Existential Crisis in Modern Society a line drawing of a seated man on a chair

Is there an Existential Crisis in Modern Society for Men?

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The mass of men is in the throes of a profound Existential Crisis in Modern Society

Existential Crisis in Modern Society for men it’s not hard to see how this plays out:

“What’s the point of all of this? What is the meaning of life? Who cares we’re all going to die anyway!” 

This question leads to complicated and inescapable feelings and emotions. Our parents, the school system, and society did little to prepare us.

These thoughts and emotions may make themselves independent. So they are uncontrollable and free them from their will. That can prevent them from mastering new challenges, trying new things, and achieving their big goals.
They can lead you down a dark and twisted road of hedonic pleasure and apathy.

If you are suffering from an Existential Crisis in Modern Society, there is hope. If you’re wondering how to find meaning in life, there is away. I can’t give you all of the answers or tell you how to live your life for everyone exactly is unique.
Existential Crisis in Modern Society Solution: Pull back the layers of these problems one at a time and try out possible solutions.

Learn to ask more practical questions. Then you can begin to overcome your existential fears. You can now live a great and joyful life where you can pick up the disturbing secrets of the human experience.

Existential Crisis in Modern Society for men definition: What is an Existential Crisis Anyways? 

In the psychological community, an Existential Crisis in Modern Society is “a moment when an individual questions if their life has meaning, purpose, or value.”

To show you: an Existential Crisis in Modern Society is what happens when you suddenly wake up one day and realize this.

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The most frustrating part of anExistential Crisis in Modern Society is that they can strike at any moment, without warning and reason.

Depression and existential despair, though frequently experienced in unison, are not the same. You can be happier than you’ve ever yet still experience an unwavering spiritual malaise about your purpose and place in this world.

The term existential crisis initially derives from the work of psychoanalyst and developmental theorist Erik Erikson, who referred to an existential crisis as an “identity crisis.” And that’s where things get interesting.

In an existential crisis, you begin to realize that you might not be who or what you thought you were for the past few decades of your existence.

That brings into question and challenges EVERYTHING you once thought to be true.
But you do not have an existential crisis without reason…read more

The Causes of Existential Crisis in Modern Society and Depression 

The following sections might be hard to stomach and accept. But I encourage you to read this through to the end.

It is equally uncomfortable to accept a grim medical prognosis, but necessary to find the right treatment. But it is also unpleasant to face the inevitable facts of human existence.

We have to understand the root cause of our existential breakdown that we can learn how to deal with an existential crisis.

The Paradox of Abundance: Too Many Options, Too Little Time 

Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.” ~Kierkegaard, The Father of Existentialism

The most significant source of our existential dread is, quite ironically, the abundance in which we find ourselves as a species in modern society. Never before has humankind been presented with so much opportunity and possibility.

Through the power of the internet, you can learn any skill and monetize any hobby from the comfort of your own home.
With all the knowledge of our world, you can have, do and be what you want. And this very freedom has become a massive problem for society.

Regardless of our success in any given area, we can’t help but wonder, “What if…” 

Everywhere we look, every person is faced with choices too plentiful and essential to count. No matter how long we think or how many times we ask “what if,” there seem to be no answers to our existential FOMO.

Simply more questions.

The Decline of Community: Alone on a Rock Spinning Through a Void 

We no longer have tribes or communities with whom we gain intimate familiarity. Our relationships often relegated to meaningless exchanges on social media platforms and superficial conversations with coworkers we don’t like.

More than ever before, despite technological advances, we are more disconnected from our fellow humans.

We are trained, from a very young age, to fear and loathe our neighbors because of their differences instead of finding camaraderie, compassion, and community in our similarities. 

But this wasn’t always the case. Once upon a time, we lived and died with our fellow tribe members.

We lived together, hunted together, broke bread together, danced together, laughed together, and had little time to ponder the insanity of existence.

Most adults report having fewer than one close friend, and many people claim that they have no one in their lives whom they could call in the event of an emergency. The coalescence of these factors has created a society in which existential depression and acute depression seem all but inevitable.

