Logotask 1 (as specified in tutorial letter 103/2012)
Name: Wessels, Nicolaas Johannes
Student no: 7294-232-0
Course code: LOGO 01-8
Academic Qualifications: B Comm (Marketing) UP; B Comm (Marketing) (Hons) Unisa; MBL Unisa Occupation: Business Leadership Coach
Postal address: PO Box 786411, Sandton, 2146
Tel: 011 783 4155 (H); 011 253 9919 (O); 082 554 4614 (M)
“As much as it was a point of utter determination, it was also a point of surrender”. By reading Teria’s story one could also say that “it was a moment of truth”. She seemed to have reached new levels of self awareness and consciousness about what her life was like up to that point and what could be from there on. What we see here is a defining moment, a moment of truth and a moment of decisiveness. To take action and turn the focus on what is and what could be, not on what was. By all accounts she has reached a level of self awareness to such an extent that she could transcend herself and connect to her spiritual dimension where a discovery was made of life changing proportions. We have here a very good example of how tension had played a role in directing someone towards her values and what is important to her. By transcending herself, Teria not only moved away from a needs driven focus on the past, she moved to a values directed focus on the future and all the possibilities it holds. “I was somehow missing to fully live my present life with an eye on the future that was “waiting” to be reached out to. My life seemed to lack vision – a dream to realize or ideals to be inspired by” (Shantall 2002: 13). The tension which brought on this state of realization is a health one. Without this meaning will not be found. “A sound amount of tension, such as that tension which is aroused by a meaning to fulfill, is inherent in being human and is indispensible for mental well-being” (Frankl 1998: 48). By recognizing her own power to self transcend, Teria reached the “highest stage in human development” (Lucas 1998:34). In this turning point, three catalysts are particularly interesting. Firstly the death of her father presented not only the shock of losing a loved one, it also served as a stark reminder of the transitoriness of life. And how wasteful lost opportunities are. Sometimes this awareness of how life’s opportunities are passing us by comes easier with older people who have experienced the full granaries of life. With others the urgency to live life fully may need to be awakened by techniques such as the Socratic dialogue. Teria was aching for something different and experiencing the effects of an awakened consciousness prompting her towards action. As Frankl puts it “Thus, the transitoriness of our existence in no way makes it meaningless. But it does constitute our responsibleness; for everything hinges upon our realizing the essentially transitory possibilities”. (Frankl 2004:124). Teria wanted more from life, more vision, more meaning and more significance. This moment in her life, this point of surrender suggests an awareness that now is the time to make a decision. And the application of transitoriness as a Logotherapeutic tool is testimony to Frankl’s observation “Logotherapy, keeping in mind the essential transitoriness of human existence, is not pessimistic but rather optimistic” (Frankl 2004:124). The second catalyst was the diary her father left her. It served as a powerful metaphor and last challenge from him to live life powerfully with authenticity. “I felt that he expected me to fill up the yet empty pages of that diary with the events of my life that I would now undertake to life fully and with care” (Shantall 2002:14). Her will to meaning was triggered and she was challenged to be creative with her life and treat it with a responsibility becoming of her. With this diary her father created a healthy tension between Teria and life, asking her to take up a commission to run...