Nietzsche probably said it best when he declared that “he who has a why to live can bear almost any how”. It helps to explain how Viktor Frankl could lose everything, including his family and life’s work in a concentration camp to emerge and eventually become a highly influential psychiatrist. It helps us to understand how Nelson Mandela could spend 27 years in prison and still come out to be a leader and world changer. Both of these men had a dream, a purpose and a vision that even the most dire of circumstances couldn’t erase. In fact, it could be argued that these dire circumstances actually fueled their purpose!
I believe that the key to success in this life is to find your purpose and often times, to create it. The real question then remains…How do I find or create my purpose?
1. Learn to cultivate self-awareness. Cultivate self-awareness by spending time in reflection, examining your choices, responsibilities and how you relate to life. As you begin to understand that you determine how you engage with living, you will become more empowered. You will no longer be a victim of circumstance but rather a master of decision.
2. Accept the freedom and responsibility you have in your life. As free choice individuals, we have the ability to freely choose the path of our lives. With freedom, however, comes responsibility. Choosing freedom and responsibility means that you take full responsibility for your life, and even in situations beyond your control, you maintain the right to choose how you behave.
3. Search for meaning. As you begin to search for meaning, the pain and suffering you may have encountered suddenly takes new dimensions. Once you can identify the purpose in your pain, the pain suddenly becomes bearable because there can be some good that comes from it!
There is so much to be gained in taking these steps. There is untapped potential in many of you that is longing to be released. May these steps be the starting point on an even more exceptional journey for your life.
— Lisa Vallejos