Purposeful Living and The Meaning Of Life
Purposeful Living and The Meaning Of Life (Ontology and Logotherapy)
Many people these days do not have a great sense of self, life puropose, or meaning in their life. Many are simply walking through life in a waking daze like zombies or robots. You probably know a lot of people like that. Perhaps even you yourself have been this way at times. Is that how you want to live your life?
Of course not. Otherwise you would not be here. But I think most of us are in danger of slipping into the “Worker Bee of Society” role and falling prey to the routine of going to work every day, coming home to watch TV, and then going to bed and getting stuck in this pattern until you become robotized.
And perhaps some people do not want complicate their life with meaning, or do not care about living a purposeful life, or even knowing who they are. And perhaps that is fine for them. But there are dangers of living this way. One can fall victim to depression, existential angst, despair, mental health conditions, and worst of all remorse at the time of death for wasting your life. I hear these things from people all the time. When they were young and stupid and reckless they didn’t care about living a meaningful life or engaging in personal development and self actualization. And so they fell into the daily routine we are programmed into in this culture, and then decades later they are in the middle of a mid life crisis.
Living with a purpose is so important because it means that your life has meaning. You have a feeling that there is a reason for you to be here. A sense of belonging that is so important to us humans. You feel like you are living for something, which is a really great feeling that will propel you foreward in life and make you feel good about it and who you are. This also leads to a sense of self and identity. A sense that you know who you are, which is another great feeling that will give you great confidence. And with self consciousness you will be able to master yourself and succeed much greater than most.
Once you have the confidence of knowing who you are and having a good solid sense of self identity, and you can feel the sense of belonging and purpose here that you are living for something, your life will come to feel very meaningful. And living a meaningful life makes you feel quite elated. Its almost a spiritual feeling. A feeling of higher being. You are no longer a robot or zombie, no longer just a mere worker bee of society. You are better than that. You are someone. And you are living for something. Your life has meaning. And that gives you the ability to dream big and pursue your dreams and aspirations and become wildly successful. To design and develop the lifestyle of your most ultimate fantasies. It gives you the ability to self actualize to the highest level and attain heights that only the elite get to see.
The 3 Pillars Of Logotherapy
So what is this meaning of life? Well it is different for every person. You have to find your own personal meaning in life in order for it to be meaningful. In the psychological science of logotherapy which was founded by world renowned psychiatrist and holocaust survivor Victor E Frankl, he outlined 3 pillars of Logotherapy. These tenets will lead you to the sense of self identity, life purpose, and meaning of life you seek, if applied properly with your own free thinking mindset. They are:
1.) Freedom of Will – This means having your own free will and being a free thinker. Not conforming to social conditioning and only thinking in the ways everyone else does or doing what everyone else does. It means having your own sense of beliefs, values, ideas and ideals, purpose and drive in life. It means being an individual and knowing what you stand for. It means following your heart no matter what. Once you have free will, you are on the way to self actualization.
2.) Will to meaning – Having free will, you can use this will to direct it towards meaning in life. Focusing your will on meaning, and what your life could mean will cause your mind to explode into limitless possibilities. Having a will to meaning will begin to give your life meaning just in itself. The will to meaning is a powerful mental drive that will already make you feel very purposeful in your life. It may be confusing at times, but you will start to get a sense for the meaning of your life as you do this. And then you will move on to the final pillar of the 3.
