Having a sense of purpose appears adaptive for health and well-being.
Participants who reported a higher sense of purpose had higher levels of household income and net worth initially, and were more likely to increase on these financial outcomes over the nine years between assessments.
It is with great pleasure that I announce the translation and publication of my self-help workbook: Transform Difficulties Into Triumphs in 30 Days. A Story-based Workbook, into German. The Title is:
So Verwandelst Du Schwierigkeiten In Triumphe In 30 Tagen-Ein Auf Geschichten Basierendes Arbeitsbuch
It was made possible by my translator Doris Stockl together with the translation and publishing service TeKTime, based in Italy. It was beta read by Sabine Indinger and Carolin Kern, who made valuable and useful comments and suggestions for the German translation. My special thanks go to Sabine Indinger, who took a lot of time and care in her beta reading and with the comments and suggestions she made.
It is available on Amazon and in other online stores.
In 2012 I attended an introductory course in Logotherapy at the University of South Africa. There I met the course leader Teria Shantall and I was so inspired by what I discovered, that I set about thinking how I could apply what I had learned, not only in my own life, but also by reaching out to and helping others. I share with you an excerpt from Day 13 in my workbook about my watershed moment.
Day 13 – Your Watershed Moment
“Sitting in the tiny space my daughter called a ‘cupboard’, waiting for the sale of my home to go through and the funds to be released, I saw in a flash that my life would need to change even more radically. In moving towards unfolding the meaning in my own life, I would need to move away from where I now lived and cross the country to make a new life in another place, in another city, in another climate. In this watershed moment, I realised that I would like to work with folks who have experienced trauma and who are struggling to make their now changed lives meaningful. For this reason, I applied to several universities to do a PhD. One accepted me, and I embarked upon a cross-country journey to unfold my meaning out of difficulties and challenges, by working towards helping others to unfold and find theirs.”
Sadly, I was not able to complete my research, and although I felt devastated by being unable to change my circumstances of ill health, I re-evaluated what I might do instead. I decided to create and publish a workbook that could potentially help others experiencing difficulties in life. I felt the “… need to make available to as wide a group of people as possible the potential to overcome life difficulties and transform these into triumphs. Initially many of these stories were to form part of a PHD research project with trauma sufferers. Due to ill health, I was unable to continue with this research. I began to think about how I could use this material in a different way, so that it could reach more people and potentially enrich their lives. In this way, the workbook came into being. My life purpose is to help others to discover and unfold their purpose and unique meaning and calling in life.”
I also began to offer life coaching online with a focus on discovering meaning and purpose in life and training folks in mindfulness skills.
“Story (Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning): Stumbling through darkness and over icy stones and other obstacles in the cold and the unseen, everything was hushed except for the shouting of guards, a person marching beside me whispered quietly behind his hand: “If our wives could see us now! I do hope they are better off in their camps and don’t know what is happening to us.” This created an unspoken bond between Viktor Frankl and his marching mate, who knew that each was thinking of their wife. Occasionally looking up at the sky, Viktor was still able to appreciate the pink morning peeping into the day. The image of his wife swam clear and acutely into his mind, imagining her look, her answers to his conversation. It was this look, which Viktor saw so precisely, that he called “more luminous than the sun”. It was through this experience that Frankl was able to say that, “the salvation of man is in love and through love.”
Story Essence: The experience of love is essential to the quality of our lives. It is the appreciation of what is beautiful, authentic and genuine about another which gives meaning to our lives. It is through thinking lovingly of those who are beloved that we can endure even awful circumstances and still know a kind of happiness.
Specific Action: Think about your experiences of the value of what is loving, beautiful and true. How do you experience this love, beauty and truth in your life? It can be through the love of a romantic partner, a relative, a companion pet or simply a friend. Write down your thoughts about these feelings and experiences. Whenever you find yourself sinking into despair, choose instead to reflect on this beauty…”
Inspirational video here: Love and the Positive in Your Life
To find out more about life coaching with a focus on meaningful living and discovering your unique purpose in life and your personal calling even in difficult times, contact me using the form below:
An extract from Day Three of my workbook: Transform Difficulties Into Triumphs in 30 Days. A Story-Based Workbook.
The meaning of life is not a question that can be put in general terms. Frankl says this would be like asking a chess champion: “Tell me, Master, what is the best move in the world?”  There is no such thing as a best or even a good move, other than the particular situation in a given game and the personality of one’s opponent. Similarly, the meaning of a person’s life is in the moment. Each person has their own unique mission to carry out, something that demands fulfilment. In this sense, no person can be replaced. As each life situation challenges us or presents us with a problem to solve, the question of the meaning of life can be reversed. We can rather ask: “what does life expect of us?” We each need to recognise that we are being questioned by life and we can only answer for our own lives, by taking responsible action, which satisfies our conscience as the right thing to do.
2 Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning.
3 Viktor Frankl. In his words: “…it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us.” Man’s Search for Meaning.