Existentialism is a European philosophy that orbits around thought-provoking life questions. For instance, what is my purpose, and why am I here? Existentialism considers every person unique responsible for their actions and destiny.

What all existentialists have in common is the fundamental doctrine that existence precedes essence.

Jean-Paul Sartre

A purpose or essence is ours to create. Someone does not predefine this. An excellent and inspiring quote regarding this theory is that man first exists, encounters himself, surges in the world, and defines himself afterward. Immanuel Kant is considered to be the father of existentialism. He has some eye-opening thoughts and claims regarding existentialism.

The Absurd or Absurdity

The absurdity is the idea that the world is meaningless and that whatever happens, happens. There are no defined guidelines or predefined moral codes. According to some well-known existential philosophers, to live a good life, one should live authentically in their essence. Not against it. The absurd points to the struggle between the human bias to seek inherent value and meaning in life and the human inability to find any in a meaningless, uncontrolled, and illogical universe. 

Suffering from Existential Crisis

It is amazing to know what your purpose is in life and knowing what your passion is. This state of life is preferred and provides one with so much energy. It makes one hungry for action, and you feel that there are no questions you need to answer for yourself. The opposite of this phenomenon is the existential crisis.

In this state, our mind constantly wanders off to questions regarding our lives: why do we live in this part of the world and not in another one? What would my life be if I lived or was raised in another country? Why am I working at this current job, and do I still like it? Am I still happy with my loved partner, and did I perhaps make the wrong choice?

We are beings that are freer than ever. Therefore, there are so many options that we could choose from that are just unimaginable. No one cares what we are or what we choose to do. It is our responsibility until the day we die.

The School of Life on the Existential Crisis


We are to be anxious because being anxious is a being’s fundamental feature. Sometimes it feels that we are forced to decide, and we are simply steering blind. Most times, true perfection is within our reach, but that makes us suffer from the agony of making a choice. If you experience this, then do not worry. Every life is burdened by it in some shape or form at some point in life. There is no such thing as having or experiencing a regret-free life.


Existentialism believes that a particular set of core properties are necessary for a thing to be what it is. Essence precedes existence for objects. All objects have a definite purpose. On the other hand, humans are not born with a definite purpose.

Existence precedes essence

central claim of existentialism

For instance, a knife can have an iron handle or a wooden one. Either way, it is still a knife. If you remove the blade, the knife would not be a knife anymore. Therefore, the edge is the essential property of the knife: it gives the knife its defining function.

BBC Ideas – What is existentialism

Existentialists say that part of what it means to be a good human is to adhere to your essence. According to existentialism, this gives you a purpose because you are born to be a specific thing. Jean-Paul Sartre asked what if we exist first. That we were born without any hard-wired purpose. That it is up to us to figure out our own essences.

The Quarter-life Crisis

Smiley, also known as Adam Poswolsky, talks about his fear of missing out by comparing himself to what his friends are doing. That made him feel hopeless. Working at a job that you don’t like doing doesn’t help at all. According to Smiley, his friend had it all figured out. He graduated with a good education had a fantastic job that made him six figures a year. He traveled in Peru with his partner and even got engaged there at sunset. Little did Smiley know that he also felt miserable.

The moral is that nobody has it all figured out: ‘The grass is always greener.’ You have to build a career or your own business or job that matters for you. Avoid just saying that you hate your job or even hate your life. You are not a goner.

Start by finding people who believe in their own and your dreams. If you tell someone who is not a dreamer that you want to quit your job, they will laugh at you. A dreamer will constantly ask you if you have left your job already. You are the product of your environment.

Show me your friends and I will show you your future

Dan Pena

It’s thought-provoking that it is almost expected for everyone to hate their job. Some say that it is simply part of life. 70% of Americans are disengaged with their job. No one will tell you how to live your life. You have to figure out what your gift is, how you can impact other people their lives, and what your qualities are. What gives you energy? Why are you here? How would you create your path? You have to start hustling. Work your ass off 50-60-70 hours a week to work on something that matters.

Adam Poswolsky – The Quarter-Life Crisis

Start by Making the Ask

Now is the time to take a risk. Start by signing up, go abroad to learn and discover new things, launch that website or build a blog on how someone can conquer their sine wave syndrome. Reach your full potential by doing what you love doing the most. If you find believers now and stop comparing yourself, you will change the lives of yourself, others, and the world.

Jean-Paul Sartre is one of the greatest thinkers regarding existentialism. He wrote a fantastic book about it. The book is a fresh translation of two seminal works of existentialism. I would recommend this piece of work if you want to learn more about his way of thinking.

If you want to know more about how you can beat your SWS, see this article: ‘Sine Wave Syndrome‘. Above is a summary of all different types of philosophies if you want to learn all about them. Knowing all kinds of philosophy may aid you to enhance your ability to solve problems can help you to improve your communication skill, persuasive powers, and writing skills. Knowing different ways of thinking allows you to relate to something in your life, which provides clarity that will make you feel better overall.