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A Life with Meaning

Updated: Jul 28, 2020

Have you ever met a remarkable person who seems to surpass typical human ability? Fifteen years ago I had the opportunity to meet a living saint from India. It was astonishing to see what one human being was doing with an individual life. There are some unique people like this, whose life makes such a huge difference in the lives of so many others. These individuals speak out against adversity, give their time in unselfish ways, often risking their lives for others. They go the extra mile just because it’s the right thing to do. They have an attitude that their life is for the world, not their own selfish desires. People like this are lights in our world. Victor Frankel spoke of the importance of having meaning in one’s life in his book Man’s Search for Meaning. It is a remarkable read and I highly recommend it. Many of Frankl's ideas were formulated while he was in Nazi concentration camps. He noticed that the people who survived seemed to find some meaning in their lives, even amidst all of the suffering. They had virtually everything stripped away from them, but they maintained a spirit, and ownership of their minds and thoughts. Frankl postulated that people do not get depressed because of having bad past experiences, but rather when their life has no meaning. And on the flip side, when people's lives have meaning, they are more fulfilled and more immune to melancholy. It takes time for many people to figure out their purpose. That’s not a bad thing. When I was in college and trying to figure out what to do after graduation I spoke to my older brother who was already in medical school. He gave me this advice: "Figure out what you’re really good at, and what you love to do. Then find a job that combines those two things. I love helping people and I’m good at science, so I decided to study medicine.” It was such simple advice, but very good advice. To this day he has a very fulfilling career in medicine. So I’m going to take from my big brother and share these questions with you. What do you love to do? What are you uniquely good at? Never underestimate what one person can do with their life. Let’s all try to make ours count.

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