Snezhana-Sophia Zamalieva, PhD is a certified expert in psychology, coach, speaker.Born in St. Petersburg (Russia), Snezhana-Sophia graduated from Saint Petersburg State University with a master’s degree in Sociology. In 2003, she received her MBA degree in the Presidential program on training managers at Saint Petersburg University of Management and Economics.
Snezhana-Sophia supports the idea of life-long education and implements it in her life. Later, she graduated from the East European Institute for Psychoanalysis with a master’s degree in psychology and psychoanalysis. She continued her education attending the program at The Center for Group Studies (Modern Leadership), New York and Victor Frankl Institute of Logotherapy, Abilene, Texas.
She is now a Faculty Member and Diplomate Clinician at Victor Frankl Institute of Logotherapy, and she is an Associate Professor of the General Scientific Studies Department at the East European Institute for Psychoanalysis.
Snezhana-Sophia is devoted to mindfulness practice. She opened the first Mindfulness Studio in St. Petersburg (Russia). Snezhana-Sophia believes that Mindfulness is a powerful instrument for human health and human flourishing.
In 2012, she was awarded her PhD degree from the Philosophy Department of Saint Petersburg State University with a thesis on the Meaning-centered Philosophy of Viktor Frankl.
Snezhana-Sophia is also an experienced sportswoman. She has a black belt in martial arts and is certified as TDI diver.
Snezhana-Sophia is President of the Maestro Temirkanov International Foundation for Cultural Initiatives from 2004. This is a non-profit organization with the mission to preserve, develop and enrich Russia’s national musical heritage and to share their legacy with the world.
She was awarded the Vernadsky Silver Medal for contribution in the development of science, The MBA Cup – 2006 International Prize for non-profit Foundations contribution in the development of culture.
In 2015, she received The Statue of Responsibility Award in grateful recognition of distinguished leadership in promoting the work of Victor Frankl throughout the world.
In 2016, she received The Quilly® Award, presented by the National Academy of Best-Selling Authors® for Ignite Your Life.
She is the author of numerous articles, courses and master-classes. Her monograph The Freedom To Decide: V. Frankl’s Logotherapy and Existential Anthropology was recently published and is considered to be the only research on Victor Frankl’s Philosophy in the Russian language.
Recently she was invited to speak at the XX Jubileum World Congress on Logotherapy “Humanity’s Search for Peace and Purpose.” She was one among respected speakers such as Dr. Arun Gandhi (grandson of Mahatma Gandhi), Dr. Steven Southwick (Yale University), and Dr. Stefan Schulenberg (University of Mississippi).
Ignite your life
- Snezhana-Sophia Zamalieva joined a select group of business experts and entrepreneurs from around the world, along with success expert Brian Tracy to co-write the book Ignite Your Life.
- On the day of release, Ignite Your Life reached best-seller status in two US Amazon categories, reaching as high as #9 in Direct Marketing. Ignite Your Life also reached #72 in the Sales and Selling category.
- Snezhana-Sophia contributed a chapter titled “The Power of Meaning.” She is sharing some important ideas how the power of meaning and mindfulness can be used for achieving a fulfilled life.
- After such a successful release, The National Academy of Best-Selling Authors™, an organization that honors authors from many of the leading independent best seller lists, will recognize Dr. Zamalieva for her contribution.
The Power of Meaning
Man is a being in search of meaning.
~ PlatoI want to share with you how the power of meaning can be used for achieving a fulfilled life.
But first, here is the story how a world-renowned philosopher, Victor Frankl, has influenced my life. He developed and tested his meaning-centered approach in the 1930s, while spending nearly three years in a German concentration camp. Dr. Frankl wrote a book, Man’s Search for Meaning. It has sold more then three million copies in the United States. The book was translated into more than twenty languages and has brought change and comfort to many people.
Frankl believes the key to a positive view of life is awareness that life has meaning under all circumstances, and that every single person has the capacity to find meaning in life.
Logotherapy translates as “therapy through meaning” – we could also say “health through meaning” or “personal growth through meaning.”
Ten years ago, I started on a new path in my life. I was successful in my business career and I thought it was a good opportunity to fulfill my dream. I went back to University and received a Masters Degree in psychology and psychoanalysis. I was eager to find an answer to two important questions:
- What is man?
- What is the meaning of life?
