Logotherapy guides one to find their purpose and meaning in their lives. This meaning differs by individual and can change from hour to hour.
Meaning can be found in even the smallest of details. So, don’t spend all your waking hours searching for an all-encompassing meaning of life. Instead, search for meaning in everyday tasks and in the relationships you have with your friends and family.
It does not matter what life throws at you. What truly matters is how you choose to handle these situations.
Everyone must find unique meaning in their lives and then go out and fulfill it.
MORE IDEAS FROM THEBOOK
We should not question 'What is the meaning of life?' When we reverse the issue, the dilemma of interpretation is simpler to solve.
During the concentration camps, Frankl, as a psychiatrist, discovered three rich sources of meaning. These are the three ‘wells of meaning.’ You can turn to these wells when you lose hope and require motivation to get through a difficult period in your life.
According to Frankl 'Love' has little to do with the feeling of being in love and more about struggling to help others succeed.
When you lack meaning, find someone you can elevate. Aim to make someone else’s life a little better. Get so busy helping others you forget yourself in the process.
If you died today, there would be a task that you and only you could have completed. A piece of work that required your unique collection of experiences, knowledge, and strengths.
If you are unaware of it -
Then, search for opportunities to use your unique collection of experiences, knowledge, and skill and then do the task believing you were born to do this.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
“(By) accepting the challenge to suffer bravely, life has a meaning up to the last moment, and it retains this meaning literally to the end.”
“Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.”
“The more one forgets himself—by giving himself to another person to love—the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself.”
Frankl was a professor and psychiatrist from Vienna. He and his family were persecuted as Jews in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Frankl himself was lucky as he was one of few to survive but his family wasn't.
In the camps Frankl himself was kept alive by a combination of factors, like - sheer luck, hoping to see his family again, and his decision to let fate take its course. He understood that making an active decision to change his fate could potentially lead to death coming sooner.
“Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.”
You can use your imagination to overcome suffering. Take this incident (from Frankl's experience)-
While walking in the cold while being beaten by a Nazi guard, he recalls a man whispering to him, “If our wives could see us now! I do hope they are better off in their camps and don’t know what is happening to us.” Instead of worrying about the man’s comment, this prompted Frankl to retreat into his imagination. He pictured his wife and her smile.
“Don’t aim at success—the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue…as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a course greater than oneself.”
When you go beyond your own personal aspirations, become less self-centered and more others-oriented, the act of living a life of service towards others and elevating the quality of others' lives through your kindness will create a byproduct of happiness. At the end of the day, true success is found in the relationships we nurture.
The ability to acknowledge your situation and balance optimism with realism.
"You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end — which you can never afford to lose — with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be." - Stockdale.
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