The place between comfort and meaning
In a letter to his son, Eduard (1930), Albert Einstein wrote: “People are like bicycles. They can keep their balance only as long as they keep moving.” Victor Frankl, the renowned, Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist and best-selling author of, Man’s Search for Meaning would call this forward movement, the search for meaning, the pursuit of a higher goal or purpose.
Frankl wrote, “There is a tension between what one has already achieved and what one still ought to accomplish, or the gap between what one is and what one should become.” Have you ever noticed how uncomfortable this place of tension is? Our human response is to find a place of equilibrium a place of comfort. But Frankl believed that a man’s natural desire for a place of equilibrium is dangerous.
“What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him” stated Frankl.
Like balancing on a bicycle, embracing a life of tension is not random but has intention and purpose. Without intention and purpose the bicyclist will fall off their bike and never reach his or her destination. The mental toughness and physical stress one will endure on their bicycle journey of life can be measured against the goals they have set.
So I have to ask you, are you on a stationary bike or are you on a mountain bike climbing your goals to a life of meaning? Are you striving for the safety of a normal existence or are you pushing through the tension of a purpose driven life?
Think about your destination – the place of meaning and purpose in your life. What do you see when you crest the top of the hill? Who is waiting for you? How will you celebrate? How will your experience speak into the lives of others?
In the words of Victor Frankl, your destination is a unique. There is no one in this world that can fulfill the mission or vocation that you have been gifted with. You are no replaceable.
Go for it! A life of meaning and purpose is worth pursuing!