People aren’t simply interested in finding pleasure and avoiding pain; we’re interested in finding the meaning of life (even though along the way we let ourselves be seduced by other motivations).
Even during times of suffering, finding meaning softens the blow, and this is one of many reasons to keep breathing.
Nobody can take your place and suffer for you. How dark or light the path away from suffering is depends on your attitude. We all have a reason to be, but sometimes we don’t know what the reason is, and we have to search deep within our souls to find it.
Like Austrian neuroscientist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl said in his book Man’s Search for Meaning, when a man is aware that someone is waiting for him to love and be loved by him, or who has unfinished work to do (a job, a book, a project), he assumes his responsibility and understands the meaning of his life.
“To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.”
-Robert Louis Stevenson-
Find reasons to breathe
Sometimes it’s hard to go on, but maybe it’s time to stop and find a reason why you want to continue along your path, despite everything that’s happened. A deep search into your soul is a journey that everyone should make to get to know themselves.
Every one of us needs motivation to look towards the future with hope, and especially to enjoy the present. If we immerse ourselves in our lives, we can find this motivation.
Enjoy what you have
We can’t live without desire, and even though we should be realistic about what we want, it’s important not to give up hope. Life teaches us that sometimes our desires become reality, and sometimes they don’t, but that shouldn’t make us lose hope.
However, anxiously desiring and possessing anything and everything can impoverish and enslave you. Once something you desired comes into your life, if you hold onto it unselfishly, you’ll enjoy it and then let it pass, receive more things, and have the satisfaction of sharing.
“When you get rid of everything you own, you end up owning all the treasures of the world.”
Value quality, not quantity
In today’s society, we always want more: money, friends, time… But having more doesn’t always make you happier, because it’s the quality of the things you have that matters, not the quantity. It’s better to have a few true and honest friends than a thousand friends.
Many of us strive to have more of everything, without realizing that this is a delusion; it won’t actually make us happy. We’re unaware that the most important thing is to feel happy and enjoy who we are and what we have, even the little things.
“Measure your garden by the amount of flowers, not the amount of fallen leaves.”
-Roger Patrón Luján-
Seek what you want to find
Life is a continuous, enriching quest, but it’s important to think about what you really want to find. It doesn’t matter what other people think you should be looking for, only what you want.
If you seek conflict, you’ll find conflict; if you seek beauty, you’ll find beauty; if you seek love, you’ll find love. But you should also let yourself be surprised by each extraordinary moment of the present and find wonder in everyday things. Look around you and enjoy it all.
Practice intelligent optimism
To preserve your balance and inner peace, you have to try to live by your words, be consistent, and take note of all the good and positive things that have happened to you, because there are surely many of them.
“The secret to happiness isn’t doing what you want, but wanting what you do.”