Motivated by Meaning

A fascinating 1972 video clip of Viktor Frankl, filmed in Toronto, Canada.  In this video, Frankl is calling humanity to aim to a higher standard, to pick a target beyond ourselves and while we may fall short, he argues we will reach further or closer to wholeness than if we aimed for something less.   In light of this, consider Apostle Paul's encouragement to the Philippians:

Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.

- Phil. 3:14 MSG

About Viktor Frankl:

"Viktor Frankl’s theory and work originated from his experiences in Nazi death camps.   By observing those who survived and those who didn't,  Frankl noted that people who had hopes of being reunited with loved ones, or who had projects they felt a need to complete, or who had great faith, tended to have a better chance of surviving than those who had lost all hope.

Frankl termed his form of therapy logotherapy, its root, logos in Greek translates as word, speech, or meaning.   Frankl focused on the term 'meaning' but the other definitions influenced it. Where Freud thought that pleasure was the root of all human motivation, and Adler asserted that power is the chief motivator, Frankl’s Logotherapy suggests that a sense of meaning motivates humans. People are motivated, inspired by meaning more than pleasure or power.


To Ponder:

  • Where do you find meaning for yourself?
  • What are you aiming at?
  • Who is one person whose values, character and vision that you respect?
  • From their values, can you surmise what is meaningful to them?
  • What is it about these you respect?
  • How do you see values, virtue, and character-forming your life?
  • How do you see them as reflecting meaning in your life?
  • In what simple ways can you take deliberate steps towards cultivating meaning in your own life?

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