What eminent people have said about the meaning of life

Richard Kinnier, Jerry L. Kernes, Nancy E. Tribbensee, Christina M. Van Puymbroeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-118
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Humanistic Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science


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