I have been pondering on the vital roles meaning and struggle play in life.
While most of us yearn for a life free from struggle or a life devoid of eternal law and consequence, it is precisely that which we detest that saves us.
In Winners Never Cheat, Jon M. Huntsman says, "Engaging in activities devoid of difficulty, lounging in risk-free zones, is life without great meaning."
Best known for his writings on meaning, Victor Frankl says in Man's Search for Meaning:
“In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning,
such as the meaning of a sacrifice.”
Frankl is one of my most favorite authors. As a survivor of Nazi prison camps, he was faced with the harshest reality humans can suffer. He identified that it was not the most sick or weak that died first, but those who lost meaning in life. He studied those who fought to live, even though life was seemingly not worth living.
His quotes resonate with me:
"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
“If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be meaning in suffering.”
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—
to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
These authors are pointing out that success does not create meaning in life, the journey to success does.
When I'm struggling with a project or trying to identify how to get around a wall in my businesses, I forget so quickly that the struggle is what keeps me sane. (Ironically.) And often, it's what brings me the most joy.
I am most happy when I'm pursuing a dream - not when I look back on a dream I've reached.
What perspective comes when you remember that the journey is more important than the destination? What struggles bring your life meaning?
1 Aug 2016
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