Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Creating Future Meaning

In Victor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning he observed how to make the best of a truly bad situation. His experience of being in a Nazis concentration camp provides profound insights pertinent to our challenge now to find the light at the end of the tunnel.  Victor saw many of his fellow prisoners who only saw opportunities in the past tense instead of the present or future.   He wrote about turning his life into a inner triumph by making a victory of challenging experiences.

A key point in this book is looking forward, making inner goals to create faith in the future.  Without such a belief mental and physical decay quickly results. Opportunity only comes when one looks at the way he bears his burden.  Examining such larger issues like death and suffering  unveils a greater task of being with or getting through these unpleasant situations. By accepting not denying our suffering one acts responsibly so to fully live instead of filled with despair.  With such an attitude of encouragement and hope we then can make the best of lives. 

Frankl developed Logotherapy were one realizes their responsibilities.  It is up to the person to awaken to his obligation to himself and his community.  Depression happens because we lack content in our life.  Critical is what specific meaning one gives his life in the here and now.  For example what is your best next move in a chess game gets you engaged to fully be.  It is not what meaning life offers but rather what meaning you give to it.

"The more one  forgets himself- by giving of himself to a cause or to serve or another person to love- the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself"  pg. 115

According to logotherapy,  we can discover the meaning of life in three different ways: 1) In creating  a work or by doing a deed 2) by experiencing something or encountering someone, and; 3) by the attitude we take about unavoidable suffering.  pg.115

For what then matters is to bear witness to the uniquely human potential at its best, which is to transform a personal tragedy into a triumph, to turn one's predicament into human achievement. pg. 116

It is one of the basic tenets in logotherapy the man's main concern is not to gain pleasure or avoid pain but rather see meaning in his life. That is why man is even ready to suffer, on the condition he , to be sure, that his suffering has meaning.  pg. 117 

That which does not kill me, makes me stronger- Nietzsche

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Optimizing Kindness is OK

Optimizing Kindness (OK) expands my heart and calms my mind. Everything becomes OK when I optimize being kind. Investing in kindness is the best way for me to increase my well being. Being kind is one of life's precious gifts. It is critical to start by being gentle with myself. Each day I face many challenges and dark forces.  Easily my old shadows can overcome me.  When I remember to be gentle with myself this elevates me and others with many benefits.

May I awaken to exercise this invaluable skill cultivating many sacred and kind rituals.  For example emulating the example of Dali Lama or a little girl just sharing her toys inspires me. Just the simple act of caring has a tremendous ripple effect.

As a guests here on earth I can either respect or disregard for our delicate world. Kindness is about me making the intention to honor and be at peace with what is happening. Can I have the courage and accept so I can best go forth with compassion every day? The more I am able to open my eyes, the more I can see that we are all lovers.  I wish show my gratitude and a winning grin.  Such friendliness opens doors that before were walls.

How I relate to my world is determines whether I make it a blessing or a curse. Exercising kindness I foster more harmonic surroundings.  Exercising greater selflessness extends the possibility of increasing friends, community and goodness. OK is a radical act of self care.  My prosperity is directly related to whether I continue with more kind acts rather than mean ones. This attitude of friendliness and gentleness elevates instead of depresses.  OK shifts me from indifference to a loving friendly disposition overcoming my existential despair. Being kind to myself, others, and the world excels me to enjoy greater happiness and freedom.

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” - Desmond Tutu

Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.” - Henry James

“Goodness is the only investment that never fails.” – Henry David Thoreau

Links of interest