Seek What You Want to Find
Psychologist and writer Viktor Frankl asked his troubled, unstable patients: Why don’t you commit suicide? At that moment, the patients imagined the process and understood that this was not what they wanted. Frankl understood that this was an important question to ask. We each have to determine for ourselves what gives life meaning.
As such, it is not a matter of simply seeking a reason, but seeking the reason that we want to find to give meaning to our existence. The technique that Dr. Frankl used was reverse psychology, which is to say, you make the patients believe that you want them to do something that you really don’t. In this way, you create what is known as “psychological reactance,” as we are opposed to something that we are being ordered to do or that is imposed upon us because it limits our personal freedom.
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
Dr. Viktor Frankl was sent to Auschwitz, Dachau, and other concentration camps during World War II. That experience led him to reflect on the meaning of life. Frankl maintained that we all have someone or something to live for, a reason that allows us to keep moving forward each day, that motivates us and gives meaning to each second of our existence, to each step that we take, or to each action that we perform.
How to seek what you want to find
The way to give meaning to our lives is to ask ourselves questions that lead us to our true passion, to what we really desire, not what other people desire for us. It is a matter of finding a true source of energy within ourselves, a spark that we can later turn into a flame.
We give the meaning of our life to ourselves, nobody else can. Ask yourself the following questions to get closer to your meaning.
What is the most important thing in your life?
If you knew that you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do, who would you be with, where would you like to be, or what place would you like to visit? We all have a reason to live, people who complete us, who make us keep moving forward.
“When we find love, we also find the reason and meaning of all of life.”
-Domenico Cieri Estrada-
Who do you admire?
The person we admire embodies that which we may want to find, what we dream of, what we want to be. Focus on the person that you admire, ask yourself why you admire them, and reflect on the conclusions that you come to. Sometimes, that can help us know what we want, what would give meaning to our daily lives, and what we have to change to achieve this.
What would you do day after day without asking for anything in exchange?
We all do something that we are passionate about, something that really motivates us and that we would be willing to do for free, day after day, for the simple pleasure of it. This can be any activity: handicrafts, painting, mechanics, writing, dance, cinema, etc. That something will be part of the meaning that you seek.
What stops us from finding what we want
There are two essential factors that constantly stop us from seeking what we really want to find: fear and the opinions of others.
Can you imagine what you could do if you were not afraid? Fear is a complicated obstacle, an invisible enemy that uses our survival instinct to paralyze us. Think about where you will be in five years if you do not get over that fear that you are feeling right now. It’s a powerful image, isn’t it?
What others might think or say also affects us negatively and stops our search for what we desire, no matter how much we try to deny it. The opinions of our friends, family members, or partner influence us, but ask yourself one question: What do you want?
“They made us believe that each one of us is the half of an orange, and that life only makes sense when you find that other half. They did not tell us that we were born as whole, and that no-one in our lives deserve to carry on his back such responsibility of completing what is missing on us.”