When we have no one in our lives to whom we can turn

In the era of media madness, we struggle to authentically connect with our fellow humans as the population scurries about in a frenzy, desperately attempting to hide behind an ego-fueled facade of perfection. Understanding this is the first step to getting over an existential crisis.

Because if everyone knew the truth…read more

 

Media Madness: The Force Multiplier of Insanity 

Rewind the clock less than 15 years, and you would find a world that seems completely disconnected from the one in which we now find ourselves.

People mostly kept to themselves. Things like marriage, engagements, family vacations, the birth of a child, career successes, and generating wealth, for the most part, was kept private.
Now come to present times. Privacy has become a distant memory. Through the advent of social media, we are given a small (and carefully manufactured) glimpse into the “realities” of the most intimate part of other people’s lives.

Men showcase their latest professional successes in a never-ending highlight reel with few hardships along the way.

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The Curse of Comfort: The Easy Life is No Life

“Life can be magnificent and overwhelming – that is the whole tragedy. Without beauty, love, or danger it would almost be easy to live.” ~Albert Camus

And this is something humans have craved since the beginning of time.
We don’t want a comfortable and banal existence where we clock in, clock out, watch TV, masturbate or have routine sex, and microwave a ready-made meal then repeat until we die.

You were born into a particular culture and, as a result, had specific enemies and obstacles to overcome. Whether it was merely hunting an animal to eat that day, conquering a rival village, or merely bandying together to survive mother nature, we were born into the fight of our lives.

Today, things are different in Existential Crisis in Modern Society!

 

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A poor person today had better access to healthcare, technology, and education than even the richest men in the world just 25 years ago. You may not have a mansion, but you have a roof over your head.

You may not be eating filet mignon and fresh lobster for dinner, but you are not starving. And subsisting on food stamps, government programs, and the charity has now become commonplace for many (not that I advocate this).

Think about it this way.

If you look at the history of human existence, it’s clear that we derive meaning and purpose from conflict and discomfort. It’s why stories like Braveheart, Gladiator, and Rudy strike such a chord in man.

The Path Forward is Worth the Fight

The Path Forward is Worth the Fight

“Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.” ~Jean Paul Sartre

  • Having an existential crisis is NORMAL. 
  • Having an existential crisis is a GOOD THING. 
  • Having an existential crisis is a sign of GROWTH.

The fact that you are questioning your place in the world and asking how to find meaning in life doesn’t make you dumb, weak, or inferior. It makes you human–and a more intelligent and conscious human at that.

But merely acknowledging your crisis is not the same as getting over an existential crisis. You must decide what you are going to do about it. 

It’s the path of growth, adventure, and spiritual freedom. 

The rest of this guide will detail the steps I took to eradicate my existential dread.

define existential crisis

 

The Keys to Overcoming Existential Anxiety NOW! 

Before detailing the exact steps you can take to overcome an existential crisis, you must first understand a few essential guidelines.

First. Unlike depression or anxiety, an Existential Crisis in Modern Society is not contingent on any particular facet of your life, and the solutions are not fast and easy.
You can be crushing it in every area of life but still feel a nagging discontent when you turn off at the end of the day, are alone, and go to sleep at night.

There are no easy answers to the big questions of life. Therefore, it is essential to accept the existential challenges as they arise and to be ready to take them without knowing the exact solution.

Next, you must understand that the solutions to existential anxiety and depression are not all action-based.
With the other challenges in our life–like weight loss, earning more money, or ascending a chosen career ladder–the solutions are typically cut and dry. Do more of this. Do less of that. Start doing this. Stop doing that.
In an existential crisis, there are no such clear actions. Most of the solutions I’m going to present are far more esoteric than they are practical. They are about adopting new beliefs and mindsets that take time to understand fully.
Finally, realize that escaping the clutches of an existential crisis will not happen overnight.

Understand What Your Purpose Is 

“No one can construct for you the bridge upon which precisely you must cross the stream of life, no one but you yourself alone.” ~Frederick Nietzsche

All too often, people assume that their purpose is something concrete. Something preordained and fixed.

The birth is not an inevitable fate that you have to pursue. You can choose your purpose. 

