830 Meaning


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  • Pink begins chapter nine with an account of Viktor Frankl’s book “Man’s Search for Meaning” Frankl was a rising figure in the field of psychological well-being In the winter 1942 Frankl was rounded up with hundreds or other Jews in Vienna and sent to Nazi concentration camps There he lost his wife, brother, mother and father He would continue his work on his book, which functions both as a narrative of survival and a guide to a meaningful life Two of the most profound statements in his book include: “ Man’s main concern is not to gain pleasure or to avoid pain but rather to see a meaning in his life.” Meaning can grow from suffering
  • Pink continues with a discussion of how the search for meaning effects us today I must admit a personal fascination with the concept of meaning It is not uncommon for me to ask someone what they feel the meaning of life is when I am first getting to know them Try this out for yourself, you might be amazed at the responses you get According to Pink, 58% of Americans say they think about the meaning and purpose of life This percentage begs the question about the other 42% of the population Are they content with a meaning they have set themselves to, or do they simply not feel interested in thinking about it. Rather, prefer to go through life never asking the “big” questions Pink will site Ronald Inglehart, a political scientist at the University of Michigan as claiming that there is a dramatic shift from material to meaning His arguments stem from a decrease importance of the needs of survival Baby boomers finishing their ½ of their lives and emerging as the wise ones of the tribe And Technology’s place as an instant communicator of ideas and thoughts I don’t personally agree with this statement and feel that people are just as much materialist as they have always been History has shown that as people have more time to think, either through an easy life or retirement they will do so. Spending time thinking about the meaning of life is a natural part of human psychology, but since it is not necessary for survival it only emerges when there is time
  • Spirituality is increasing both in the workplace and in personal lives Once again, history has shown us that civilizations will look for spirituality in cycles Some may refer to them as fads, or mystery cults, but the need for connection and deeper understanding is part of human nature Therefore it is perfectly natural for science and business to begin to see the importance of spirituality. The believe and practice of the Buddhist philosophy has shown an interesting increase in activity within the brain On the topic of happiness and meaning the Dalai Lama has the following to say: “I believe the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness. That is clear. Whether one believes in religion or not, whether one believes in this religion or that religion, we are all seeking something better in life. So I think the very motion of our life is toward happiness.” If you take the time to truly evaluate your actions, you’ll find that every conscious action you take benefits you in some way. Places you closer to your own happiness.
  • “ Happiness,” Viktor Frankl wrote, “cannot be pursued; it must ensue.” So, from what does happiness ensue? To answer this question psychologist have created the study of “Positive Psychology” This study focuses on satisfaction and well-being as opposed to disorder and dysfunction Instead of focusing attention on all the problems that may keep individuals from finding personal satisfaction in their lives Positive Psychology focuses on the elements that are part of being happy. These causes, as defined by Positive Psychology are Biology: Or how our genes define our rage of happiness. Have you ever been in a room with someone who is just naturally glowing, or a complete sourpuss? Satisfying Work: We spend a good 1/3 of our lives in the act of working. More importantly than the income we create is the feeling of accomplishment, of personal success that is covered by doing good work Gratitude: Recognition of good work, attitude, personality, action, react, etc. can all add to a individuals personal self worth Forgiveness: It is surprising to see forgiveness on this list but it makes sense. By focusing our attention on letting go of grievances we spend more time enjoying our lives Avoiding negative emotions and events is rather obvious but probably the most import cause of happiness
  • Dr. Martin E. P. Seligman discussed how happiness can be further broken down in three forms. As a person gains a better life they climb up this latter from a pleasant life to the pursuit of meaning. First, a pleasant life. Thinking optimistically and creating a strong social network can assist greatly in the formation of a pleasant and enjoyable life Once again, focus on positive emotion rather than negative ones can greatly assist happiness Second, a good life. This aspect of live focuses heavily on the meaning, or WHAT you intend to do with your time. It is suggested here that you look at your strengths and find something that you can do well Find your calling and act upon it Finally, the pursuit of meaning. Here you use your strength for a higher purpose, something greater than yourself. The argument here is that a life spent for a higher purpose will create the greatest of happiness for yourself
  • The concept of a labyrinth is discussed in this chapter. The goal is to reach the middle and return, rather than the goal of a maze which is to escape A labyrinth is about the journey not the destination The idea behind it is that a person will be able to “free their mind” as the focus on the manual task of moving along the path I often find that I am able to think the clearest either during or immediately after going for a job. I believe this is the same effect.
