What Life Should Mean To You PDF By Alfred Adler

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The Meaning of Life

Human beings live in the realm of meanings. We do not experience pure circumstances, we always experience circumstances in their significance for men.

Even at its source, our experience is qualified for our human purposes. Wood” means “wood in its relation to mankind”, and “stone” means stone as it can be a factor in human life.”

If a man should try to escape meanings and devote himself only to circumstances he would be very unfortunate: he would isolate himself from others.

His actions would be useless to himself or to anyone; in a word, they would be meaningless. But no human being can escape meanings.

We experience reality always through the meaning we give it; not in itself, but as something interpreted.

It will be natural to suppose, therefore, that this meaning is always more or less unfinished, incomplete; and even that it is never altogether right. The realm of meanings is the realm of mistakes.

If we asked a man, “What is the meaning of life?”, he would perhaps be unable to answer. For the most part, people do not bother themselves with the question or try to formulate replies.

It is true that the question is as old as human history and that in our own time young people -and older people as well-will often break out with the cry, “But what is life for?

What does life mean? We can say, however, that they ask only when they have suffered a defeat.

So long as everything is plain sailing and no difficult tests are set before them the question is never put into words.

It is in his actions that every man inevitably puts the question and answers it. If we close our ears to his words and observe his actions.

We shall find that he has his own individual meaning of life” and that all his postures, attitudes, movements, expressions, mannerisms, ambitions, habits, and character traits accord with this meaning.

AuthorAlfred Adler
PDF Size20.7 MB
CategorySelf Improvement


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