“What alone is ‘the last of human freedoms’ – is the ability to ‘choose one’s attitude in a given set of circumstances.” -Victor Frankl
Victor Frankl was a psychiatrist and a Jew who lived during the Nazi regime in Germany. He, along with his entire family, was sent to Nazi concentration camps. He ended up in Auschwitz, one of the most dreaded WWII camps.
Except for his sister and himself, his entire family perished in one of those sites. Every possession was taken from them, and the Jews who weren’t shot or sent to the gas chamber endured years of unspeakable horror.
We gather together with others because we find some commonality with them. We have a human need to socialize and bond. The support we receive is more than just having fun or a sense of belonging. The people we hang out with over time become a statement, a reflection of who we are, our views, values, and beliefs.
Besides the relationships we form with others, the relationship we have with ourselves and God are essential. All three are important to living a life with purpose, integrity and meaning.
Develop Relationships with Others
The relationships we formulate have a deep impact on our lives. Because of that we need to ask ourselves whether we want to commit to or remain in certain relationships.
Life is a question and how we live it is our answer.
What is character and why does it matter?
As we go through life, we are putting in place those qualities that identify and define who we are. It is a combination of things such as generosity, loyalty, devotion, etc., but even more important, our moral and ethical standards and principles.
- Am I honest? Can you trust my word?
- Do I live my beliefs and values?
- Do others know I have integrity and will stand up for what is right, even at a personal cost?
My principles, values, morals and ethics not only define who I am but help me make sound decisions that maximize my talents in positive and constructive ways.
Important people from our childhood have a huge influence on who we become. We are part of a family and culture and we don’t want to lose that.
Sometimes, however, we are faced with tough decisions that go outside those early expectations. Sometimes we feel we cannot follow our own dream or develop the talents we were given without hurting someone.
It is never easy to become the director of your life story.
Yet we need to be truthful and honest with who we are. To do that we need to know and accept ourselves, know what we want and why it is important so we can live honest and meaningful lives.
It isn’t just enough to know what we want and why, but what it will take to achieve that. Anything worthwhile takes time, careful consideration, planning, effort and persistence.