Logotherapy : Finding purpose + meaning in later life

Logotherapy is about who you are and what you want to be.

logo therapy - finding purpose in later life

Some logos carry instant brand recognition.

For example, Nike’s tick means “just do it” and Coca Cola is “the real thing” for quenching thirst. I hope you like the simplicity of our Autum logo too. Our brand is about empowering people to live a fulfilling later life.

This article introduces you to logotherapy, but to be clear, logotherapy is not about brands, the word is derived from “logos,” a Greek word for “meaning”.

autum logo - finding purpose in later life

In fact logotherapy is a methodology to help people find personal meaning in life.

Arguably, your personal meaning in life determines who you are and helps others identify you, so it could be seen as a personal brand identity of course.

Let me introduce you to Viktor Frankl. Victor Frankl developed logotherapy having survived the Holocaust incarcerated in multiple concentration camps. He felt the meaning of his life was to help others find the meaning of theirs. I strongly recommend his short book Man’s Search for Meaning, written over 9 days in 1946.

We are free to make personal choices and should be responsible for how these decisions shape our future and achieve our own goals. Frankl focused on a person’s future and their conscious decisions and actions to shape their life purpose. Logotherapy looks to the future. He contrasts this “height psychology” with Freud’s “depth psychology”, which delves into a person’s past and their unconscious instincts and desires.

Frankl believed we all have a unique reason for being and when we find this we can survive even in the most miserable circumstances. He references Nietzsche’s Twilight of the Idols (1888), “He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how”.

Victor-Frankl - finding purpose in later life

Many people complain of an inner emptiness within themselves and the meaninglessness of their lives. Today this is made worse by the abundance of freedoms, the triviality of social media and the loss of traditions. A feeling of meaninglessness is a root cause of depression, addiction and even aggression.

As we step back from full time work, financially we may have the means to live but without a clear sense of purpose, we may not have the meaning. In this new phase of life with more time on our hands, we need to find our unique meaning in life.

Finding purpose

Frankl points out that our true meaning of life will be discovered from our engagement with others, rather than solely satisfying ourselves. Logotherapy shifts our attention away from ourselves towards others where we can discover our true meaning in life in three different ways – by doing a deed; by experiencing true love; by how we cope with unavoidable suffering (including ageing, sickness and death).

To reinforce Frankl, from my other studies into longevity, this unique and personal meaning of life must include nurturing friendship and feeling part of a community. The more we balance our needs with a cause to serve, or a person to love, the more human and real we are.

The opportunity of retirement

Retirement is a unique opportunity to recalibrate our life meaning so we effectively use our increased leisure time. We are responsible for our actions and if and how we adapt is determined by our own decisions. We are free to choose our goals and should be active, not passive, in making choices. In making personal choices we affirm our autonomy. Frankl states “what we become, within the limits of endowment and environment, has to made by ourselves.” We must make responsible choices. Freedom and responsibility are two sides of the same coin.

wisdom- finding purpose in later life

Why do some people find themselves feeling so empty? This is a question of attitude. A positive attitude enables us to overcome challenges and experience enjoyment. People who live the longest demonstrate a positive attitude and an emotional awareness. A negative attitude deepens our disappointment and undermines our pleasure. Positive emotions may enhance our immune system, whereas negative emotions may be a cause of depression and physical illness.

When we’re young, the future is full of possibilities, as we age it becomes full of realities from the past and we should reflect with pride on the life we have lived to the fullest.

Logotherapy is about who you are and what you want to be. It is about our freedom and responsibility to make meaningful choices to shape what we stand for and how we should be remembered.

Logotherapy is good therapy for all.

To help us make Britain one million biological years younger take our autum Lifescore calculator to determine your biological age and use our autum app on Android or IOS to help improve your biological age today!

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