One of the fantastic courses we had was an observation of the main Personality Theories. At the end of the course we had an exam, and to get ready for the exam we had to do quite a lot of independent study; among those topics was Viktor Frankl’s Logotherapy. Before then, I had never been introduced to this psychologist.
So, I searched the Internet and the first thing I found was his book, Man’s Search for Meaning. The more I read, the more fascinated I felt. This was exactly what I was looking for – support for my inner discussion regarding human kind. I couldn’t agree more!
Logotherapy teaches that life doesn’t owe us happiness but instead, it offers us meaning.
Logotherapy helps us objectively appreciate our imperfections and be aware that the challenge lies in our incompleteness: our opportunity to grow, possibilities for change and to evolve. It focuses on an individual’s unique, step-by-step path forward.
It’s impossible to change our past, but we are neither slaves nor victims of it. Our responsibility is to change our present. By doing so we are simultaneously influencing our future. Each of us has limitations, but we also have a certain freedom within our limitations.
It’s important to remember that happiness, peace of mind, satisfaction, and success are only by-products of our pursuit of meaning.
Logothearpy teaches us how to use the power of meaning to live in the face of inescapable uncertainty, and to bear unavoidable suffering in our lives. I read the book Man’s Search for Meaning in TWO DAYS! I even canceled some meetings because I couldn’t push myself to close the book. I said to myself that I must study Frankl’s approach, because I knew that it would be an incredible gift to use his method in my counseling and coaching work.
To make a long story short, I worked really hard and now I am a Diplomat Clinician in Logotherapy and a Faculty member at the Victor Frankl Institute of Logotherapy. I earned my PhD and published my first book on logotherapy in the Russian language – The Freedom to Decide: Viktor Frankl’s Logotherapy and Existential Anthropology. And using my education, clinical and research experience, I have developed my own method – LOGOCOACHING.
It is official – the search for meaning is a megatrend of our time! There is a growing desire for meaning!
Most of us would agree that nowadays the existential query is fairly common. We hear people talking about:
...lack of purpose
...lack of direction in life
...lack of meaning in life
...emptiness and meaninglessness
Many people would say they feel that something is missing in their lives; they feel lonely, overwhelmed and unfulfilled. The level of stress is increasing due to health and relationship issues, financial challenges, job insecurity or long-term unemployment. Not knowing where to turn for solutions, many people escape from such meaningless experiences through different forms of addiction, depression or aggression.
There are two types of people: the “Yes”-Person and the “No”-Person. The first type says yes to life despite all the challenges they might have, and the second type generally sees life in a negative way, despite the good things they experience. As a result a “YES”-Person feels mostly happy and fulfilled, while a “No”-Person is usually frustrated and disoriented.
A lot of people fall between these two extremes. The important thing is that it is possible to make a shift from a negative to a positive attitude. Only we are responsible for it!
Logotherapy is a great tool for making this shift happen! It helps people to say yes to life whether the suffering they experience comes from difficult human relations, job trouble, illness, guilt or self-made problems.
You can rise above ill health and blows of fate if you see meaning in your existence.
Meaning can be found in our responses to life. Once we realize that we are unique and have necessary resources available in the form of talents, capabilities and inner strength, we are no longer totally at the mercy of fate. Realizing that we have areas of freedom (however small they may be) and that we have choices in response to the demands life places upon us, we cannot remain in the victim stance any longer.
Just think how often people wonder about the meaning of life? Do they know the difference between the meaning of life and the meaning in life? How would we feel knowing that meaning can always be found? Would knowing that not be easier for us to cope with life’s greatest challenges?
The answer is “YES!” Here are seven benefits of living a meaningful life:
- Be motivated by the search for meaning.
- Deeply know and appreciate your value system.
- Be able to keep positive and courageous attitude towards life, despite challenges and difficulties.
- Be able to accept past mistakes and turn regrets into tools for personal growth.
- Be aware of the meaning of the moment.
- Be connected on a deeper level to others and yourself.
- Be able to transform your attitude and thinking.
- What is Meaning?
- How do I find meaning?
WHAT IS MEANING?
If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves.
~ Maria EdgeworthWe must distinguish two types of meaning: Ontological and Existential. In other words meaning of life and meaning in life, or global meaning and meaning of the moment.
When you search Ontological Meaning you are mostly aware that there is an order in the universe and you are part of that order. Scientists see this order in the laws of science or evolution, humanists see this order in the laws of nature and ethics, artists see it in harmony and religious people will see this order as divine.
