Have you read the thought-provoking and inspiring writing of Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning? Frankl was a psychiatrist and neurologist who survived being imprisoned in multiple concentration camps during World War II. His insights to surviving and finding meaning in one’s life can be helpful and applicable to many people struggling today.
The following quote from Man’s Search for Meaning reminds me of so many amazing survivors I get to meet as I travel speaking around the world each year:
“Man is not fully conditioned and determined but rather determines himself whether he gives in to conditions or stands up to them. In other words, man is ultimately self-determining. Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment.”
Numerous survivors of sexual assault have said the following statement to me:
“I am not going to let the rapist or the rape define me. I WILL choose my future.”
Viktor Frankl shows how that approach is what helps people find their path to happiness – choosing your future. Looking ahead at one’s life is typically more fun and easier when you have a purpose or meaning.
“Man’s main concern is not to gain pleasure or to avoid pain but rather to see a meaning in his life.” Viktor Frankl in Man’s Search for Meaning
My sister Cheri is a great example of knowing her path and living it to the fullest. While she is a survivor of sexual assault, being a survivor is a part of her whole (NOT the definition of who she is). She is a strong, caring individual who loves her family and friends.
As for her mission, Cheri is a swim coach down to the deepest part of her soul. She loves coaching swimming. She LIVES coaching and breathes coaching. On most days, you’ll find her on the deck of pool teaching young athletes what it takes to excel in sports and in life.
What is your meaning? If you have you read Man’s Search for Meaning, what was your takeaway?