I was driving home yesterday when I stumbled upon "the meaning of life", seriously.  I almost instantly came out with a refined creed for myself, and maybe you, to use as a yardstick on "how you're doing".  I'm just one of those people who performs better if he knows "why" he's doing something.  So click through, if you dare, and by the way, this is serious.

The most succinct statement I can give on the meaning of life is this:

The meaning of life is to leave your descendants with better tools than you had to live their lives.

And now the long version:

The meaning and/or purpose of your existence should be to make sure that your fellow man, especially those related to you by blood have easier and better opportunities to succeed than you were given and to continually strive to make it even better for them.

How about the shortest version possible:

Leave things better than you found them.

Okay, you're probably in shock that this came from me, but like I said, as simple and dumbheaded as I can be, I need meaning, so if I haven't lost you yet, lets discuss a little further.

First off, and this is the most controversial part of my statement, I don't believe we are here just to serve a supernatural being.  You don't either.  If you did, you'd quit your job, put on a robe and pray full time.  To a degree, you're with me. That's not to say there is no supernatural being, I'll let you decide on that, and my feeling is "whatever gets you through the day", I'm just saying people claim full-time devotion is the key, but they do not practice it (except for monks). The Roman Emporor and philosoper Marcus Aurelius had this to say:

Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved.

Next "your descendants".  Like it or not, you are responsible for the lives you've brought onto this planet. You are also responsible to a very small degree to set small examples to your fellow man and how others should be treated, because this is how they in turn may treat your descendants.  Now, this may seem like "heady" stuff, but it really isn't.

Lastly, what are "the better tools" you should leave your fellow man with.  They are ANYTHING. Easier access to schools, food, and just plain opportunities.  In short, your kids and your neighbors kids should be given every opportunity to be smarter than you and live a better life than you.  Some people will even live to serve as bad examples.  If a man goes to prison and his experience somehow teaches others to not do the things that get you into prison, then he is to a small degree a success at life.  As for the positive, if it took you years to finish your education because you had to walk to school, you are "improving the quality" of your family line by buying your kid a bike, or moving close to a school.  Look back at your own parents, in most cases, when they where young adults they didn't have ANYTHING.  You at least probably got better nutrition than them, and that helps your brain develop better. I could belabor this point all day, but I'll wrap it up by saying give your kids and others the best possible chance you are capable of giving them to lead a better life.

Hey, I'm just a jackass d.j.  Maybe you need to find your own mantra, or maybe you just need to modify this one, but in my experience,  having a purpose will make it easier for you to get up in the morning.