by Emilia Stenbäck, MAPP expected August ’13
Steger (2009) describes our relentless quest for an understanding of a higher purpose, and that of the nature of our world, as the cognitive component of meaning. Not only will this understanding help the individual view her life as a continuous narrative, but it also provides a way to see this life in relation to the grand scheme of things. By having meaning and future goals, we may strive to endure even the most inexplicable hardships, and come out with a refined sense of purpose; how we handle the obstacles of our lives defines the quality of our human experience (Frankl, 1963). This paper illustrates how a deeply traumatizing event can, under the right conditions, transmute itself into a fountain of purpose from which the individual is able to derive motivation and meaning.
Frankl, V. (1963). Man’s search for meaning. London: Hodder & Stoughton.
Steger, M. F. (2009). Meaning in life. In S. J. Lopez (Ed.), Oxford handbook of positive psychology (2nd Ed.). Pages 679-687. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.