When Vacations Go Wrong

Today, let's dive into the world of pleasure and joy - the key ingredients we all desire for a fulfilling life. We're often taught that seeking pleasure is a goal in itself, but is that really the path to true joy? Let's explore a logotherapeutic approach that can transform your perspective and lead you to genuine happiness.

In our modern world, mental health and self-care are commonly discussed topics, but the essence of pure enjoyment often takes a backseat. This lack of emphasis can be detrimental, leaving some afraid to embrace life's pleasures, and others seeking fulfillment in the wrong places.

So, where do we find the "right places" for true joy and fulfillment?

Here's the surprising truth - the more we chase pleasure as a primary goal, the more elusive it becomes. The pursuit of enjoyment, as a goal in itself, often leaves us feeling unfulfilled. Instead, true joy emerges as a natural outcome of living a life filled with meaning and purpose.

Let's imagine you planned an idyllic week-long vacation in the Bahamas. The 5-star hotel, delightful meals, and exciting water activities promised an unforgettable experience. But, as life would have it, unforeseen challenges arise - lost luggage, a sudden cold, or an unexpected mishap. Suddenly, the enjoyment you were seeking seems to vanish.

Now, you might be wondering, "How can I reclaim the enjoyment I envisioned for this vacation?"

Enter the logotherapeutic technique of "dereflection." By shifting your focus outward, away from yourself, you open the door to true fulfillment. Viktor Frankl, the renowned psychiatrist, emphasized "experiential values" - the idea that meaning is found through experiencing life, including the experience of loving another human being.

So, let's apply dereflection to our vacation scenario. If you find yourself not entirely enjoying a particular activity, try reframing your perspective. Acknowledge that this moment might not be bringing you joy, but someone you love, such as your partner or child, could find happiness in it. Embrace the opportunity to make this experience meaningful for them, and you'll be astonished by the natural ripple effect it has on your own fulfillment.

By practicing dereflection and embracing meaningful experiences, you'll discover the joy you were seeking all along. No longer a goal in itself, pleasure becomes a beautiful side effect of living a life enriched with purpose and love.

Here's to embracing a life filled with true joy and purpose!

About the author

Rikki Ash

Coach, Master of Science, MS

Suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning -Viktor Frankl

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