While they make great pets, Border Collies are, first and foremost, workers. They’ll look for jobs to do around the house. Bred to herd sheep, they’ll herd children and other pets. They love solving problems.
In other words, they’re happiest when they have a purpose. Sound like someone you know? According to psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, purpose is essential for all of us.
During the 1940s and 50s, Frankl developed logotherapy (logos is Greek for meaning), an approach using one’s life purpose to restore or strengthen mental health. The work came out of his experience in a concentration camp, where the realization of his own life’s purpose motivated him to survive and move forward in spite of horrific conditions. Remembering our purpose can get us beyond our most difficult challenges.
Your purpose need not involve saving the planet or curing cancer. “What matters,” Frankl said, “is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment.”
Here are a few ways to apply the principles of logotherapy to your everyday life:
• Create something. Assign yourself a major project or several minor ones.
• Develop relationships. Be with people who sharpen your sense of meaning in your life.
• Keep identifying your purpose. When a difficulty arises, find your purpose in it. For example, if a friend is suffering, see your purpose as being there for them.
• Choose to find meaning. You are always free to find meaning in any situation. It’s a choice you can make again and again, regardless of the situation.
• Keep helping others. This alone could be your purpose.
Meanwhile, be purposeful in protecting your retirement savings. Not all expenses are covered by Medicare. Supplemental health coverage through your association and AMBA can help minimize your out-of-pocket costs and provide peace of mind. Then you can focus on the things in life that make your tail wag.