- Smith, Emily Esfahani. “There’s More to Life Than Being Happy.” The Atlantic. 9 Jan. 2013. Web. 26 Nov. 2015.
Background. Ms. Smith writes of Viktor Frankl, a survivor of a Nazi concentration camp. Mr. Frankl, who lost his way of life and his entire family in this camp, chose not to give up hope. He argued that those who lived had one thing to cling to: their life’s meaning. This meaning is what our unique talents can offer the world; we know the “why” of our existence.
How I Used It. This article is where I got the info to form my thesis: that no matter what circumstances life throws at us, it is our choice and our mindset that decide how we deal with it. We are the creators of our own meaning.
2. Dalton, Paul. “3 Principles for Accepting Yourself and Being Authentically Happy.” Tiny Buddha. n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2015.
Background. Mr. Dalton talks about how we cannot pursue our own happiness or meaning when we are not ok with ourselves first. If we live for the approval of others, we are never in tune with ourselves enough to truly understand what we are capable of and what we are passionate about.
How I Used It. This article gives a good basis for a lot of the groundwork that needs to be laid before my topic is relevant. If we are not ok with who we are, and aren’t able to function without the approval of others, we can’t be fully aware of who we really are.
3. Lee, Adam. “How to Create (Not Find) the Meaning in Your Life.” Patheos. 6 Sep. 2011. Web. 26 Nov. 2015.
Background. This article gave an interesting perspective on the difference between finding meaning and creating meaning. The author argues that instead of “finding” meaning out of tragedy or other circumstances, we can be proactive and create it instead, since meaning isn’t inherently in any situation.
How I Used It. I used this to help me talk about how we can indeed find meaning out of any situation. It’s all about our mindset. Circumstances don’t shape our lives for us. It’s all up to us how we interpret the situation.
4. Fintzy, Rachel. “Creating Meaning in Your Life.” PsychCentral. 5 Feb. 2014. Web. 26 Nov. 2015.
Background. This article discusses several steps you can take to be active in creating meaning out of tragedy.
How I Used It. I used this article as another source to back up my thesis. There are clear-cut things we can do to find ourselves and create meaning out of tragedy. We don’t have to let bad circumstances define us.
5. Nanavati, Akshay. “How To Escape Despair and Bring Meaning to Your Life.” The Change Blog. n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2015.
Background. Mr. Nanavati uses this blog post to describe his struggles with drugs and then being in the army. He had friends die and is haunted by old army memories. But he chose not to let this hold him back, and he lists 7 of his favorite ways to get out of what could be life long depression.
How I Used It. This list of 7 steps goes above and beyond everyday things we can do to be self-sufficient. These are life, mind, and habit changing ways to become an amazing, strong person. I thought it was useful to draw from so I could show that even in the midst of circumstances like these, meaning can be created and life’s purpose can be found.
6. Guinness, Os. “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life.” Thomas Nelson, Inc. Oct. 7, 2003.
Background. Mr. Guinness starts by saying that he has been quite successful in his career, and has everything he could want. But he wants to show that this doesn’t necessarily mean that having everything we could want in life equals happiness.
How I Used It. I used this book to help me show that there can be an calling, or purpose, in everyone’s life that we could potentially live and die for.
7. Robinson, Ken. “The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything.” Penguin, 2009.
Background. Mr. Robinson describes how our life’s passion is found where our talents and our personality collide.
How I Used It. Passion is purpose. Meaning in our lives is derived from how we go about fulfilling that purpose, and this book is a great example of what I’m trying to say.
8. Babauta, Leo. “How to Find Your Life Purpose: An Unconventional Approach” Zen Habits. 11 Aug. 2014. Web. 28 Nov. 2015
Background. This article has some unique approaches to going about finding the purpose of life.
How I Used It. This is another article about getting in touch with ourselves before being able to find our purpose. We have to be totally in tune with who we are at our core first.