3.) The meaning of life – The will to meaning gives way to the meaning of life. Once you have the will to meaning it will not be long before it leads you to the meaning of life. It may take some time however, and in that time you may feel a bit chaotic, but the chaos will start to clear sooner or later, and your will will hone in on the meaning(s) of life that you delineate and derive from your will to meaning, and the various meanings you are perceiving in your life. Once you have discovered the meaning of life you will feel like a complete and whole person. You will have a great sense of self identity and purpose. And you will begin living better, more purposely, more successfully, more meaningfully, and you will begin to self actualize and become your idealized self. But how do you get there you ask? Well one of the things that Victor E Frankl also outlined were the 3 types of values that constitute the meaning of life here in this pillar. You see there are 3 different sets of values that one must have in order to derive a meaning of life in their existence. They are
A.) Creative Values – These are values having to do with the creative faculties and processes of your mind. They are things like your ideas and ideals, your life philosophy, your pursuits and projects and things you create or think of. Anything that is an idea of yours, or an art form or intellectual property falls into this category. And more than that the values behind the things you use your mind to create, as it is your creative values behind the things you create that gives them meaning and brings them to life. And these creative values are one of the three sets of values that constitute the meaning of your life,
B.) Experiential Values – These are the life lessons you have learned over time and life experience in your personal history. Everyone has a history with a set of lessons that has given them wisdom and taught them what they need to know to succeed in life, and more than that has socially conditioned them and programmed them into the person they are today. It is very important that we analyze our social conditioning and personal history so that we can depict the lessons from it, in order to not only make sure we are not missing anything and allowing ourselves to be ignorant, but so that we can pick and choose the way our social conditioning effects us and focus in on the positive ways. The values that you create based on your life experience and life lessons is a very important part of who you are. Many people say that their personal history has made them who they are, and they are correct. These experiential values make up a third of the meaning of your life, so make sure you have a good idea of what they are
C.) Attitudinal values – This is a byproduct of your experiential values and your creative values. This is the mental attitude you have towards life and everything in it, and what kind of attitude it is and where it comes from. The values you place behind your attitude to validate it are a very important part of who you are as this is what formulates your mental disposition and a lot having to do with your entire state of mind. If you have a bad attitude you will validate it with some statement about how the world is a bad place, which will justify you being a bad person, and cause you to have a bad life, and thus that will be your ontology (meaning of life). On the other hand you could use your attitudinal values for positive purposes by creating a positive perspective on life which will lead it to have a positive meaning, and you to be a positive person. So this is a very strong set of values here in this triad of values that make up the meaning of life. For this one really helps to create your sense of being in life. Make sure you place a large focus on your attitudinal values and have ones that will help you to be the person you want to be and give your life the type of meaning that serves this purpose.
And once you have discovered your meaning of life, you can use that to create your life’s greater purpose. This is actually a very easy and fun process once you have completed the logotherapy exercises above. It really simply consists of discovering what you are most passionate about and turning your values and passions into pursuits and a life purpose to accomplish.
Eliciting Your Values
In order to discover your true passions we do what in Neuro Linguistic Programming is called a “Values Elicitation”. Simply follow this procedure:
1.) Think of what things in your life you have ALWAYS needed in order to feel like your life was worthwhile or meaningful, or to give you a sense of purpose or enjoyment, etc. This should not be a recent development and should not be another person.
2.) Think about how you would like to experience those things most ultimately (do this with each of them individually). When you imagine yourself having your ideal experience with these things in your dream lifestyle, how do you imagine them.
3.) Focus in on the feeling you feel when you imagine yourself experiencing these things so ideally. What is the feeling behind this experience?
When you have completed this exercise you will have 3 different interesting answers. The answer to the first question is what are the things you value most in life. The answer to the second question is what your dream life consists of with your values. And the third question which is the deepest and most important, is what called in NLP your “Core Value” that is behind these values – the feelings that are motivating you to want those things in your life. So these are the things you need to focus on in life in all of your endeavors and everything you do, but more importantly in what is called your “Lifes Work”. Try to involve these things in your life as much as you possibly can and use them to create a life purpose and mission for yourself to fulfill which we will go over in a moment. And then anytime you need to make a decision in life or are doing anything, focus on the idea and question of “Is this bringing me closer to my core value and helping me feel those feelings more, or is it bringing me away from them?
Anytime something is bringing you away from your core values, you need to distance yourself from that thing and re-center yourself in your core values and activities that make you feel more centered in them. Anytime something brings you closer to your core values and makes you feel you are truly living in those feelings, you know that this thing is part of the purpose of your life nad should be involved in your life more and used in your logotherapy and self actualization.
The Purposeful Pursuit Driven Life
And so once you know what you value most and are most passionate about in life – the things that make you most happy and feel like you are living life to the fullest, and can involve these things in your life to the greatest capacity in order to make yourself really feel the way you want to feel in life. However you can do even more than that with them, which is using them to create your lifes purpose, and on top of that a “Life’s Work” which you can use to fulfill your lifes purpose and give it the greatest sense of meaning possible. You simply have to ask yourself – How can I take these things I am most passionate about and which make me feel so good, and turn them into pursuits and part of my life’s work?
