go out and live.

Third Principle Of Existential Values: Commit To Your Actions

Be committed to yourself even if you haven’t found your essence in life. The bond between you and yourself should never be broken. However, if the very essence you seek has been sought and finally found. Then you should consider yourself lucky because most people never do. But life for you has just begun, and when you first start out in life, you are a helpless being learning your new surrounding and environment. However, if all of your energy and time are consumed within and followed through with action, your newfound essence will only strengthen into what you have only imagined and dreamed of.


An existentialist understands that they are responsible for finding their true essence; no one else can help them. Others may be able to give a few pointers here and there. But ultimately, it’s up to the individual. It’s a lonely road to travel on, but that’s the beauty of it. We are accepting the painful understanding that we are all alone in this world. We were born alone, and we will die alone; why should finding our one true purpose be any different? When you accept that reality, you will then be able to grasp your anxiety and fear. And free yourself from all your worries, because in the end, what matters? Find your essence, find your meaning in this hopeless world and commit to yourself because no one will do it for you. I will leave with a quote from Friedrich Nietzsche, “The secret of reaping the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously.” And by that, I say live.

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