“The uniqueness and singleness which distinguishes each individual and gives a meaning to his existence has a bearing on creative work as much as it does on human love.” Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning.

It is strange and ironic that I have not encountered Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning until this (late) period in my life since it is the search for meaning I have struggled with so mightily throughout my life.

I struggled in high school because I could not see the meaning in the algebra, English, history, biology, and assorted other classes that I was forced to take. At that time I worked in a nursing home and saw the discarded old whose prime and usefulness had seemed to have passed. I could not see the meaning in their lives as they wound down often in dementia, loneliness, and despair.

Also at this same time I saw my father’s despair as he came home each day from work tired and worn, a little bit more taken out of him, a little less life to give. What meaning was there for his life? Was it my fate to live the same meaningless life? (A few years later he seemed to find relief in the cancer that would mercifully end his life.)

After graduating from high school I began an adventure to find such meaning in my life. I hitchhiked and traveled to far off places such as Hawaii and Mexico in search of meaning. Later in work and college I searched for a meaning for my life—at times finding such meaning and at other times losing it.

My inability to firmly grasp and retain the meaning of my life was dependent on my desires for love and money, on my insecurities and psychosis, and on a world that does not reward the nebulous and intangible. “Make a living” not “Make meaning” is the motto of our society.

Frankl writes about two men who had given up on life in the Nazi concentration camp and talked of committing suicide. Both men gave the typical argument that they had nothing left to expect from life. But Frankl turned the question of expectation on its head and asking the men what life expected from them. It turned out that each man had something that life expected of them—one had a daughter living in the United States who was waiting for him and the other man begun a series of books that needed to be finished.

“His work could not be done by anyone else, any more than another person could ever take the place of the father in his child’s affections.”

Each of us has a unique and singular mission, a meaning that life expects of us. Life has presented you with a set of circumstances, obstacles, and experiences that make you the unique person that you are. Even closely knit twins have unique experiences which distinguish them from each other. Why did life give you the life it gave you? What is life expecting from you?

My own life has given me the unique perspective that I call “The Coherent Life” consisting of the six values of Confidence, Happiness, Love, Peace, Passion, and Abundance. My purpose, the meaning that life expects of me is to share this philosophy with you. My hope is that you will find meaning in your life through my writings. 

 


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