Monthly Article Archives: March 2019

Creating Meaning at a Given MomentRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

I recently read an article by Dr. Pninit Russo-Netzer published by The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California-Berkeley.  Her article “Why You Should Prioritize Meaning in Your Everyday Life” highlighted a theme that I often include in my writings and presentations: the importance of identifying and initiating specific actions we can take to bring meaning and purpose to our lives. Russo-Netzer cited the work of Dr. Viktor Frankl, a psychiatrist and holocaust survivor whose writings and philosophy have had a significant impact on both my personal and professional lives.  I have read his book Man’s Search for Meaning six or seven times and with each reading I gain new insights.  Russo-Netzer reported that Frankl viewed the search for meaning as a primary motivation in humans, but she cautioned, “Meaning is hard to put our fingers on.  The meaning of life—or even the meaning of our life—can feel like a big abstract question without any clear answer, no matter how much we ponder it.” In searching for a more definitive answer she observed, “Frankl maintained that ‘what matters most is not the meaning in life in general, but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a

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