  • Labyrinths are a type of meditation They engage the right brain and promote creative thinking while the left brain is busy walking the path Currently being used in hospitals and other institutions for meditation and therapy Labyrinths have the same start and finish. The labyrinth is like life, more about the journey then the result.
  • There are many ways in which to promote meaning in your life. For example: Say thanks more often in your life You may wish to create gratitude lists and letters to those that you may have forgotten to thanks You may find that the people you rely on the most are those who you do not say thank you to enough Gain perspective Think about what you would do if money was no problem How do you see yourself in 10 years time Measure your spirit You can perform a self-assessment of your spirit on pg. 238 in Pink’s book
  • Additionally, you may which to change HOW you say things. For example: Change “buts” to “ands” Instead of saying: “I’d like to eat better, but I am too busy to cook” to “I’d like to eat better, and I am too busy to cook so I will pre-make meals on Sunday” Taking a Sabbath can also help
  • Finally, Make a list of things, people, ideals, places important to you Take time to enjoy these things Try to pictures yourself at 90, it is a great way to think about what is really important to you
  • “ We are not human beings on a spiritual path, but spiritual being on a human path.”
  • 830 Meaning

    1. 1. Meaning According to Daniel Pink Presented by: Corrie Hill and David Cook
    2. 2. History of the search for Meaning <ul><li>Viktor Frankl- Man’s Search for Meaning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Man’s main concern is not to gain pleasure or to avoid pain but rather to see a meaning in his life. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meaning can grow from suffering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Frankls experience in Auschwitz gave him added insight to this concept creating </li></ul></ul></ul>
    3. 3. The Search for Meaning Today <ul><li>58% of Americans say they think often about the meaning and purpose of life. </li></ul><ul><li>Post-materialism- the current direction of our society </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shift in want from material to meaning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Why? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We are freed from the struggle to survive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Baby boomers finishing first ½ of life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Taking Spirituality Seriously <ul><li>One way of searching for meaning </li></ul><ul><li>Science and Business realize the importance of spirituality </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MIT </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Science and Buddhism have a lot in common. pg 221 first paragraph </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>3 out of 5 adults believe a greater sense of spirituality would improve their workplace. </li></ul><ul><li>Spirituality as business (yoga, green products) </li></ul>
    5. 5. Taking Happiness Seriously <ul><li>The second way to find meaning </li></ul><ul><li>Positive Psychology- attention on satisfaction and well-being vs. disorder/dysfunction </li></ul><ul><li>What causes happiness? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Biology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Satisfying work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gratitude </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forgiveness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoiding negative emotions and events </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Three forms of Happiness <ul><li>Pleasant Life </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Life full of positive emotions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Optimism, social network </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Good Life </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use your signature strengths to achieve </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have a calling and act upon it </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pursuit of Meaning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowing what your highest strengths are and deploying them for a higher purpose </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Greatest amount of happiness occurs in this form </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Labyrinths <ul><li>A labyrinth is a spiral walking course </li></ul><ul><li>The goal is to follow the path until you reach the middle and then turn back to exit </li></ul><ul><li>They engage the right brain and promote creative thinking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Left brain is busy walking the path </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Currently being used in hospitals and other institutions for meditation and therapy </li></ul>
    8. 8. Labyrinths
    9. 9. Promote Meaning in Your Life <ul><li>Say Thanks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create gratitude letters and lists </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gain Perspective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Would you be doing what you do if you had $20 million and only 10 years to live? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Measure Your Spirit </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-assessments (pg. 238) </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. More Ways… <ul><li>But Out </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Compile a list of changes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>EX) I would like to eat better, but I am too busy to cook. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Now change the but to and </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Rewrite and think of a solution </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>EX) I would like to eat better, and I am too busy to cook, so I will pre-make meals on Sundays. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Take a Sabbath </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not a new concept but an often forgotten one </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Even More Ways… <ul><li>Check Your Time </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make a list of the things in your life that are most important. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cross-check that list with your planner/calendar </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Picture Yourself at 90 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A great way to think about what you need to do. </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. We are not human beings on a spiritual path, but spiritual beings on a human path. - Dr. Lauren Artress, Episcopal Priest and labyrinth pioneer