As I work with clients I am continually humbled by what they have been through and the way they have coped. So often people perceive themselves as victims, as weak or even defeated, not noticing that they are still standing, still living their lives after going through extremely difficult times, or even still thriving.
In his book The Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl, a concentration camp survivor, talks about the importance of having a reason for being and having meaning in life. He suggests that given a strong enough why, man can put up with pretty much any how.
“Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for” Victor Frankl
Motivation has a big impact on what we are able and willing to do, and how we go about the things that we decide matter. Being able to operate from a sense of what is right for us deep down, is very different from acting out what we think we ought to, perhaps to please others, or just out of habit. Finding that connection with your true self and the things that leave you feeling whole and fulfilled is key to living a good life.
When you feel out of sorts, or just not yourself, ask yourself why am I doing what I am doing? Be really honest in the way you answer. Are you on auto-pilot? Are you fulfilling someone else’s goals or expectations? Are you making do?
Whatever your answer is, it is important to accept where you are and make peace with it. When you are not feeling defensive you can begin to challenge yourself and work out what has more meaning for you. What is it that feels right to you deep down? What are you doing when you feel honest and uncomplicated? What makes your heart sing?
I’m not necessarily talking about big changes here. Meaning can come from connections with others, with nature, from creative pursuits, from fulfilling work…we are all different. Take some time out to find out what gives you meaning, and as you do, notice the positive effects spreading in your life.