Life is a journey filled with ups and downs. It is in our nature to attempt to understand the meaning behind our joy and suffering and why we are here. Here I have reflected on some of these big questions in life.
For me, happiness is feeling fulfilled and complete. I find happiness in setting and achieving goals and overcoming challenges. I find it in spending time in nature and exploring the world around me. And most importantly, I find it in sharing these experiences with the people I love. I feel happiest when I am spending time with those who are important to me; making memories and reminiscing about old ones.
Climbing Mt. Hood was something that I wanted to do, but never imagined I would be capable of. Making it to the top and sharing the experience with some of my dearest friends brought me a great deal of happiness.
I believe that feeling that I am a successful person involves several factors. First, I must have a job that I feel I am good at and that allows me to help others. This job must also allow me to feel financially stable. In addition to these factors, I measure my success by my ability balance my time and energy between work and my personal life. Being able to do the things that I love and spend time with the people who are more important to me is an important factor for my success.
I think that suffering makes us appreciate what we have and can contribute to personal growth. When I have experienced suffering, it has ultimately helped me to gain perspective and better prioritize my life. It helps me to evaluate how I interact with others and respond to various situations. Suffering can teach us to change our ways and be more proactive about finding things that bring to our lives and the lives of others.
This video illustrates the power of adjusting our perspectives.
I think meaning in life comes from having a positive impact; whether that be on the people around me, my community, or the environment. For me, being there for others in their times of need gives me a sense of purpose. I think it is important to make life better for others whenever possible. There is more to life than financial well-being and comfort. Sometimes sacrifices must be made in order to help others and be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Making a positive impact on those around me may come at the expense of my own desires.
Holding my nephew the day after I became an aunt.
"Life in the concentration camp taught Frankl that our main drive or motivation in life is neither pleasure, as Freud had believed, nor power, as Adler had believed, but meaning."
Burton, N. (2015, October 24). Man’s Search for Meaning. Psychology Today. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hide-and-seek/201205/mans-search-meaning
The big questions about why we are here and why we must suffer are ones that are difficult to answer. Everyone responds differently to these questions based on their own life experiences. My ideas about meaning, suffering, happiness, and success have morphed over time and will continue to do so.