While I can't be sure that other people have asked themselves the same, I have always questioned the meaning of existence. I don't consider myself to be a nihilist, but I do wonder how come we as humans still feel an urge to improve and continue and grow even though we're all going to die one day.
Is there really a point to doing anything if chances are that our species is going to go extinct? Look at us right now, we're destroying ourselves with climate change.
I've always questioned what the "purpose" of my life is. For me, it's always been about eliminating as much suffering as possible. This can be measured in 2 different ways. Quantity and quality. How many people were suffering that I helped stop suffering, and how much damage the suffering was causing. While I may not know which direction I think is more important yet, I know that I want to help people.
I've been doing that in minor ways, whenever I'm in downtown Toronto and I buy food, I buy a second complete meal, and give it to someone who is less fortunate than me. And the reality? It feels really really good to help people, and to feel like I'm making a difference in someone's life.
Up until learning more about Neitzche, I hadn't gone into depth questioning where my desire to eliminate suffering and help people came from. I mean, what is in it for me? On the surface, it seemed like a completely selfless act. I was putting myself aside to care about others. But the questions now became, why would I choose that instead of something completely selfish, there doesn't seem to be an appeal to to helping others other than feeling good about yourself.
Neitzche would say that everything in the universe is governed by the will to power, the will to self expression. His works have led me to realize that my desire to help other is about power. I want to feel power over myself, and subconsciously, I want to be powerful over others. Is this inherently bad? No, I don't think so.
I find it so interesting that it's not about others, but about myself, and my satisfaction with myself and my position in this world. Like any other animal in the food chain, I have the instinctual desire (built up over years of evolution) to try and improve my situation. For most animals, their power is their territory, and the space that they consume. I feel as though in my situation my power comes from the people I influence.
Do I want power? Yes. Do I want to be known? Yes. But I want both in a moral and ethical way, and that's why I believe I want to help people in order to get that power and be known.