So you can read my books

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Do you let others define you?  Do you allow circumstances to confine you?

"If there is no enemy within, there can be no unbeatable enemy without."
- Wolf Howl

Life hits hard.  

It can hit harder than we can.  But it is not about being hit hard.  It is about how hard we can get hit and keep on going.

Pain can take our breath away.  It usually is temporary or at least ebbs.  

But if we quit because of the pain, it will last forever.

You may look around you and think others have things so much easier.

Yet nothing that grieves us can be called little:

 by the eternal laws of proportion a child's loss of a beloved doll and a king's loss of a cherished crown are events of the same pain.

FEAR is a part of all our lives.  It can paralyze us or haunt us.  What can dissipate fear?

FOCUS.  If you focus on the task at hand, one section at a time, you can dial down the fear.

But Focus gains its strength from our DREAM.  

Not your DREAMS.

Yet those are important, too.

People ask me many times through the course of the day, "How are you?"

I tell them, "I'm pretending I'm dreaming."

There is a reason for that answer:

Most people work hard for a living.  They have tough lives. Structured lives.

They work all day, have dinner, put the kids to bed, go to fitful sleep, and get back to the grind early the next morning.

Everything else in life except for DREAMS has rules.

The only place you're truly free is when you fall asleep and dream.  

If you live life as if it were a dream, you free yourself to be creative, imaginative, and give the day all the wonderful things that are inside you.

But I am talking about your life's DREAM, the image at which your heart is aimed.

How strong is that DREAM?  Do you want it more than being thought cool?

Do you want your dream more than to party, to troll Facebook, to sleep?

That depends on the WHY of your dream.

What is the WHY of your life?

Do you want to succeed to have a sports car in your garage, money in the bank?

Do you want to see a smile on your child's face?

Yet, next September when Wall Street crashes, what will happen to your happiness?  

When your child leaves the nest, will your happiness leave with him?

That depends on your WHO.

WHO do you believe you are?  WHO do you want to become?

Are you who you want to be? Do you even know who that person is?

Not WHAT you want to be but WHO you want to be.

What is the meaning of your life?

Viktor Frankl, an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist, was sent to a Nazi concentration camp with his wife, where he and she were soon separated.

 His wife Tilly was transferred from Auschwitz to the Bergen-Belson camp, where she died. 

Frankl's mother Elsa was killed by the Nazis in the gas chambers of Auschwitz.

His brother Walter died working in a mining operation that was part of Auschwitz. Apart from himself, the only survivor of the Holocaust among Frankl's immediate relatives was his sister Stella. 

She had escaped from Austria by emigrating to Australia.  

Viktor speaks of that time:

We stumbled on in the darkness, over big stones and through large puddles, along the one road leading from the camp. 

The accompanying guards kept shouting at us and driving us with the butts of their rifles.

The man marching next to me whispered suddenly: "If our wives could see us now! I do hope they are better off in their camps and don't know what is happening to us."

Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: 

The salvation of Man is through love and in love. 

I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, 

be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. 

In a position of utter desolation, when Man cannot express himself in positive action, 

when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way – an honorable way –

in such a position Man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment. 

 Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

He also said:

 "If we take man as he is we make him worse. If we take man as he should be we make him capable of becoming what he can be."

I believe in the passions of others. It is the greatest act you can do for someone: to have faith in them and who they are.

I will leave you with what he said of happiness and success:

 “Don't aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it.

 For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, 

and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself 

or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself. 

Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. 

I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. 

Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—

success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it”

 What do you think?


  1. Your insights on pain, and life generally, always resonate with me.

    I visit more frequently than I comment :)

    Best wishes,

  2. Frankle's Man Search for Meaning is the most profound book I ever read; it aches with life as it is and as it should be. Thank you for reminding me of his moving words.

  3. Well said. At 52 I'm still trying to figure out WHO I am.

  4. Getting to know one's self isn't an easy task. But the payoff is more confidence and a clear view of your priorities. Self-analysis also clarifies what you're willing to sacrifice.

  5. We should be thankful most of us will never endure what he did.
    Who am I? I am a child of God.

  6. Hi Roland - Frankl's words and thoughts are incredible and to be able to have revelations on that march, in his situation ...

    We are so lucky ... and we need to realise that and our dreams, which are our gifts from life .. cheers Hilary

  7. Nilanjana:
    Thank you so much for that comment. Just say a small HI when you visit so I know I am not singing to an empty house! :-)

    Sometimes we forget how harsh life has been to those people who went on to shine. It is good to remember, right?

    It keeps changing this thing called Identity. Each life stage sculpts us as does pain, hardship, and challenge -- and our response to those things mold us even more. So each day finds us slightly different.

    So right. Self-analysis is much like nightly store inventory: you discover what you've used and what you need when you do it often, right? :-)

    I think of Man of God as my cardinal trait, but I remind myself what we think of as our cardinal trait may not be the cardinal trait others think when we are called to mind.

    I forgot today was IWSG day, but luckily this topic fit so I altered my title and top of my post. Happy Book Launch in April!

    Yes, Dr. Frankl reminds us how lucky most of us are compared to the ordeal he and his loved ones suffered. Thanks for visiting! :-)