How to find your purpose in life?

 

According to Victor Frankl, a psychotherapist who was imprisoned in concentration camps during WWII, people can survive terrible conditions in life if they have a sense of purpose, and if they believe that their own life has meaning, no matter what circumstances they are experiencing.

More recent studies have confirmed that people who experience a sense of purpose in life may live longer and have fewer health problems than those who feel aimless, or without meaning to their lives. Moodsurfing has explored some of the studies on health effects of sense of purpose in life in these posts:

Longevity and Having a Purpose in Life

Sense of Purpose and Health

So how do we find our own purpose in life? Frankl calls his system “logotherapy” and suggests that there are three main ways that people find purpose:

  • By creating a work or accomplishing some task
  • By experiencing something fully or loving somebody
  • By the attitude that one adopts toward unavoidable suffering

Interestingly, one does not have to have the sense of purpose first, and then begin the process of creating or experiencing, rather, it is through these experiences that we find our purpose. He suggests that we question ourselves about our own experiences to find reasons behind what we are living through and these reasons can give us the strength and sense of balance needed to face our challenges creatively. Frankl himself recounts his own determination to rewrite a manuscript that was confiscated from him by the Nazis as the purpose that helped him survive the horrors of the camps. He went on to become a respected writer and therapist after the war.

– Nancy

About Nancy

Now that I have written my first post on Moodsurfing, let me introduce myself:

I’m an adult educator with a special interest in culture and cross-cultural interactions. I’ve been working as a freelance writer for some time now, and am excited to join Moodsurfing as a blogger. I’m lucky to be living in a place surrounded with green hills and lush trees, so for balance, I usually spend a lot of time looking out the window. I also play with my young, active cat, and try to keep her off the computer, and sometimes remember that regular meditation is good for maintaining balance and relieving stress. I met Dr. Forster when we were both undergraduates at Pitzer College.

References

https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/types/logotherapy

http://www.logotherapyinstitute.org/About_Logotherapy.html