As we embark on a new year, its a great time to reflect on an important question: What is the meaning of life?
Viktor Frankl was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor. His best-selling book Man’s Search for Meaning chronicles his experiences as a concentration camp inmate, which led him to discover the importance of finding meaning in all forms of existence, even the most brutal ones, and thus, a reason to continue living. He was asked about the meaning of life and he had to think about it as a prisoner of War in WW2.
The greatest task for any person is to find meaning in his or her life. Frankl saw three possible sources for meaning: in work (doing something significant), in love (caring for another person), and in courage during difficult times. Suffering in and of itself is meaningless; we give our suffering meaning by the way in which we respond to it. . . .
Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you will feel and do about what happens to you.
This brings to mind the words of another thought leader – Wayne Dyer: If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.