In Viktor Frankel’s hugely significant book “Man’s Search for Meaning” he suggested that those who had a meaning in life, a sense of purpose, or intent to accomplish a specific goal could endure the great challenges of life and further overcome these with greater success than those who lacked these qualities.

There are three specific ways we tend to create meaning in any given moment; 1) Our Body; 2) What we choose to focus on; and 3) What we say to ourselves internally as we evaluate people and events around us.

Below are ways that you can better manage and create more positive meaning in your day to day lives ~ from one moment to the next. It takes effort and practice but with great effort come great rewards. Give it a try over the next month and notice the positive results that follow.

Ways to Shift Your Body to Make a Change

  • Stand up tall and energetic
  • Raise your arms above your head
  • Jump or dance
  • Walk with a increased pace or bounce in your step
  • Make a move that gives you strength
  • Push ups, crunches
  • 10 deep breaths
  • Go do something silly
  • Do something embarrassing
  • Laugh ~ read some jokes or watch a funny movie

Ways to Shift Your Internal Language

  • practice your am/pm power questions* (see below)
  • Use positive how and what questions ~ not why questions
  • Thought Stop the negative thinking
  • Substitute positive thoughts, memories or dreams
  • Practice use of positive affirmations ~ short positive phrases that your repeat to yourself throughout the day ie. “Live fully today. I am strong and confident.”

Ways to Shift Your Focus

  • decide to notice something positive
  • Notice the color and light more than the shadows
  • Focus on the comfort, peace and love over the fear and anger
  • Notice the strength over the weakness
  • Notice the action over the passivity
  • Notice when things are even a little better
  • Notice what you think and/or do that makes the difference

Power Questions (Questions that help you to create positive meaning)

  • When am I most naturally myself?
  • What is one thing I could stop doing, or start doing, or do differently, starting today, that would improve the quality of my life?
  • What is my greatest talent?
  • How can I get paid for doing what I love?
  • Who are my most inspiring role models? Do I apply their lessons daily?
  • How can I best be of service to others?
  • What is my heart’s deepest desire?
  • What are the greatest obstacles to the fulfillment of my dreams and goals?
  • What are the blessings of my life? DO I recount them every day?
  • What legacy would I live to leave?

Problem Solving Questions

  • What is great about this problem?
  • What is not perfect yet?
  • What am I willing to do to make it the way I want it?
  • What am I willing to no longer do to make it the way I want it?
  • How can I enjoy the process while I do what is necessary to make it the way I want it?

The Morning Power Questions

  • What am I happy about in my life right now?
  • What am I excited about in my life right now?
  • What am I proud of in my life right now?
  • What am I grateful for in my life right now?
  • What am I enjoying most in my life right now?
  • What am I committed to in my life right now?
  • Who do I love? Who loves me?

The Evening Power Questions

  • What have I given today? In what ways have I been a giver today?
  • What did I learn today?
  • How has today added to the quality of my life? How can I use today as an investment in my future?

(adapted from Robbins-Madanes)