A new year often sparks ponderings and searching for deeper meaning. We stress to ourselves, if only we could just lose weight, start over, change jobs, etc., then we could be happy. But in truth, the answer is already within us and the only change we have to make is to open our minds.
A great book to set us straight on the power of this sort of thinking is “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl. It has been translated into over 50 languages and has sold millions of copies.
Even the synopsis will give you goosebumps. The book is Frankl’s account of the time he spent in Nazi concentration camps. His adversity led to the conviction that primary human drive is not pleasure but finding the true meaning of life. It’s not the circumstances that we find ourselves in, and for some they can be dire. It’s understanding our purpose. Why are we here? How can we take responsibility for our emotions and find worth in living in the now?
Frankl’s writing explains that his psychotherapeutic method of identifying that “why” and imaging the outcome can be a game changer.
“Flourish” by esteemed author Martin E. P. Seligman has been described as an optimistic handbook on finding happiness. Focusing on positive psychology, this New York Times bestseller concentrates on well-being. The book shares examples and interactive exercises to help the reader really dig into the five pillars, or PERMA, which include exploring engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishment in order to find fulfillment in life and work.
Both books have similar concepts shared in different ways. It really comes down to how you resonate with each author’s approach.
Cheers to finding your “why” in life and achieving your happiness goals in 2023.