The existence of the universal goal
Everyone has its own dreams, goals, objectives, etc. Some are interested in domains that others don't like. Still, I think we all share one, or several, common goal(s), that, together with experience, direct all our very single actions.
Why search for it?
If everyone possesses it, isn't it obvious? I think it's not conscious and that it takes a good introspection to find it.
Know thyself and you will know even the gods and the universe
Being aware of this goal is a good way to act better towards it and to be satisfied with our life. To a smaller extent, it could increase our productivity by strenghtening our will by thinking about these goals, that if I'm right should be the best reasons to do something in the world and to check whether what you do is right.
Some suggestions to start off
I've already given some thought to this very, very, very important question. Here's what I suggest:
Wouldn't you agree that the goal of life is to be happy? Not just a little happiness, but more: ecstasy? But you can't be happy with anything; this feeling is the indicator of the fulfilment of our primary goals.
What are the goals about?
I'm sure all the goals are for the sake of oneself only, or at least first far behind the other beings or things. We'll discuss this point through the other goals.
Therefore, your first concern is to stay alive: eating and drinking and generally be healthy is the primary goal. Safety is also important, because we can anticipate, so even if our life is not hurt right now, we don't feel at ease unless we're far from predators.
As humans "dominate" Earth, it's kind of relieved of this task, but that's not enough! Even people who live very well can be very sad: the second part of happiness is mostly psychological. I think we can divide it in two categories:
You can nearly "survive" every hardship with good friends. One achieves things to be recognized and appreciated by everyone; this is the best reward.
Even altruistic people help other people for themselves, because it makes them feel good (Dr. House said something like that). I'm not sure one would enjoy helping others if he were considered a slave or whatever. If you don't believe me, consider this situation: You wake up in the morning, and you discover you're the only being left in the world. You have everything you want: money, food, leisures, for free, but you won't be feeling good for sure. People who crash on unknown islands and have to survive there for years can do so only because they hope, anticipate that they will get saved, but they wouldn't otherwise.
I don't blame altruistic people at all! Montesquieu said something like: "One's happiness is bound to everyone's happiness.". If we think about it, that's luckily the reason why humanity still exists. If we were really dumb and started killing each other to get the other's food or goods, and not uniting against greater foes and saving each other's life, our species would be extinct!
Then, what about tyrans, psychopaths? Well, they must be feeling very bad and jailed in a vicious circle where they don't think they can apologize for their crimes, because they wouldn't be forgiven, and just think of protecting themselves by being even more tyrannic. That's what happends to Macbeth, in Shakespeare's play.
The "primary" thought at the base of this goal would be that: "The more friends I have, the less ennemies I'll get, or I'll be protected by my friends. Thus, my life won't get in jeopardy because of them."
Care for physical appearance is without a doubt linked to this goal. I'm not an expert so I don't know about the criteras, but I think it's still related to safety. It may mean one is confident or he has adopted the habits of its society, thus dressing weird can make him feel weak because of people avoiding him or laughing at him. We may have conceptions of beauty at birth, such as symetry and curves. It may depend on what we're judging. A painting and another person are different. The person is judged beautiful if he/she looks in good physical condition, thus taking care or him/herself, or looks kind, thus not being a danger to us.
A kind of consequence to the "social proof" goal, subgoal: acquisition of power, intellectual or physical. Means we can better protect ourselves from the world, and thus feel safer.
Having children could also be a way to extend one's power, or at least influence, but I'm not satisfied with this explanation.
Love may be understood as part of the survival instinct, a function to keep human beings together against menaces and to facilitate the continuation of the species.
I don't know whether we care about what happens to humanity after we die or not. Epicurus would maybe say no... but there might me more reasons behind this.
If we have the same goal, why do we act differently?
There are people who try to achieve this and are already happy because they're confinent they'll succeed, and people who feel they failed and lost their will, which leads to all kind of bad emotions and actions, such as wrath and suicide.
Anyway, it all comes to our genes. We really have something in mind when we're born and even before... A core program that's still to discover...
What's your opinion? Any questions about mine or cases that would enforce or question my theories? First, do you agree there is a universal goal? I'd love to read scientific studies on that, but I hope philosophy alone won't be considered "too subjective".