How can you find the Meaning to your Life?
And how most of us cope with being lost
“A Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl. That’s it. A book. 200 pages. Black words on white paper. I found the answer in a book.
This book made me realise that there wasn’t a single unique Meaning in Life. There couldn’t be. I was on the lookout for such a book after having failed to answer hundreds of times the same question:
-What is the Meaning of my Life?
Is it to put your life to the service of something greater than yourself?
Is it to strive for Happiness? Is it to create a safe heaven for your family?
But no, I could feel that none of these answers rang true to my mind. There couldn’t be one meaning. 7.5 billion people couldn’t have the same goal in Life.
You could argue that we all have the firm determination of living. But even some people see their lives as secondary to their life’s purpose, to writing their novel or finding the antidote to some disease, or to becoming a world champion. They live only to fulfill their purpose, and once that is achieved, they may feel submerged by a wave of emptiness.
You could argue that we all have the will to find Happiness, yet I have met some people who will put the safety of their family or the success of their company before their own Happiness, and, whilst this is not their ultimate purpose, it brings them Happiness indirectly.
As one reads “A Man’s Search for Meaning” , there are various key ideas that appear, again and again, in various situations. Here are the three main ones that might resonate when Searching for your own Meaning:
1/ Embrace Change
2/ Change your mindset
3/ Create Vs Consume
1- Embrace change.
Each one of us has a meaning to our life that is sacred and unique to the moment we live in. The meaning of my life is different from 5 years ago and I am sure it is different from what it will be 10 years from now. I have become confortable with that idea of change, of evolution. Because that is what the human psyche is about…adaptation. We want this car so much that we will work 4 years to afford it. Then become tired of it a few months later. Our mind adapts to what we have/feel/need.
The baseline of my life is to leave this world feeling excited with the years that have passed and satisfied with what I have achieved. Nothing more nothing less. I don’t have big plans that I NEED to accomplish but I do have a small bucket list in the back of my mind which changes from time to time, and that’s what lists are about, to scratch, erase and replace.
2- Change your mindset
Instead of feeling troubled by the fact that you haven’t found your way and are getting older, try to find pleasure in simple things every day. The pleasure of walking to your grocery store, as you notice how elegantly the clouds move, and how joyfully the birds sing. The pleasure of listening to a good friend and the way he gets excited about so many things, the pleasure of catching up with a family member, and hear how happy it makes them feel. By finding pleasure in simple things your mind will get used to seeing the good rather than the bad and your mindset will get excited about the future, about new opportunities.
Feel excited for what’s to come, for the passion you might find around the corner, for the people you will meet and who will make you discover new things about the world, things you might fall in love with, and that you might adopt as a reason to live.
“Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’” -Nietzsche
Feel excited for the trust you put in “Tomorrow”, because tomorrow will bring new ideas, new experiences and a new sunrise, the chance to start again, to be born again.
It’s okay to feel lost, without knowing in which direction towards which you should walk. It’s okay to feel jealous about all those people who have found their reason to breathe. But remember that it is also consuming to live for something else than simply for yourself, to serve something greater than yourself.
3- Create Vs Consume
Instead of reading, start writing
Instead of watching videos, create videos
Instead of listening to music, try creating a song
Now I know it sounds cliché and it’s always easier said than done, but it seems that consumption is the parasite of our generation. It’s so much easier to buy something already prepared, already cooked, already built, already painted that we forget how capable we are. How each one of us has the capability and creativity of creating. We are Gods in our own ways.
We have the power to create, to assemble, to modify, and all this with our own two hands and our mind.
Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge.