Whats up mind bombers its me Dr Jones of the Joneses. Today we are breaking down a book I first heard about from Earl Nightingale, Viktor Frankl’s book: Man’s Search For Meaning.
We are going to break this down into 3 simple and humongous ideas to help you in your journey. These life ideas will help you find and activate your purpose in life, so I hope you are ready to fill that GIANT mind with value bombs…because they are about to hit HARD!
Lets dive on in.
Viktor Frankl was a holocaust survivor born in 1905. He founded the school of logotherapy, a school of psychotherapy that describes a search for life’s meaning as the central human motivational force.
He wrote this life question inducing book in only 9 days right after his liberation from the holocaust. The book was originally titled A Psychologist Experiences the Concentration Camp in German, was translated to English as Man’s Search For Meaning.
The book touches on some incredible practices that will challenge you in a good way. Let’s start with something that seems should be obvious, but sneaks by most people. Our attitude!
- Attitude Is A CHOICE
“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.” -Viktor Frankl
I’ve said it before here, and this is more confirmation to the point Napoleon Hill made many years ago. That your mind is the one thing you have complete and unanimous control over.
This message is at the heart of this book and Viktor’s philosophy.
You are in the drivers seat of life, and the steering wheel is your attitude. It’s your reaction to what’s going on directly in front of you. It’s the way you think in response to a dilemma. It steers you when you come to a fork in the road, and paves the way for future successes.
What I’m saying is that…..it’s important. It really is. This isn’t the first book to say it, and it’s not the last…but this one should command respect because this man saw the horrors of nazi Germany.
Think about what kind of attitude you might have if you saw your sitting in the famous Auschwitz camp. His dad dead from starvation and pneumonia. His mother and brother gassed to death in the camp, and his wife dead from typhus. He spent 3 years in four concentration camps dealing with these terrible things.
Yet, after all this, he made a choice about his attitude and how he presented himself to the world. Listen to this:
“It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life—daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.” -Viktor Frankl
Let’s be honest…my attitude towards life would not be as good as this man after going through all that.
Seriously, what is the worst thing you’re dealing with today? You also might be dealing with some hard things like Viktor did, but you can also make the choice to take control of your mind like he did.
That said, it doesn’t make it easy. Playing the victim to what life decides to throw at you is much easier than roping in your attitude to one of gratitude during life’s dire circumstances.
This is the fork in the road. If you decide to take the narrow path of controlling your attitude for the better, this road leads to personal development beyond the norm. This road is what will advance one man higher in life than the next…but, few are those who will take control like this.
Not you though right….your smarter than that, and stronger than those other people.
This choice of attitude forces us into the next point which is this:
2. Your Real Potential
“The meaning of our existence is not invented by ourselves, but rather detected.” Viktor Frankl
Woah…that small sentence dropped a HUGE mind bomb! Did you catch it? Your purpose is not something you pull out of thin air. It’s not randomly generated from nothing. It already exists. Which means what class? That’s right…it’s your job to find it!
If your purpose is not invented, but detected….that means it’s just waiting for your discovery. It sits there silently waiting and anticipating you. It wants you to find it. It wants to scream out and say “HEY YOU, OVER HERE…THIS IS WHY YOU ARE HERE”….but it doesn’t do that. It’s not allowed to do that.
God designed it that way. You must use the energy yourself and discover it. A treasure buried in the sand still needs someone to dig it up and remove it to be of use.
“I aint no poet” so let’s hear more of Mr Frankl and his thoughts on this:
“What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.” -Viktor Frankl
Don’t live in a tensionless state spending the majority of your time on the tiktoks or youtubes. Gaming all day on the newest DLC is not your purpose in life.
So what is your purpose? Your purpose is, as Earl Nightingale puts it: “the progessive realization of a worthy goal or ideal”
It’s you finding what your God Given “why” is on this old world, then doing something about it.
Maintaining your attitude keeps your mind open to receive the clues as to what this is for you personally, but it’s up to you to do the leg work yourself and figure it out.
My purpose for living will be different from your purpose. We are not the same. There is no “my purpose is greater than your purpose” there is only you, with an open heart and a right attitude, searching to detect what your reason for living is.
