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  The Pursuit of Meaning

Transcript: Breakthrough U is a training with the highest goal as the pursuit of a meaningful life. My highest vision for you is that you take this training and create for yourself a life of significance by becoming a fully actualizing individual. This means you constantly learn and proactively improve your life. You take advantage of opportunities; knowing that you are developing the skills necessary to manage life’s 3 constants: chaos, uncertainty and failure.

One of the biggest shifts you might experience comes from your perspective of what is meant by the phrase a “meaningful life.” Is this something that is given to you - or - do you create it yourself? This is different, yet from my perspective related to the question, “what is the meaning of life.”

In 1946, Victor Frankel published the book Man's Search for Meaning. In this book, he recounted his experiences and how he survived the Nazi concentration camps of World War II. For me, Frankel answered this question with his statement: “Man's search for meaning is the primary motivation in his life and not a “secondary rationalization” of instinctual drives. This meaning is unique and specific in that it must and can be fulfilled by him alone; only then does it achieve a significant which will satisfy his own will to meaning” (Frankl, Page 121).

Frankel continued to write, ”As each situation in life represents a challenge to man and presents a problem for him to solve, the question of the meaning of life may actually be reversed. Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he 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" (Frankl, Page 131).

Per Victor Frankel, we can discover the meaning in life in 3 different ways:
1. By creating a work or doing a deed
2. By experiencing something or encountering someone
3. By the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering.

The 1st point is fairly obvious. The 2nd point involves accessing a state that is inspired through experience or another person. The 3rd point, through suffering by being confronted with a hopeless situation, then only we can change ourselves to adjust to our environment. This final stage is the true “magician” stage in which you take the elements given to you and essentially make lemonade out of the lemons that life hands outs.

I personally feel that throughout our lives we will be faced by these 3 factors countless times and our individual pursuits of meaning constantly return to how well we are able to reframe circumstances to our personal advantage. And, as we begin with the end in mind, I pose the question to you: what will be the meaning of your life?