As I discover the meaning in my life, I have been drawn to reading Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. A book I have been long meaning to read but only just doing so. I guess everything has its timing. Had I read this book earlier, it wouldn’t have resonated as much.
The famous book describes the life of prisoners in the Nazi concentration camps. Viktor talks about the great sufferings faced by the prisoners and the lessons learnt.
Although, my own suffering has been nowhere near as tough as that described in the book, I can relate to the lessons discussed.
When reflecting on the hardships and spiritual learnings Viktor writes, “It is this spiritual freedom – which cannot be taken away – that make’s life meaningful and purposeful”. The spiritual growth gained from my own suffering has made life more meaningful for me.
Victor writes about prisoners loosing hope and eventually dying from diseases (the body’s resistance to fight illnesses also going down). He highlights the need for prisoners to have hope for the future – to look forward to something. To have meaning in their lives so they could go on. He encourages them to have hope despite the future looking bleak. “Whoever was still alive had reason for hope”. A message close to my heart.
To restore the prisoners inner strength in the camp, he calls out the need to first succeed in showing them some future goals. “He who has a WHY to live for can bear almost any HOW (Nietzsche)”.
My aim with this blog was not go on about the need for meaning or purpose in life (will have to do another blog on just that) or Viktor’s book but to talk about the idea of writing goals e.g a 100 things to do list.
However, I feel it is worth talking about the significance of having aims or goals (and greater meaning/purpose) in life. Not just for those of us that are really struggling (and need the inner strength to keep going) but for everyone.
I’ve always written goals which helped me to achieve a lot of things in life including seeing a lot places and having many big adventures. However, since my big ‘wake up’ call, my goals and priorities in life have changed. I now get my joys from small things in life – simple things. The (best) things in life that are free. I still desire big adventures but am not so attached to it.
I don’t feel the need to have a set list of goals etc. Just being ALIVE means a ALOT to me. At the same time, a list of things (that interest me) to do helps to look forward towards the future (to get excited) which I think is worth doing.
So here’s my new 100 things to do list (an ongoing list) in no particular order. It wouldn’t come as a surprise that most of it is nature related :). The list is small so far as I’ve already done a lot of my travel goals.
Unlike before, my happiness does not depend on whether or not I achieved these goals even though some things I really want to do. I’ve learnt not to obsess with ticking boxes and seeing as many places as possible but taking the time to experience each place..each moment FULLY.
It’s not the destination that counts but the journey. For now, the list is getting me excited and that’s all that matters :).
What are your goals and aims in life? Have you written it down? Is it getting your excited? You don’t have to write a 100 things, even a handful is enough as long as they motivate you.
Tish’s 100 things to do list..
- See the Northern lights
- Swim with Dolphins
- Live in a different country
- Hike in Patagonia and other breath-taking landscapes
- Climb a list of mountains (eventually Mt Everest base camp)
- Cage Dive with shark
- Learn to swim properly (I know!!! lol)
- Try Surfing
- Do a 10 day silent retreat
- See the grand Canyon and visit and hike the National Parks in U.S.
- Get another meaningful tattoo
- 100 Beach challenge (blog to come)
- Paraglide overlooking great scenery
- Hug a stranger
- Build and live in a container home in nature.
- 4WD around Australia (Husband to do most of the driving :))
- See the pink lakes in Australia (saw one in Bolivia)
- Stay in Ashram in Rishikesh (India)
- Hike in the Himalayas again.
- Stay in a Buddist retreat and meditate with the monks.
- Visit the two remaining 7 wonders of the world (done 5).
- See the wildlife in Africa
- Visit the Whitesundays, Australia
- Explore the Galapagas (with my phobia of reptiles)
- Visit the countryside of UK
- See the grand waterfalls around the world
- Ride the Trans Siberian Railway
- Visit Antartica
- Experience a white Christmas (I know!)
- Write a book (hehe)
- Visit the Amazon
- Visit the remaining 7 chakras of Earth including Mt Fuji, Mt Kailash, Grand Canyon, Mt Shasta
- Volunteer Overseas e.g. teaching, building home etc.
To be continued….