Amazing clouds in Mexico.
For the last two weeks I’ve been reading Man’s Search For Meaning by Victor E. Frankl. I’m close to finishing it, but even without finishing it I have been beyond impressed. It’s literally in the top 3 books I’ve ever read. I like it as much as Seneca’s On the Shortness of Life.
Every page is insightful and engaging. That can’t be said for too many books I’ve read. A lot of books repeat the same ideas over and over, and could have easily been written in half the amount of pages.
Man’s Search For Meaning is powerful and to the point. It’s so good that you almost wish it was longer, but if it was longer would it still be as great?
The second half of the book is on logotherapy, which seems to be a great theory. I’m not too sure if psychologists still use it today, but the arguments for it seemed very good. Logotherapy is a theory based on the idea that we are all in search of our meaning in life. A lot of our issues can be boiled down to us not having a clear meaning in life. When you have a clear meaning for your life, you can achieve your goals and endure enormous amounts of suffering/ pain.
Victor E. Frankl says that there is no single meaning to life. We all don’t have the same meaning in life, just like there isn’t a best move in chess. The exact circumstances of the chess game will determine which move can be considered the best. A person’s character, environment and circumstances will determine what their meaning in life is. It won’t be the same for you, your mom or me.
I don’t play chess, but I can relate the idea to basketball, a sport that I’m extremely familiar with. You can’t simply ask what the best move in basketball is. Could it be the layup, three-pointer, crossover, dunk, steal, foul or blocked shot? Who knows. It can’t, definitively, be said for certain. The best move will be determined by what teams are playing on the court, the score, time remaining, players on the floor and who is currently playing well. Only after you have a specific situation, can you say what the best move would be. It may be the three-pointer, layup or quick timeout!
To me, that’s a good analogy for life and its meaning. Everyone will have a different and unique meaning in life, because we all have different lives. Asking for the overarching meaning in life is tough, because it probably doesn’t have an answer. The best answer, I’ve ever heard, for what the meaning in life is, is to find some purpose and make that your meaning in life. Essentially, pick something and just do that. Don’t worry about it. Don’t agonize over it too much. The more time you spend thinking about it, the more life you’re letting slip away.
Pick a purpose and make that your meaning in life. Simple. Maybe, too simple?