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frankl_sidebarIn April of 2004 a best friend of mine committed suicide. We had all known he was battling depression but frankly it was something we thought he had under control. He didn’t talk about it too much and he seemed in a pretty good mood most of the time.

He always had a more serious and pensive side to him. We would have deep talks about where people ended up when they died. He was always searching for the real truth about what’s going on.

I suppose we all have that. I know I do.

During the exact time I was reading a book called Man’s Search for Meaning recommended by a friend. It’s written by a Nazi concentration camp survivor called Viktor Frankl. He actually lived through that experience and wrote this entire book about how he was able to endure the horrific pain and suffering in that concentration camp.

The first half of the book describes his experiences during that time and the second half of the book is devoted to a philosophy he ended up developing much after that experienced called Logotherapy. It’s an amazing read.

During that time people were asking themselves, what do I have to live for? I’m suffering. The Nazis have ruined my life. They’ve killed my family and my friends and destroyed the city where I grew up.

Why should I live?

These were all valid and noble questions.

He took a slightly different approach. Instead of asking what do I have to live for? He turned the entire question around. The first question is more self centered. It’s more selfish.

Why should I continue on? I’ve got nothing left. It’s a very defeatist attitude.

The question he asked himself was….obviously I’m still alive so, what does life require of me? What does life need from me?

I’ve realized we all tend to ask the wrong questions. It’s very easy to be negative about small little situations in our lives? We can complain about the smallest things.

But what if each of those things actually shows up in our lives to be a teacher to us in order for us to rise above and become different people?

Perhaps God is putting certain situations in your life that will cause you to either rise up and be the person he wants you to be or mold you into a person that constantly gripes and complains about every little thing in life. The lower self.

So here are a couple common questions that we can change to become better questions.

Change this…

Why does this same thing always happen to me?

To this…

What lesson do I need to learn in this situation in order to become something more?

Change this…

I hate the weather here it’s always raining. Why can’t it be sunny all the time?

To this…

Why are external situations effecting my internal state?

These are just a couple examples of digging a little deeper when we complain about situations that we feel are out of our control. If we begin to rephrase the questions we ask ourselves (that we do just to give us a reason to complain) we might begin to reveal the very thing we need in order to create change in our lives at a deeper level.

What questions can you change in your life to better serve you?

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