He longed to feel useful to himself – and mostly to others.
Suspending judgments, we spoke of learned (and earned) personal experiences of N’Gup (Never Give Up!) and “it’s not over until I win”. We agreed that it was times like these to ‘own-up to our talk’.
I shared the recognized wisdom and inspiration that I have always received by reading and re-reading Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning”. Frankl was a Jewish Psychiatrist from Austria that endured four years in German Concentration Camps during World War II.
Re-reading his book always reinforced me to embrace chosen Life Philosophies.
I advised that I would send my friend a list of some of my favorite powerful learnings from Frankl’s wisdom and we would discuss thereafter. Here are the passages that I shared:
- “Every day offered an opportunity to make a decision to determine if you would, or would not, submit to those powers which threatened to rob you of your very self, your inner freedom, which determined if you would become a plaything of circumstance or rise to your responsibility to meet Life’s challenges.”
- “My unique opportunity lies in the way I bear my burdens.”
- “It is often an exceptionally difficult situation which allows a man to grow spiritually beyond himself.
- “One can make a victory of these experiences and turn them into an inner triumph.”
- “Every man is confronted with fate, with the chance of achieving something through his own suffering.”
- “There is only one thing I fear – not to be worthy of my suffering.”
- “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
- “What you have experienced no power can take from you.”
- “The consciousness of one’s ‘inner value’ is anchored in higher, more spiritual things and cannot be shaken by Life’s challenges.”
- “It does not matter ‘what we expect from Life’, but rather what Life expects from us.”
- “He who knows the ‘Why’ for his existence can bear almost any ‘How’”.
- “That which does not kill you, makes you stronger.”
Frankl also learned that developing a ‘sense of humor’ is a trick learned while mastering the art of living and, “Humor, more than anything else, is the Soul’s weapon to afford an aloofness and ability to rise above any situation.”
Together my friend and I contrived to answer our big question and opportunity, “What should we do to reframe our past experiences and current circumstances to use them as ‘Warm-up’ for our future growth and contributions?”
We agreed that the following mantras would be embraced and provide direction for all our attitudes and actions:
- “Life is what we make it – always was, always will be.”
- “The Purpose of Life is a Life of Purpose.”
- “Today is the First Day.”