The Search for Meaning

  • The search for meaning can be a life-long search well worth our continuing effort.
  • The three simple steps outlined by author Viktor Frankl that show us how to attain a life of meaning seem easy, but are really very challenging.
  • The monthly movie “The Razor's Edge” is about one man's persistent and difficult search to find a happier, more meaningful life.

I recently read an article about Viktor Frankl 1905-1997 the Austrian psychiatrist and best selling author of the “Man’s Search for Meaning.” He was an Auschwitz survivor who wrote this book after the war in 1946 to set down his ideas about the important subject of finding meaning in our lives. He meant to write it anonymously but at the last moment decided to put his name of it and it became the best seller of the year and for many years after.

He concluded that a great many people were hungry for more meaning in their lives. He set down a simple formula—three rules that he felt could be important for improving many lives.

  • Find meaningful work or interests,
  • Put love in your life
  • Have courage to face life’s challenges

With so many wise people with expertise and insight like Viktor Frankl to show us a path toward a better life, why is it still so hard for so many of us to find our way to this more meaningful life? The simple answer to this difficult question is that even just following these three simple directions is really very hard. The quest to find meaningful work or interests might take many years. We first have to know ourselves well enough to know what is meaningful to us and then to figure out how to find that and fit it into our lives. If we are looking to get love we might spend many years searching and coming up empty.

It takes two people to be in love. We can’t find it alone. If we are looking to give love that becomes easier to achieve. Many people are in need of understanding and affection and are there for us to help and respect and care about. The third path that Viktor Frankl shows us is being brave in the face of life’s challenges. We need to learn the skills of strength and endurance in the face of the sometimes bitter challenges in our lives which face all human beings. That again is really enormously hard. Viktor Frankl survived his challenges at Auschwitz and wrote his best selling book on living a meaningful life after his most life-challenging ordeal.

Although the search for meaning is not easy, I hope those who decide to embark on this life-changing adventure will be strong and very patient because at the end of their search, they will find a life of joy and meaning well worth all of their effort.

Movie—the Razor’s Edge

The Razor’s Edge is a 1946 film based on  W. Somerset Maugham’s 1944  novel of the same name. Maugham (1874 –1965) was an English playwright, novelist, and short-story writer. He was among the most popular writers of his era and reputedly the highest-paid author during the 1930s. The movie stars Tyrone Power and Gene Tierney and was directed by Edmund Goulding.

The Razor’s Edge tells the story of Larry Darrell, an American pilot traumatized by his experiences in World War I, who sets off in search of some transcendent meaning in his life. It  was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Motion Picture.

June Stepansky

June Stepansky is a published writer and poet who writes books and articles about happiness, self-improvement and social and political issues. Free books by June StepanskyA Different Voice—free self-help book—free poetry book

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