“Life is not primarily a quest for pleasure… or a quest for power… but a quest for meaning. The greatest task for any person is to find meaning in his or her own life.” ~Viktor Frankl
Viktor Frankl was a Holocaust survivor. A victim of the Nazi regime. He spent several years in the Auschwitz death camp. His wife, brother, and both parents perished. During this time, in the midst of extreme suffering, Viktor searched to find meaning in his life ~ the “why” beyond survival.
In his memoir, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” he explains,
“What matters 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 meaning of life. Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life to carry out a concrete assignment which demands fulfillment.”
Now, thankfully, most of us do not find ourselves in such devastating circumstances as Viktor Frankl. But some of us may be dealing with our own dark nights: illness, disease, divorce, upheaval. And many of us look around at our lives, that have no such struggle, and still find something missing…
Something BIG is missing.
We have lost our way.
It doesn’t make any sense. We are making plenty of money. We have lots of things; cars, homes, family, smart phones, leisure time. We all look so #blessed on our Facebook and Instagram feeds. But inside everything still feels kinda pointless.
We try not to stay in that feeling for too long. So we buy more things. We post more perfectly edited pics. We text our friends, to get a hit of dopamine when they text back.
We think we are craving happiness, and cannot understand why we are not happy most of the time.
“… that feeling of which so many complain of today, namely, the feeling of the total and ultimate meaninglessness of their lives. They lack the awareness of a meaning worth living for. They are haunted by the experience of their inner emptiness, a void within themselves.
In addition to this, man has suffered another loss… the traditions that buttressed his behavior now rapidly diminishing. No instinct tells him what he has to do, and no tradition tells him what he ought to do; sometimes he does not even know what he wishes to do.
Instead, he either wishes to do what other people do… or he does what other people wish him to do.”
Yowza!!! I resemble that observation too much for comfort. How about you?
Frankl published this in 1946. Just think about how much more we are disconnected from spiritual, religious and tribal traditions, each other and our own instincts today!
There is good news. You can recalibrate yourself. You can create meaning, and find meaning, and LIVE meaning every day.
Finding Meaning in a Superficial World
There two ways you can transform your life from one that is seemingly hollow into one that is rich and full of meaning.
1. Living your Soul-Driven Purpose
2. Creating Flow
The Big Picture: Your Soul’s Purpose
One of the keys to creating a meaningful life is to start living your soul’s purpose. This is what Frankl meant when he said, “Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life to carry out a concrete assignment which demands fulfillment.”
We have been led to believe that the purpose of our life means establishing a career, accumulating wealth, having the perfect relationship, perfect children, perfect body and a busy social life with lots of close friends. And we live in a society that lures us into this conformity, not into purpose.
But deep inside you know better. You know you have unique gifts to share, and feel like you “came here to do something.”
Many people will say, “I want to find my purpose in life,” as if their purpose is lost somewhere.
But it isn’t lost. It is with you all the time. You just have to actually LIVE it.
You have two lives: the one you live every day, and the unlived one that is inside you, locked away, suppressed, hiding…
You know it. You’ve heard the still, small voice of your soul calling to you all along. In your daydreams, in visions as you lay awake in the middle of the night, as you watch with longing as other people live their soul-driven purpose…
If you aren’t living yours, that voice might not be still and small at all ~
it may be shouting.
It might be a primal scream.
You want to write a novel.
You want to start your own soul-driven business.
You want to complete your education and be a doctor, teacher, lawyer, (your soul-driven purpose here).
You want to create your art, and express your genius.
You want to contribute to the world and affect change.
Your calling isn’t just a big deal, it is THE deal, and that can be overwhelming. Your life already jam-packed with have-to’s and need-to’s.
Where is the time for purpose?
This is where FLOW can help.
The Way of the Muse
Another way to enjoy a meaningful life is by creating and being in Flow.
Flow is the state you are in when you are performing an activity and are fully immersed; you have an energized focus and are completely enjoying that activity.
“Being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.”
~ Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, ‘Flow – The Psychology of Optimal Experience’
You’ve experienced Flow. Maybe you call it being ‘in the zone’ or ‘in the groove.’ Most of the time, you will experience Flow when you are immersed in a hobby or sport… things that you love to do.
Creating art. Playing music. Listening to music. Dancing. Woodworking. Fishing. Writing. Running. Housework. (<—“say wha?! )
When FLOW happens, it feels like magic; time stops and the stars align. You feel tapped in to that ‘something greater,’ connected to the divine, connected to your own divinity. These are powerful, transcendent, meaningful moments.
Flow doesn’t kick in right away. It takes time. You gradually fall into it as you immerse yourself in the activity, which can take 30 minutes or longer.
Now, I can hear you say, “Where do I find that time again?”
Well, I have discovered a Lifehack that deconstructs Flow, and allows you to cultivate it, in small, incremental steps, right in the middle of your everyday life.
Yes! In the midst of the hustle, the bustle, the routine and the mundane.
I call it Soul Flow, and it is all about interspersing little moments of Flow throughout your day.
5 minutes at a time, 6 times a day.
You see, going from your current state of balls-to-the-wall, to finding 2 hours a day for a Flow-producing activity isn’t realistic or sustainable for most of us. With Soul Flow, we begin with micro-moments and start to create space between and within the busy. You are like a farmer, planting tiny seeds of flow, in intervals throughout the day.
Over time, as you practice your Soul Flow activities, you will find that Flow grows and expands. It starts to bleed over into the next moment, when you are driving your car or brushing your teeth or doing housework, or in meetings at work.
This is what Frankl was talking about: the specific meaning of a your life at a given moment.
In a very short time, Flow creates space and gains momentum. Soon, you will find that more and more of your day is spent in flow, with more and more of your time feeling connected and meaningful. You feel balanced, and energized.
When you set out to do your longer-duration passions, hobbies, activities and projects, you will fall into FLOW faster, because it will always be right there on tap. You see, finding flow, creating flow and being in flow, is the key to manifesting that bigger purpose that is buried under all that busy!
Don’t you think it is finally time to let that bird out of the cage to fly?
Don’t know where to begin? Here let me help you!
Starting today, you can get my FREE ebook, “Soul Flow” a workbook and resources for creating a lifestyle that nourishes your soul. This is not like a diet, where you have to wait until a Monday, or the first of the month to implement FLOW. You can #makeflowhappen today!
You can make it happen right now! Download your copy today!
If you have any questions, leave a comment, drop me an email, or message me on Facebook. And if you’ve got Soul Flow ideas or suggestions, I would loooove to hear about ’em.