How are you today?
Answers may vary. I hope you are enthused, engaged and energized. But, chances are there are other descriptions. Maybe you’re bored. Maybe you’re stressed. Maybe you feel lifeless.
When things aren’t well, what do you do? Here’s an observation from psychologist and writer Viktor Frankl.
“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.”
Frankl lived in a concentration camp during World War II. His book “Man’s Search for Meaning” describes the strategies he saw survivors of that prison experience use.
His statement above speaks of realism, action and hope.
The reality is there are constantly problems to be solved and difficult conditions to which to adapt. Life never stops coming at you. Mark Twain said “If it’s not one damn thing, it’s another damn thing.”
Frankl said survivors of the concentration camp did not focus on the devastating circumstances. They focused on taking the challenge at hand and on ways to make those challenges less daunting.
By taking the action to combat the challenges, they were strengthened. The more we work together to overcome challenges, the more confidence we develop in ourselves to face the next one.
To be sure, we win and we lose. Some efforts fall short. But, if you take action again the next day, you have greater fulfillment in the process.
Frankl says when we get real about problems and take action to solve them, we become “can do”, hopeful people. You can count on the pain of setbacks to pass. You can believe seasons of unhappiness will be endured. You can appreciate the steps forward all the more and muster an effort for another try tomorrow.
We respect people who are realistic in their life assessments.
We admire folks known for their record of action, especially as teammates.
We like hanging with hopeful folks.
Why not be that kind of person?