Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Search for Meaning (Part 1)

Since it might not have been obvious how my earlier post relates to the topic of wellness, I will post once more today. The real issue for my son--and for all of us--is how to find meaning in our lives. In his book, Man's Search for Meaning: An Introduction to Logotherapy, Viktor E. Frankl, M.D., a psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor writes: "According to logotherapy (a type of psychotherapy that Frankl founded), this striving to find a meaning in one's life is the primary motivational force in many."

"...What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person's life at a given moment...One should not search for an abstract mission in life. Everyone has his (or her) own specific vocation or mission in life to carry out a concrete assignment which demands fulfillment. 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."

(I'll write more about this tomorrow.)


Annie said...

I am so glad you are writing about Viktor Frankl.His orientation helps us focus on now and more practical matters. I was a therapist and his work was inspirational to me in my work with folks. Thank you so much for writing about him. I look forward to Part 2

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Thanks Annie. Perhaps you can explain his theories better than I can.

my life with bipolar disorder said...

Susan, this question on the meaning of life plagued me time and again whenever I am severely depressed. Good of you to touch on this topic. Take care, Nancie

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear Nanci,
It plagued me as well--from the first depressive episode on. I didn't realize that it might be a universal problem. Thanks for adding a second voice. I think I'll write more about it next week to find out!