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I recently became aware of Viktor Frankl's work – Man's Search for Meaning.

Frankl was a contemporary of Freud, and was influenced by him, yet disagreed with Freud, who said that man was basically motivated by pleasure.  Frankl theorized that man is motivated by meaning, and that when he has a sense of meaninglessness in regards to his own life, then he uses pleasure to numb himself.  

I believe Frankl had these ideas prior to being imprisioned in several (4!) concentration camps, yet his time there seemed to intensify his thoughts on the subject. 

He stated that the three main avenues to create meaning in one's life are:

1 – Creating a work or doing a deed.

2-Experiencing Someone or Something ; in other words, meaning can be found not only in work, but also in love.

Most importantly, however,

3-"Even the helpless victim of a hopeless situation, facing a situation he cannot change, may rise above himself, may grow beyond himself, and by doing so, change himself. He may turn personal tragedy into triumph."

This has given me pause for thought.

And contiues to encourage me to discover my "what next" to pour my energy into.