Pleasure vs Meaning


Excerpt from Donald Miller's Storyline Blog. 

Nearly 80 years ago a psychologist named Viktor Frankl stood up to Sigmund Freud. Freud was saying that the primary desire of man was to pursue pleasure, but Frankl disagreed. He said the primary desire of every person was to experience a deep sense of meaning, and when they can’t find meaning, they numb themselves with pleasure.

Frankl said there are three components of a meaningful life.

Here they are:

1. A project that demands your attention: Simply have something important that you’re working on that requires you to get out of bed every day. Turns out we weren’t designed to sit and study our belly buttons. We need to find a useful purpose in the world.

2. Unconditional friends: Life is best lived in community and so relationships matter. To experience a deep sense of meaning, we need to surround ourselves with people who love and accept us as we are. We need close, loving relationships.

3. A redemptive perspective on our suffering: Life is full of challenges and sometimes even tragedies. To experience meaning, we must redeem these difficult things by finding a perspective on them that betters our lives. To experience meaning, we can’t let tragedies take us down, we need to redeem them.