To break free from an existential breakdown, you must exercise this freedom and create meaning for yourself. And to allow that purpose to evolve as you evolve as a man. Do not wait for others to tell you how to live your life, choose the life you want to live, and pursue it with conviction.

existential crisis definition

 

There are no easy answers to the big questions of life. Therefore, it is similar, in your life, your purpose today will be wildly different from your use five or ten years from now. And that’s normal and a part of life.

What matters is that you pursue your authentic purpose! Just do things that make your life meaningful and create meaning in your eyes. Not in the eyes of society.

You will only find it in pursuit of things that are meaningful to you and in alignment with your values.
But to create this purpose for yourself, you must first embrace the pain of meaninglessness. You must face the Existential Crisis in Modern Society Demons to emerge victoriously.

How to Deal with An Existential Crisis in Modern Society: Stop Numbing the Pain and Embrace It 

One of the most significant pitfalls modern humans fall into is an addiction to sedation.
And there is a reason our society has developed so many forms of escapism in the last several decades.

Because people want to escape their lives, they want to stand out even for a brief moment from their meaningless life. To numb the pain that they feel so profoundly.

But when you come down from the high… read more

 

BRING IT ON! 

The pain that you feel from lacking a purpose or despising your life is the greatest gift that life can give you.
It is life’s natural change agent — a guide to serve you. Not to help you escape from your life, but rather to not let life flee from you.
To rid your life of an existential crisis, you must first rid your life of sedation with which so many men fall.

Avoiding an Existential Breakdown: Indecision Always Costs More in the End

The modern human has, at their fingertips, more opportunity and possibility than any human–even the richest of kings–had one hundred years ago.

And this reality has led to a generation fueled plagued by indecisiveness. With so many options, we can never know when we are making the “right” decision.

But the truth is… read more

 

Become a Creator, Not a Consumer

“Men must live and create. Live to the point of tears.” ~Albert Camus

There’s only one problem.

The modern world does not encourage this creation-centric lifestyle. Instead, it pushes and peddles a materialistic agenda of consumption. From the moment we were born, we’ve inundated with ads telling us how we should look, what we should wear, where we should live, and how we should act, destroying our creativity.

To keep by these social norms, we consume.

We consume new homes, furniture, cars, designer clothes, overpriced jewelry, lavish vacations (that never feel relaxing), Netflix marathons, porn, and unhealthy foods.

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The problem arises when one allows overconsumption to take over all of their time, energy, and stifle their ability to create.

Nothing fuels depression and feelings of meaningless more than a life void of creative power. And if you want to know how to deal with an existential crisis, the best answer I can give you is to create more.

Stop consuming. Start creating. And as a byproduct, you are stepping into your power and becoming the hero in your life.

Creation fuels meaning. And the more you create, the more meaningful and enjoyable your life and the faster you can start getting over an existential crisis.

Memento Mori 

“If I take death into my life, acknowledge it, and face it squarely, I will free myself from the anxiety of death and the pettiness of life – and only then will I be free to become myself.” ~Martin Heidegger

This final section is a dark yet enlightening topic, but one that I feel you are prepared to face. Take a deep breath. Relax. I’m with you right now.

The final and most profound way to escape an existential breakdown is to contemplate and meditate on the inevitability of your death.

You are going to die. Everyone you love is going to die. Everyone who pisses you off right now is going to die too. We all are. It’s merely the human condition.

 

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If there are only two things we know for sure–we are alive right now, and one day we won’t be–we only have two choices.

First, we can opt-out of existence and decide that our existential angst is a disease without a cure.

Or, since we’re already on this spinning rock, we can choose to make the most of it.

If the worst thing that can happen is already guaranteed to arrive… Then we have nothing to fear. 

And when we truly embrace this fact, allowing it to penetrate us to the core, life becomes an exciting adventure. You are the hero of your life, and you can create whatever you want with it. It’s so beautiful this way.

You are free to pursue your passions, to go for your dreams, to aim as high as you can without fear or shame.

Make the most of your experience here. Live so vibrantly it puts you in tears of joy.

Live so that the fear of death never enters your heart and accept that the only thing you have to fear truly is dying without ever having lived.

My friend, don’t waste this opportunity

Want to become the most reliable version of yourself?

“This article originally appeared in the KnowledgeForMen blog.”