“Freud said, ‘What man wants most in life, his primary desire, is pleasure’, but Frankl said, ”What man wants most in life is a deep sense of meaning, and when he can’t find meaning, when his life feels meaningless, he distracts himself or numbs himself with pleasure.’ ” (>>)
“Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive. Ambition is only understood if it’s to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success. Someone who takes an undemanding job because it affords him the time to pursue other interests and activities is considered a flake. A person who abandons a career in order to stay home and raise children is considered not to be living up to his potential-as if a job title and salary are the sole measure of human worth.
“You’ll be told in a hundred ways, some subtle and some not, to keep climbing, and never be satisfied with where you are, who you are, and what you’re doing. There are a million ways to sell yourself out, and I guarantee you’ll hear about them.
“To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy, but it’s still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.” (>>)
“Notable people talk about ideas.
Regular people talk about events.
Trivial people talk about other people.” (>>)
“If you don’t know what you’re looking for you’re never going to find it.” (>>)
“The key question to keep asking is, are you spending your time on the right things? Because time is all you have.” (>>)
“We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life — daily and hourly. Our answer must exist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answers to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets before each individual.” (>>)
“If you watched a movie about a guy who wanted a Volvo and worked for years to get it, you probably wouldn’t cry at the end of the movie when he drove off the lot testing the windshield wipers. You wouldn’t tell your friends you saw a beautiful movie or go home and put a record on and sit in a chair to think about what you’d seen. The truth is you wouldn’t even remember that movie a week later, except to feel robbed and want your money back. Nobody cries at the end of a movie about a guy who got a Volvo. But we spend years living those kinds of stories and expect life to feel meaningful. Maybe that’s why we go to so many movies, because our real lives don’t feel meaningful anymore.” (>>) [PDF]