Viktor Frankl is one of my hero’s in life. If you haven’t read Man’s Search for Meaning, you’ve whiffed. If you’ve only read it once you’ve barely tasted its genius. Please read this man’s work and let it seep into your soul, slowly. Frankl and Freud, alive at the same time, both worked on human personality theory in it’s infancy. Freud, you most likely recall, developed a theory of humanity revolving around the pleasure principle. Frankl, frankly, couldn’t have been further removed in reality. Remember Frankl, while working on his theory, was forced to abandon his work and leave his notes behind. He would lose his work, his wife, and all he held precious during his three year survival test in a Nazi concentration camp. His theory, not surprisingly, had nothing to do with pleasure. His was around mans search for meaning. Frankl believed man woke up wanting a sense of purpose, belonging, and mission. You can see why BTL is big on Frankl; Freud, not so much. Here’s Viktor’s recipe for finding meaning regardless your circumstance. I’ve paraphrased slightly.
1. Find a purpose to work on, some reason to get out of bed in the morning. The more your purpose serves other people, the better.
2. Build a redemptive perspective on life’s challenges. When bad stuff happens, recognize the ways it serves you in spite of the pain. This sounds a lot like Marcus Aurelius- the impediment to action becomes the action. The obstacle becomes the way, right?
3. Share life with loved ones. Give and receive love unconditionally. So obvious and yet so overlooked by so many.
Frankl called this treatment logotherapy, or therapy of meaning. It worked back in the day even with his thirty thousand suicidal patients in the Viennese hospital system. In other words, logotherapy worked even when the challenge was phenomenal and the pain acute. At BTL, we believe it still does. This is why we want our family, friends, and clients to build their BTL core (never stop rinsing), author OPUS (never stop revising), and do it all fueled by passion (not anger but love). Remember, love is the fuel that works for a lifetime. Fear is the fuel that only works for a season. Choose to live more dangerously, friend. Choose a life fueled by love. Thanks Viktor, for modeling the way. Help us to embrace your recipe regardless our personal pain.
What, friend, are you searching for? Endless pleasure? Purpose? Pursue purpose laced with passion. Pursue the “and.” You will get some well deserved pleasure and meaning on this path of your purposeful choosing. Freud and Frankl would be smiling. Freud and Frankl are worth learning from. Freud and Frankl were right. Embrace the “and.” God, help me learn from those unlike me. God, help me…