As an entrepreneur and entrepreneurial coach, this is an easy question for me to help you answer. Simply think about how you could do this activity and get paid for it, and whats more, offer it to others as some type of product or service to help enrich their live’s and make them feel good too. Sharing your values with the world is your life’s work that will give your life the greatest sense of meaning and purpose. And it will also be profitable for you and help you to succeed so you can live a meaningful life that is not only sustainable, but progressive and prosperous so that you can self actualize and live your dreams in it. As this is the true purpose of purposeful living – To acclimate our lives to the highest level possible.
So once you have discovered what your life’s work is going to be, you need to start working on that. Create goals that are your new life’s purpose for the time being. Every time you accomplish a list of goals, start a new one and that becomes your new lifes purpose on the micro level. The more you accomplish your goals on the micro level, the more your greater lifes purpose gets accomplished. The more you fulfill your life’s work and accomplish your goals, the more you fulfill your lifes purpose and live as a self actualized person. The small things you work on lead to bigger accomplishments over time, and your success over time as more small accomplishments lead to bigger and bigger ones will lead to more and more purposeful living and self actualization for you.
The Three Levels Of Purpose
Consider your life having three levels of purpose for you to work through with three sets of values and goals associated with them. The smallest things which come first on your goal lists are part of the lesser purpose which you have to work through to get to the deepest inner purpose. As you make your way through these three levels of purpose your life will become more meaningful and you will live more fully and ultimately. But you must not try to cut right to the greatest purpose, but go through them in progression. They are:
1.) Lesser/Outer Purpose – These are things that are important parts of your life, but of the least importance. You have to do them for basic survival and sustinence and thus they have a great place in your life and can never be ignored otherwise you will stop succeeding. Some of these things may not have to do with survival but are still very important for things like your mental and physical health, success and sometimes basic sustenance in ways we do not think. Things like being physically healthy and looking good, your personal image, behaviors, food, hobbies and interests that help keep you happy and give your life meaning, relationships, social status, etc.
2.) Central Purpose – This is your main purpose in life. The things that really give you a sense of meaning and value here. This should be your profession (though for most people it is not, which is a problem they should fix), your character, identity, and who you really are as a person, what types of things you think about, your beliefs and life philosophy, your general values and ethics be they political, social, religious, or simply life lessons; the things you love most in life and care about most dearly, your goals, hopes, dreams and aspirations; and the way you express yourself to others. These are all things that make up your lifes purpose as it is portrayed by you to the world around you and helps create your personal reality. This is what most makes up the way you live your life and who you seem to be as a person. Once you have made your way through the lesser/outer purpose, you can really get oriented in your central purpose and work with it to fulfill the meaning of your life on the next level.
3.) Deepest Inner Purpose – This is often something we keep secret from others. This is often something deeply thoughtful and meaningful to yourself. Something you may have invested a lot of emotions in. It may be simply your deepest most intellectual thought processes and theories on existence making up your life philosophy. Or it could be your spiritual side or a side of you that you keep secret and hidden from the world. Or it could be something dark and devious. It could be your secret goal to take your bosses job, or some secret business venture or pursuit or project you are working on to try to change your life and none of your friends or family can know about it. It may be a part of you that wants to spread awareness about a certain political cause. It could be a secret love or passion that has always given you a thrill, such as an art form you wish to take the time to develop a skill in. Or it could be some desire, perhaps something sexual, like to experience a new sexual lifestyle. Whatever this deepest innermost purpose is, you may not even know yet. But when you have really sorted out and oriented yourself in your central purpose, you can begin to delve into your deepest innermost purpose to give your life the greatest sense of purpose and meaning possible,a nd really live it to the fullest nad become self actualized.
And then once you have used logotherapy in these ways to work thorugh your values and created a life purpose to fulfill, you will understand the meaning of life you have been seeking and will be able to use it to fulfil yourself, which will be the best possible feeling you can ever have in life and will put you into the state of being you want to be in and make you self actualized so that you can live the life of your most ultimate dreams and fantasies, as your ideal self. And isn’t that what we are all here for? Of course it is. And just knowing that is probably starting to give you a sense of purpose right now which makes you feel very good, very driven. You probably have a great sense welling up inside of yourself right now to get up and get started with your new life. So what are you waiting for?
If you really want to take things to the next level with your logotherapy and personal development be sure to take my “Realizing your Core Identity, Idealized Self, Core Values, Life’s Purpose and Living your Dreams” Audio Class in the Power Of You Coursework by Clicking Here NOW!