The Meaning Of Life
We’ve been asking the wrong question. All this time, we’ve been asking the wrong damn question. How about that? To quote my new found literary friend and logotherapy pioneer Viktor Frankl “long ago we passed the stage of asking what was the meaning of life, a naive query which understands life as the attaining of some aim through the active creation of something of value.” And no, this doesn’t mean attainment of Chanel and Louis Vuitton logos, much to my girlfriend’s chagrin. We’re talking about logos as in meaning. Everyone has always wanted to know the meaning of life without realising they didn’t actually want to know that at all. The real question is what is the meaning of your life?
Everyone is constantly looking for their ultimate why, which can take a lifetime. Yours. The answer is one that you already possess, which is whatever makes you curious, passionate, excited, love and feel loved. How do you know what excites you now will excite you tomorrow? You don’t, that’s the point. It’s the search. Stop looking for the meaning of life, look for the meaning of now, in this period of your life. To paraphrase John F Kennedy, ask not what life can do for you, but what you can do for life.
'Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and fulfil the tasks it constantly sets for each individual'. For Viktor and his compatriots in the concentration camps, life had one thing to offer them at that point in time: suffering. Viktor understood that eventually it would pass, but his why endured – to postulate his theory on logotherapy. Those that endure great suffering, they survive because of a why, a why that is as individualistic as a snowflake. Find your why in this period of your life. To quote Nietzsche, ‘he who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how.’ Logotherapy’s categorical imperative is to ‘live as if you were living already for second time, and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now’. The benefit of hindsight. Tim Ferriss, Adrianna Huffington, Viktor and others all extoll the same mindset: picture your deathbed or the writing of your own eulogy. What do you want it to say?
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