Without a guidebook to life, it is up to each of us to get in touch with our deeper meaning. When we step into our power, we have an opportunity to create meaning.
When we see problems everywhere we go—in our life and external world—it’s easy to get anxious and even want to give up. Who wants to live a life where we go from solving one problem and then have another and another appear?
But maybe we are not meant to solve problems? Perhaps the hardships many of us face stem from a lack of meaning and purpose.
Living in Meaningful Times
The next 5-7 years are transformational for all of us. The choices we are making are foundational—we simply don’t need more of the same anymore. Meaning is everything.
When we live a meaningful life, we:
- Remember that we’re here to create something that is meaningful to us. Waking up in the morning and being excited about what we’re creating gives us meaning.
- Experience life by showing up as who we are and allowing ourselves to be authentic and real. Whatever we feel is meaningful as there’s no judgement or shame to drag around with us.
- Transforming problems into opportunities by becoming aware of what is in our control and what we are willing to change. It is especially true of the attitude we adopt as that is entirely in our control.
But for many of us, meaning is something we read or hear about. Viktor Frankl coined the term “Sunday Neurosis,” which refers to the dejection that many people feel at the end of the week. He believed that when we pause at the end of the week, we realize how empty and meaningless life has become.
For Frankl, depression is a result of the gap between what we are and what we want to be be. This gap invites anxiety, binge eating, drinking, overworking, and overspending into our lives. We try to compensate by stuffing and numbing ourselves. And ultimately, prevent ourselves from narrowing this gap and envisioning a healthier way of being.
When we don’t have a meaning or purpose, our mental health begins to be impacted, which ultimately creates dis-ease and illness.
Meaning Births Hope
But through his hellish experiences, which he shares in Man’s Search for Meaning, Frankl give us hope that in even in the most horrendous circumstance, life can be given meaning when we take responsibility for our inner freedom.
We can find hope even in the darkest place and low points in our life. And it rests on creating meaning for ourselves and each other. This is why we need to tap into the bigger picture of what is possible and allow ourselves to experience life to the fullest.
2022 is the year of awareness where choices and discernment create the foundation for the net 5-7 years. And Viktor Frankl reminds us, “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.””
If how we deal with difficulties truly shows who we are, will we see meaning in our opportunities or only see the hardships? Maybe we no longer engage in Sunday Neurosis today and set on our meaningful path?