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How do we find Meaning? September 28, 2015

Posted by shwaldman in Society.
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When I take a break at work, I tend to check my personal email. This often leads me to click links to blog posts and the like. Today, I was led down the path to LinkedIn and articles that members post there. Ironically, after coming across one titled “Here Is How to Get an Extra Hour a Day“, I came across another title that interested me: “How to Find Meaning in Your Career and Life” Eureka, I thought, someone figured it out…

But Alas, it was not so. In fact I found the article so frustrating that I had to comment on it, which I rarely do. The premise of the article was the following statement by Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor, Victor Frankl:

“The meaning of your life is to help others find the meaning of theirs.”

Now, for me to read this, I have an immediate and opposite reaction than the author and apparently many of the other readers of this post. So, this was my comment:

“I don’t want to be argumentative, but it seems to me that Frankl’s words are useless. If taken to imply that his statements is true for everyone, we are all just trying to help each other with no real progress. It is cyclical with no ending. It does not take into account the unique individual nature of ourselves and our lives. It also implies that we are in a better position than anyone else because we can help them (find their meaning). I am not saying I know how to find meaning, this is MY journey and I was hoping to receive insights in this posting, but alas I did not, only frustration.”

I am not sure why I reacted so strongly. I guess it was just so blatantly a false statement to me that it did not make sense why so many people would see the opposite. After further thought and re-reading it a couple of times, I was able to come to the conclusion that the statement could be modified slightly and made more simple to make it more true. Please share your thoughts if this resonates with you:

“The meaning of your life is to help others.”

Done.

For me, this makes more sense. It leaves it open for the individual to determine their “how” or “what”. The “How” is what we each need to find. It is something I think about regularly. I feel quite lucky to life the live I have. I feel inspired to see other people finding their way of helping others. We can all use help in some way. And I personally think that this is our journey. How will I help other today? Tomorrow? Next week?

BTW – In case you did not click the link and are wondering how you get your 25th hour in your days… stop clicking on useless links and spending hours browsing the web,  😉

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