Viktor E. Frankl survived Auschwitz and went on to found Logotherapy, a method of psychotherapy where the patient is guided to discover the meanings to be fulfilled by his/her future. Frankl believed that the Will to Meaning, as he called it, is one of the most fundamental driving human forces, along with the need for food, clothing, and shelter.
Here are a few of his thoughts—ones that will encourage you to contemplate the deeper reasons for your existence and, thus, directing you toward a personally compelling meaning and purpose in your life.
Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.
You don’t have to respond to everything that happens in your day or week. You can step back, take a breath, and let the situation unfold more fully before choosing how you want to respond—if at all. Don’t be so quick to judge or to blurt out that snappy comeback. Perhaps it’s better to wait a beat or two and give yourself a chance to choose what you do or do not want to do.
When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.
When we encounter situations we don’t like, we’re quick to try to change them. But perhaps the gift lies not in how strong we are and how well we overcome a setback/challenge/obstacle but rather how we can see what it’s revealing in us that needs strengthening or improving or changing in some way.
Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.
This is another way of saying what Nietzsche said: “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”
When a person can’t find a deep sense of meaning, they distract themselves with pleasure.
Pleasure’s satisfactions are fleeting and, like a drug, one finds that they need more and more of it to receive the same level of pleasure. Meaning, on the other hand, sates the deep need within all of us to live lives that matter.
Make a note of the quote(s) that resonated with you and keep them handy; refer to them often this week.
Which quote resonated with you? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks!
Please feel free to pass this post along to a friend who may need a boost. Thanks!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,