Two-hundred and thirty-eight quotations from 195 eminent people regarding their beliefs about the meaning of life were content analyzed. The main themes (in order of their frequency) are as follows: “Life is to be enjoyed,” “We are here to love and help others,” “It is a mystery,” “There is no cosmic meaning,” “We are here to serve or worship God,” “Life is a struggle,” “We must make a contribution to society,” “Our mission in life is to seek wisdom/truth, and to become self-actualized,” “We must create meaning for ourselves,” and “Life is absurd or a joke.” Discussion focuses on the meaning of the results and implications for practice.
Journal of Humanistic Psychology,
Vol. 43 No. 1, Winter 2003