Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Discovering meaning of life

Just rising above the new year resolutions, let us ask ourselves, 'what is the meaning of my life'?

Viktor E Frankl, the author of Man's search for meaning, says we can discover this meaning of life in three different ways: (1) by creating a work or doing a deed (2) by experiencing something or encountering someone (3) by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering.

This may too sound philosophical, but the author has undergone a terrific experience where in he lied naked among the flesh and dead bodies in a Nazi camp and finally manage to escape. This experience helped him in devising a psychology study called Logotherapy.

He also speaks of an optimisim in the face of tragedy, where in one (1) turns suffering into a human achievement and accomplishment, (2) derive from guilt the opportunity to change oneself for the better (3) deriving from life's transitoriness (such as death) an incentive to take responsible action.

Especially, with referene to the 3rd point, its just not death, but all the moments of life that are dying and will never recur. This very thought is a reminder that challenges us to make the best possible use of each moment of our lives.

He says, "Live as if you were living for the second time and had acted as wrongly the first time as you are about to act now".  What a powerful statement! Thats going to be my guiding principle for me this new year. I am going to create a poster out of it and stick it to this page sidebar as a constant reminder.

He has a message for students in America and Europe - "Do not pursue success.. as you are going to miss unintended side effect of one's dedication for greater cause than oneself..". 

He also fondly quotes the German philosopher Nietzsche, "He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how".

Friends, lets make the best of our times, we are living in days that is terrific and unique.

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