Working from a place of hope: on possibilities
In life, to live an honest life, we can’t just be caught out by our wrongdoings.
It’s important to be as honest as we can be.
Being honest doesn’t necessarily meaning telling everyone our life story at all times.
It’s important that some things are kept private.
In these days of everyone sharing their story online, it appears like honesty has to be bearing your soul at all times.
I would argue differently.
Instead, someone who is a person-centred therapist, who may also work existentially, like myself, considers on a regular basis – in my own life, as well as the lives of others, “How can we be continuously ‘doing good’?” and “Is this sharing for the common good?”
It’s not enough to think we’ll do the right thing, as Alexander Wagner suggests in his TED talk. Doing good for most people is about intrinsic reward, not just financial.
Though there is a small percentage, according to Wagner, that may not do the right thing.
Existentialism is all about the human condition in all its splendor and harshness. In our modern, contemporary society, existentially, life is and can be difficult. Often people’s needs are born out of survival instincts.
This is where existentialists may form the viewpoint that life in and of itself is problematic and can cause us, by way of the human condition to do the wrong thing, or live in a hedonistic way.
In the boundarylessness that is the internet and writing this, we can then be who we wish to be – the keyboard warriors can exist without any retribution or fight back.
The old school existential philosophies can apply to the concept of the internet and social media now more than ever before.
Yalom discussed the four existential human givens to be; isolation-connectedness, meaningfulness-meaninglessness, freedom-responsibility and life-death anxiety. Here’s another blog that discusses some of these existential concepts in more detail.
It’s important to think deeply, in order to feel like you are living a more meaningful life.
These givens are like pendulums that swing back and forth in our lives and can be forces depending upon what is currently happening.
Ultimately, it is our life and choices that we make that can give us meaning, not anyone else’s life.
So we can choose to live our lives, in a free society, how we wish to live it – so long as it’s within the law.
Relationships can sustain us, or our work can sustain us – it is up to us to work through our values and ethics in order to feel like we are living to our espoused morals and beliefs.
According to Matthew Bishop, depression often comes from our issues with living, not biological reasons.
I’ll leave you with a thought about modern life that comes from Barry Schwartz’s TED talk: “With so many options to choose from, people find it very difficult to choose at all and that paralysis is a consequence of having too many choices.”
It’s important to talk about where you’re stuck, what your dreams are, what you hope for, what decisions you’re finding difficult, or talk about what you’re finding difficult in life.
I can guide you along that path.
Either way, it’s important to look at the reasons that are behind any ill feelings in your life in order for it to feel like a ‘good life’. There’s hope in that.