SUCCESS Materials – English

Meaning of Life – Theoretical Background – The Person-Specific Nature of Meaning

The Person-Specific Nature of Meaning

There are different levels of meaning of life, starting from the present meaning or the meaning of the moment, and then the ultimate meaning or super-meaning which is strongly linked to values and reaching the ultimate purposes of one’s human existence (Frankl, 1984).

The meaning of life varies from person to person and from one moment to the other. It is not fixed as it needs to be discovered and on its searches the person is guided by his own conscience (Frankl, 1988). A person experiences a meaningful life when he/she responds promptly to any situations and challenges and discovers and assumes its own unique duty in life and allows himself to experience and believe in a superior meaning (Frankl, 1962).

To find the meaning of life, one’s personal responsibility is a matter of high importance. More specifically, Frankl (1984), considered that if one person does not struggle for some meaning in life, sooner or later he/she will lose his/her psychological well-being (Kleftaras & Psarra, 2013). For instance, a person with low well – being will be constantly on the search for pleasant experiences, no matter if these are meaningless or not. On the other hand, a person with high well – being will emphasize only to the important carefully selected, meaningful experiences, even in case they are not pleasant (Langle, 1992).

Frankl (1984), argues that one’s meaning of life should not be abstract but concrete. He states that everyone has their own certain inclination or mission in life in order to reach an ultimate goal, a purpose, because nobody can be replaced nor life can repeat itself. Thus, everyone’s duty is so unique as the specific opportunity to accomplish it.