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Discovering Meaning Through the Simple Act of Being

Discovering meaning and purpose in this life can sometimes feel like this eye-opening, mind-blowing experience that only a few people in the world get to have – even though all of us desire it.

But this frustration we all feel is actually something we can take consolation in, according to Viktor Frankl

“This frustration is a proof of the existence of a greater meaning. Unless we were inbuilt by the will to find meaning and discover and fulfill meaning in life, we never would be able to experience an inner void. So this is in a way, also something positive.”

 

Thank you Frankl, for exposing such a wonderful flip side to this coin!
This frustration is the same frustration that causes one to try and fill that empty space with temporary pleasures; the same frustration that can cause us to slip into a seemingly doomed void simply due to the feeling that we have no purpose.

It is worth mentioning that Frankl was a well-known neurologist and psychologist. He was also a holocaust survivor; so he experienced incredible pain and hardship in his life, which makes his work and theories even more credentialed. His horrific experiences in the death camps was the very thing that moved him to the space of growth and revelation, and these learnt lessons are what he has based his life’s work on.

If you’re interested, go check out Logotherapy, a form of therapy that Frankl developed which literally means “healing through meaning”.
The theory is that if we are able to identify, discover or find a hidden, deeper meaning within all that we do and experience, we find purpose to this life. 


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"Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." - Viktor Frankl

Basically…. I wont pretend that there is one source of happiness and meaning, or even that we have discovered or know all the sources out there…but there is certainly a definitive link between having an overall joyful life, and finding meaning.

 

Frankl describes these links in the terms of 3 Values:

When we turn our focus outward, towards the great wide world and all the life within it, our perspective changes. There is no longer a closed shell in which we sit and try to find meaning, but rather there is an entire universe which is FILLED with meaning, both discovered and undiscovered; and we are a part of that universe; which means we are a part of that meaning. When we become an active participant in this world, in whichever way we desire, we naturally tap into that universal, deeper meaning. And this naturally draws our sense of purpose closer to us.

When we turn our focus outward, towards the great wide world and all the life within it, our perspective changes. There is no longer a closed shell in which we sit and try to find this inward focused meaning, but rather there is an entire universe which is FILLED with meaning, both discovered and undiscovered; and we are a part of that universe; which means we are a part of that meaning. When we become an active participant in this world, in whichever way we desire, we naturally tap into that universal, deeper meaning. And this naturally draws our sense of purpose closer to us.

How absolutely delightful. 

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