What is a life of meaning? Are you successful? What brings you happiness? Can you know what is important in your life without suffering? This page is my humble insight into these questions
The best way for me to define what is happiness is to explain where I am the happiest version of myself. Family gatherings and time spent with family and friends sharing food, engaging in conversation, enjoying each other’s company and playing with my young nieces and cousins. These moments with family are the times I know what happiness is. The second place I find happiness is when I can practice medicine. In the hospital caring for a patient, or cleaning a scrapped elbow of my 6-year-old nieces. These moments equally make me the happiest version of myself. In each case my skills in medicine can help others and that feeling of being able to help gives me more happiness and joy and fulfillment in life than anything I have ever experienced in life.
Like many in my generation I will not judge my success based on material positions or the accumulation of monetary resources. I want to be looked upon as a successful person based on my compassion of others and the moral compass I live by. Being selfless, dependable, responsible for actions and living purposefully are the tools I will uses to measure who successful I am as a person.
Victor Frankl- “Depression results when the gap between what a person is and what he ought to be, or once wished to be, becomes so large that it can no longer be carpeted over”.
Suffering allows us to know what is most important in life. Suffering is part of life that is taboo and isn’t something that is commonly displayed openly or discussed in polite conversations. Most suffer is done privately and focused inward. Growth from suffering comes from learning how to overcome inner suffering which then allows you to learn what truly makes you happy and what is valuable in life. Suffering also makes the moments when you can find joy and happiness even more rewarding and satisfying and allows you to cherish those moments for how special they are.
To live a life of meaning means to live a life purposely. To live a life with purpose you need to care for others and be vulnerable to others who care for you. You must give generously of yourself by sacrificing your time, energy and spirit in the pursuit to help others. Life has meaning when it is shared with others you care about as well. The pursuit of meaning in your life is difficult and requires humility and can lead to periods of reflection where you will not feel as if you are not what you want to be. Success is meet when you persevere and correct what you find deficient in your life and maximize meaningful living.
As the wonderful Bob Dylan poetically states the times they are a changing and I feel this encompasses the themes of happiness, suffering success, and meaningfulness. These forces change people and with each encounter, people continue to grow and evolve in to better version of themselves.
Without suffering you can’t know what brings you happiness. When your life has meaning, you are a successful person.