When I was a boy I was told I need to have goals. But I experienced a lot of suffering because of goals I did not achieve (in the desired time). In the parallel search for meaning I noticed that whatever "higher" purpose I will set in my life, I can always ask for the why and for the next higher purpose and meaning behind it. I was not able to find the one big meaning of mankind and so I decided not to set a particular purpose or goals and just to make optimum use of the opportunities from the point of view when the opportunities show up.
But what is the optimum? Again as there is no big meaning to identify you are free to set whatever priorities you want. However, there are some purposes that are healthy (in the way that they make you feel better) and others are not. I found it a healthy purpose to
help minimizing suffering (in the whole - and not for a single individual).
This is basically what is also mentioned to be logical by Spock in Star Trek (starting with 1:25 in the video):
The needs of many outweigh the needs of a few - or the one.From time to time we need to remind ourselves to such basic purposes to find realignment in our life.
But what are the needs? Productivity? Happiness? Absence of suffering?
I mean, that you cannot be happy if you don't know what despair and fear is. You cannot know love if you didn't experience hate. Somehow I think that for a "fulfilled" (the word says it) life you need to get many (completely) different experiences. This probably is meant when somebody had a "rich" life. - Not rich of money, but rich of experience and rich of impressions - rich of feelings, rich of views, ...
So when you feel sad or despaired or whatever, just remember that it is giving content to your life. Accept it and feel it fully.
For your decisions and actions remember that principles are more important than rules and the direction is more important than the goal.
Related posts: Principles over rules, Direction over goals, Finding the proper priorities, Between GTD and GHE, Scotty, beam me up, Who? When? For Whom?, There is suffering, Importance of collaboration, Scoundrel days, Living your opportunities, The golden rule, Television, The fool gives way without borders.