Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Park Central Hotel / End of 2013
So 2013 is about to be gone, and to keep with tradition, a new year is about to begin. The reason I want to share my thoughts on this New Year's Eve, is because there seems to be an extra amount of motivational messages/goal-setting exercises, that are spring up in the internet world this year. Now I am very interested in personal development, and am completely for people bettering themselves as time goes on. Some of you may know, I launched a website this year called PhilosophyOne.com, which was all about personal development, and sharing whatever knowledge I had learned about how to achieve success. If you search the internet for this website now however, you won't find it. This is simply because I have reverted it to my HalewoodPhoto.com website, which it initially replaced.
The reason I ultimately think I decided to not proceed any further with my personal development website at the moment, is because I read a book in July that changed my life. That book was 'Man's Search for Meaning' by Viktor Frankl. Frankl was an Austrian Logotherapist (a type of therapy he created), who survived the Nazi death camps of Auschwitz, and others as well. Man's search of meaning is not only a heart-breaking recollection of his experiences in wartime death camps, but also his thoughts on finding meaning in life, and how having meaning in life, is essentially the only way we can live happily. I could probably write a whole essay and more, about my views on this book, and the lessons within. However, I will quote Frankl from his preface of the 1992 edition of his book (he died in 1997). This little passage has become my basic philosophy for living now:
"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 dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself."
Having real meaning in life (and these days it is not easy to find as Frankl acknowledges), would replace all the goal-setting exercises and motivational speeches you hear. The kind of meaning that makes you get up with no problems every morning, and helps you look to the future with excitement. Of course, I am not suggesting not listening to motivational speeches, some speakers are extraordinary, and indeed very inspiring, but I would suggest replacing all your goals and new year resolutions, with the simple question - what am I living for? Then ask yourself, are you happy what you are doing, and do you feel that you are doing what you put on this Earth to do? I believe that when you find that meaning, that has perhaps been lacking from life, you suddenly realise that you now have all the motivation and happiness you ever needed to sail through life.
Which brings me back to the point, why did I ditch my personal development website? Well, because I realised that after a lot of soul-searching, having read Viktor Frankl's book, my main enjoyment came from Photography. It is everything I love, and everything I want to do in the future. With the plans I have for my photography (you should hear a lot more about these during 2014), I wake up happy, and am looking to 2014 with nothing but anticipation. You cannot fail when you love the activity you are participating in. Perhaps when I have some more life experience, I will one day come back to the personal development side of things, but whilst I enjoy my photography and am pursuing my dreams within this field, there is nothing else I want to focus on.
Having shared my thoughts, I would like to wish you all a very happy new year, and hope you all enjoy your new year's eve. Without much fanfare, I will be back in 2014...more specifically Thursday.