Viktor Frankl on Striving for Worthy Goals
“What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him.”Viktor Frankl
When scientists created the Biosphere 2 in 1991 in Arizona, they noticed something strange. Trees would collapse before maturing.
At first, it baffled them. After all, the situation was perfect. The trees had all the nutrients they needed. There were no diseases or harsh elements. So why would they buckle under their own weight?
As it turns out, trees need the stress of wind. Responding to wind encourages trees to grow “stress wood”. And this is the wood which keeps them stable and upright, able to stretch out and seek more sun.
But overcoming obstacles and finding our way forward is what humankind does best. And most of us these days only get this chance when we choose it.
We have the option of living in what Frankl calls a “tensionless state”. But for a fulfilling and personally meaningful life, we need a worthy goal.
Music is such a goal. Guitar is a whetstone against which we can grind and hone ourselves ever sharper.
Through small daily actions, repeated over time, we reap the benefits of a life well-lived. We grow our own “stress wood”, become more resilient, and are able to grow stronger and reach further.