How do you want to look back on your life? Clinical psychologist Viktor Frankl’s primary conviction was that human drive is not about pleasure but the pursuit of what we find meaningful. This is the part where you pause and say, “Hmmm.”
Today’s conversation with myself was most enlightening. During my dedicated toothbrushing time, I asked myself, Myself, are you happy with the way you are living your life? My answer surprised me.
No, not really. You are a creature of habit and predictable. You’re getting older and less risky yet still want to live life large. You’re saving for a rainy-day instead of embracing the sunny ones. You know there is no promise of tomorrow, and you still talk about the future. You’re boring.
After that depressing conversation, a baseball field came to my mind.
I’m on first base, looking good, white pants, shirt tucked in, lots of applause. Coach signals for me to steal second. I’m not sure I’m fast enough, so I play it safe. Coach is getting perturbed. I lead off and the pitcher turns and releases the pitch to throw me out. Whew, I made it back to first.
Batter gets walked and I move second; I’m midlife now. As I stand at the midway point, I begin thinking about home plate, my life. I see it, but I still have time, lots of time. Tick-tock.
Crack of my teammate’s bat sends us all advancing to another base. Now I am on third, my hair is gray and I ache a little when I run. Wow, how is it I’m already on third? It was only yesterday that I was on first. Where did my life go?
Meaning, meaning, meaning! Where is Viktor Frankl now? It’s now or never, Holly. This is the time. Do you want to safely walk to home or do you want to finish differently?
Yes! From third to home, this is my meaning. Be ready, lead off the base, take a chance, feel the sweat and dirt rolling off your brow. Squint your eyes, don’t be afraid of crow’s feet, get tough, get dirty, have faith, push through the pain, say a prayer, and announce, “God, here I come!”
When I look back at my life I want to say, “What a ride!” Do you pursue a meaningful life? What’s your search?
Excerpted from Chapter Six of “A Strange Path to Freedom”