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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.”


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,  😉


Year of Giving April 16, 2010

Posted by shwaldman in Society, Work.
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Another story from this morning’s NPR Technology podcast was this story. Reed Sandridge is a laid off director of a non-profit group. That is certainly a tough job to get in this economy. But he really lives his giving personality even while he looks for a new job. It is quite an inspiring story and I plan to check in with his blog here.

New Private Blog December 19, 2009

Posted by shwaldman in Family.
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This week I started a new blog. It is private – an online journal of sorts. But as you can see the direction of this blog has turned more into a review site. I am certainly enjoying that because it is something I look for in the web. I am also searching for other people’s thoughts on video games, products or movies. And I am trying to get the most of my Netflix memberships, so I am sure there will be lots to write on based on that alone. But I hope to include Wii games, electronic gadgets, books, magazines, podcasts and other things more and more.

I will still include personal things here, but I will use the new blog for truly personal thoughts. I look forward to having a new place to empty my thoughts and clear my mind. It will be private because I know not every thought should be open to the public. And yet I will keep this site going to keep my conversation going with the outside world open too. If I write it, I hope they come….

Movie Review: Julie & Julia December 19, 2009

Posted by shwaldman in Society.
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Netflix Synopsis: Amy Adams stars in this truth-inspired tale as Julie Powell, a disenchanted government secretary who decides to enliven her uneventful life by cooking all 524 recipes outlined in Julia Child’s culinary classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Based on Powell’s book Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen, director Nora Ephron’s heartwarming dramedy also stars Meryl Streep as legendary chef Child.

I am not much of a foodie and really knew very little about Julia Child before watching this movie. Although after she passed, I did hear that she was actually a CIA agent. But what probably will not come as much of a surprise is that I got a bigger kick out of the other side of this story – the story of Julie and her blogging. It was fun to watch this girl transfer from what seemed like an underachiever to accomplished blogger – for whatever that is worth. Knowing about Child’s secret past made it difficult to get past the historical accuracy of her side of the story. However, given Julie Smith’s story was based in 2002, two years before Child’s death, it makes sense that Smith’s understanding of Child’s history is limited.

The movie itself was a little slow. It was interesting and fun to watch both the parallel lives. But like I said, it was difficult to believe, because of new information about Child’s life. Funny cameo for fans of the new show Glee – you have to watch – I’m not telling!

Spark to My Fitness Regime May 6, 2009

Posted by shwaldman in Fitness, Work.
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SparkPeople logo
A couple of weeks ago, our organization started its third “fitness challenge” since I have been there. It is a program from the Wellness Committee that tries to get people into the habit of a little exercise. Since it is already an important part of my life, this program shouldn’t be a big deal. But it has turned out to be an extra motivator to get me doing a little bit each day. The way it works is that people team up in groups of 5-8 to try to keep each other motivated. Each person earns 1 pt for the team for each 25-45 minutes of exercise each day of the week. Of course, it counts anything as exercise so as to be all inclusive, which I think is great.

A couple of weeks ago, there was a extra bonus. If each memeber of the team signed up for SparkPeople the team got bonus points. This site is a lot like Gyminee. But it has a lot more community and tracking functionality. For me, it adds a little competition to keep me motivated… it is like having someone else to answer to. It adds to the organization’s program, reinforcing that other people are looking out for you to keep moving.

In just the first few weeks, I have jumped to the top of the leaderboard for our organization. It is clear that people are not using this site to track their activities, which is fine. But it is a little disappointing. I had hoped the site could keep me motivated by having people to compete against. Yes, there are tons of other teams, but every other team has people completing 4 times the amount of exercise as me, which ironically is similar to the total amount of the 56 people in our the whole organization that have signed up. I can’t really compete with that.

So hopefully, I can find a way to make this a motivational tool – once I got to the top of the leaderboard, it lost it’s power. If I can’t get that power back, this will fall by the way side like lots of other social networking sites.