Happy SMART Day Everyone!
In order to be happy and fulfilled, all people everywhere share one fundamental need regardless of their background, race, religion, education or any number of cultural differences—that one thing is “meaning.” When we have meaning, we believe our life has a purpose and that our being here matters. In other words, in order to live SMART every day, a sense of meaning is critical.
One of the champions for the value of meaning was a man named Viktor Frankl. As a three-year survivor of the horror of Nazi concentration camps, he eventually became an eminent psychotherapist. While many of Frankl’s fellow prisoners died in the camps, he believed that a key reason for his survival was the inner strength he derived from meaning.
Luckily for us all, Frankl believed it was possible to grow and cultivate meaning for a more fulfilling life. Throughout his lifetime, he promoted three approaches for growing a sense of purpose and meaning on a regular basis. They are:
#1 Creating satisfying work, causes or deeds. Unique accomplishments or projects satisfy our desire to find purpose in our life.
#2 Generating Peak Experiences. Experiential moments add color and texture to our lives allowing us to focus on awe and gratitude.
#3 Developing loving relationships. Whenever we connect deeply with others, it is always easier to feel our lives have meaning and purpose.
What happens if you don’t have meaning? According to Frankl, those without meaning are plunged into relentless pursuits of money, addictions, power, fame or sex. While nothing necessarily wrong with those things, they are not enough. Similar to eating Chinese food, they might feel good for a moment but before you know it, you are hungry again.
Viktor Frankl is only one person who believes that a sense of purpose and meaning is essential for a happy life. As we strive to live SMART 365 we will continue to explore the relationship between a rich and rewarding life, and how meaning plays a central part.
“For the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. 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.” –Viktor Frankl