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Nathanael Garrett Novosel, February 24 2021

What Are People REALLY Searching for?

I've been analyzing the search queries that people are using to search for answers around meaning.  Here are a sample list of some of the top ones that get them to stumble upon this blog:

The list goes on.  First of all, it's interesting that I seem to be quickly becoming the go-to site for people who haven't found any answers elsewhere and are looking for honest-and-intellectual-yet-conversational insights.  But, more importantly, you can start to see patterns in what people are looking for based on what they're searching for and how they're searching for it.  Analyzing the above and many other search terms that lead people to the site, I've concluded that people who are doing these kinds of searches are looking for a few things:

There are probably many more reasons, but this is hopefully a helpful starter list to understand what people are searching for.  As we've discussed in previous blog posts, the meaning of life is right in front of everyone: growth.  Life is growth-centric in that growth defines life, is its purpose, and is how humans judge an achievement's significance (i.e. based on how much a person had to grow beyond all previous limits to achieve it).  If that's what people were really looking for, they'd see it, go, "Oh, that's right.  Of course.  That's all I needed to know," and move on.  But they don't.  They keep searching.

Why?  Because what they are really looking for is one of the above pieces.  It's not the ultimate unifying purpose of all life on Earth but one of the many pieces of the puzzle that they're looking for.  Growth, experience, desire, belief, emotions, ethics, support, choice.  All eight factors are necessary to find meaning and fulfillment, and you can see from the above list that people are looking for things to want, things to believe in, the right experiences to choose, what will make them feel fulfilled, what is the right direction and the best way to go about it, and who or what can help them.  They're looking to fill in whatever's missing from those eight components.

If you're one of the people who stumbled onto this blog post while searching for meaning, it's most likely that it's for one of the above reasons and not really because you wanted to know that growth is the point (since you probably already knew that).  Hopefully, this will help you focus on which of the eight components you really want to understand in your own life and find answers for that instead of putting so much pressure on this vague, huge goal of "finding the meaning of existence".  Chances are, what you're really asking for is much more precise than that.

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Nathanael Garrett Novosel

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