Here is a clue for you: Your purpose will serve others! Man’s search for meaning is not of ourselves, but what we bring with our unique talents and abilities for the good of humanity.
Again…tis how God made us. There is greatness in you, because of divine design. Don’t ever forget it.
So what is your goal? What is your worthy ideal that you are working towards right now? This is where you ask yourself validating questions like:
- If you could get paid to do anything, what would it be? Or…
- If you could spend a day doing what you want with no worry of money or some commitment, what would you fill my time with? Or….
- If success were guaranteed, what would you do?
Ask away and answer questions like these to find that worthy ideal….that worthwhile goal.
You have great potential, and you need to figure out what that purpose is to really find a goal worthy of that potential.
3. Ensuing not Pursuing
“Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.”
The logotherapy in the book says that it “considers man as a being whose main concern consists in fulfilling a meaning and in actualizing values, rather than in the mere gratification and satisfaction of drives and instincts.” -Viktor Frankl
See what he did there? This is the difference between “getting satisfaction” versus “actualizing values”!
Follow your instincts to find your meaning. Explore your “hunches” and “gut feelings” to see what they lead to. Being open to discovery is the only way to find something.
Ask more questions like: How can you serve others around you? How can you give to the world using your unique strengths and gifts? Listen to your answers and follow those instincts about them.
Keep moving forward as Mr Walt Disney used to say….be curious and keep going with an open mind to explore your own capabilities.
Let yourself “ensue” which is different from trying to “pursue.” Stop focusing on you and what you can get, and instead ask what you can give.
In the book the “Go Giver” it tells us to do just that. Giving really is better than receiving. It’s a proven fact which a lot of people seem to miss. Today most people are self absorbed….fully aware of their own needs rather than caring for the needs of others.
Let’s listen to more insights from Viktor:
“I therefore admonish my students in Europe and America: Don’t aim at success—the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it.” -Viktor Frankl
Interesting isn’t it? I’ve heard it said before by other great men before me…Success is a byproduct of your purpose!
I keep coming back to Mr Earl Nightingale who likened this to someone stating “first give me heat, and then I’ll add the wood.”
Don’t search for success. That’s a self centered way of thinking. Search for meaning first, and success will surely follow.
It’s interesting that the more you give of yourself to the world, the more the world seems to return to you. It’s just like the law of sowing and reaping. You plant the tiny seed, and the plant (once fully grown) will be thousands of times the size of that seed.
You reap abundance when you sow the seed of giving. Giving your talents, your gifts, your strengths…giving of yourself without thought of what you will get in return.
That really is the key here isn’t it…giving of yourself without caring what you get in return. Doing just to do it…wow. Mind Bomb right there!
Conclusion: The Mission
“Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life… Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is as unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it.” -Viktor Frankl
As Og Mandino put it: “Only Principles endure” and the principle here is that you have a specific mission in life.
There is no one like you on the planet, and there will never be another just like you. God is amazing like that…even someone born with a twin will have a completely separate life and purpose than they will.
So you MUST then find your meaning. If you don’t, then the world will miss out on what you specifically had to offer.
Time is not on your side either….the time for finding and living that purpose is today my friend. If you feel deep inside that your not living to your true potential, maybe it’s time to evaluate who you are. What you really should be doing with your life.
Think about what YOU are here to do. Write it down….live it out.
It doesn’t magically appear, you have to detect it, and you have to decide to live it.
I can only present the information to you, what you do with it is up to you. As Charlie Tremendous Jones put it:
“You’ve heard it said you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink…that’s true, but what i’m doing is putting salt in his oats to make him thirsty enough to drink the water”
That last one is a paraphrase, but I hope you get the point.
One more quote from Viktor Frankl to finish this thing….
“What is to give light must endure burning.”
Yep….he was full of great insight. Make a choice today to keep the right attitude with an open heart. Ask yourself questions about how you can use your gifts to benefit the world. Ensue your meaning, find what it is, and learn how you can live it.
Only thing left once you find that worthy ideal, that purpose….endure to the end! Be a light to a dark world.
Matthew 5:14 says you are a light to the world, a city on a hill. Let your light shine before men as you search and live out your meaning!
I hope this has been inspiring for you today.
This is Dr Jones…..bye