The Ontological Meaning is inaccessible for us. We can compare it with the horizon – you can strive as much as possible toward it, but it is not possible to reach. It is important that you still pursue Ontological Meaning, even if you can never attain it. It is a matter of faith, of hypothesis, of personal experience. Only you can make an important choice – either to live as life has meaning and you are a part of the chain of life, or you can live as if life is chaos and you are a victim of its caprice. This choice is yours and you are responsible for it, nobody else!
This might sound discouraging that you cannot reach the Ontological Meaning, but the good news is that there is a second meaning – the Existential Meaning which you can and must reach to live a fulfilled life. The Existential Meaning is the meaning of the moment. The important question you should ask yourself is – What is life asking of me now? And your response to this question will determine what kind of person you will become.
Frankl believes that you are a unique human being who goes through life in a series of unique situations, and each moment is offering you a meaning to fulfill it – a chance to act in a meaningful way! In a moment, I will teach you how you can do that.
The understanding of the meaning of the moment is a skill. And like any other skill, it needs to be trained for and practiced. By practicing, you will experience an interesting change in your life.
The following questions will help you to train for the new skill in challenging moments. This is a writing exercise. You can type these questions into your smartphone, that way you always have them available:
- Name the situation which is challenging you
- What is life asking of me?
- What is my respond to the situation?
- What are my feelings about this situation?
- What was the lesson this situation provided me with?
- What will I do to grow and develop myself from this situation?
- What is my first step?
HOW DO I FIND MEANING?
This is another important question you will face eventually.
Some philosophers such as French existentialists Sartre and Camus, support the pessimistic idea that there is no meaning in life but that a human being has to lead a meaningful life – therefore you should create the meaning. The German existentialists including Victor Frankl are convinced that meaning exists, and we have to search for it!
We have a will to develop meaning! This is the strongest motivation for living and taking action. Humans are beings in search of meaning.
Seeing meaning in our life allows us to develop our capacities and struggle against difficulties in life. If your will to find meaning is ignored or repressed, you will feel empty.
There are three ways to discover meaning. I call it the “ECA” Method.
Victor Frankl recalls how once, in the horror of the concentration camp, he heard a melody, played by violin. This music reminded him about his beloved wife. He didn’t know where she was, nor if she was alive. But that little melody brought back all the special experiences he shared with his wife. It lifted him beyond the misery of his struggle to survive one more day in the concentration camp. This moment had great experiential value for Dr. Frankl. It was a treasured gift life gave him that day.
Now here is a question for you. What have you received from life through experiences that were deeply meaningful? Think, reflect and write down the answer!
There is only one "moment in time when it is essential to awaken. That moment is now.
~ The BuddhaWe live in the now not in the past or future. Living in the now means acknowledging and accepting the flow of time – the past is the past and the future is hypothetical.
Mindfulness means being fully awake and alert - these are obviously necessary qualities for experiencing the meaning of the moment.
Why not practice Mindfulness Meditation? Learning to be in control of your own mind instead of letting your mind be in control of you.
Lots of ideas for mindfulness meditation - mindfulness breathing, mindfulness walking, mindfulness in thoughts, even mindfulness eating.
Choose what you like more and develop your own mindfulness practice.
Here are seven tips:
- Practice what you preach.
- Do one thing at a time – when you are eating – eat; when you are reading – read; when you are cleaning – concentrate on that activity.
- Let go of hindrances.
- Focus your attention on what you are doing (again, again and again).
- Set the scene for your meditation.
- Protect your meditation time (5 minutes in the morning) and have a special reminder to do so.
- Commit to it.
The second way to discover meaning: (C) is for Creativity (creative values).
This is the best known way of course. We experience fulfillment from goals reached, tasks mastered, and a job well done. This way to meaning is as readily available to us as we are willing to respond to the tasks life places before us. When using our creativity, our unique talents and strength, we can be vitally engaged in life and find life well worth living – or in other words, meaningful.
Utilizing this way leads us to deep fulfillment as well as to a discovery of our innate endowments and to the development of their potential to the fullest.
Think about your talents. Make a list. Are you using your talents in your life?
Now think about what you give to life through your creativity? What creative gifts have you have offered to others through your talents, your work and your goals that held meaning for you? Write it down.
The third way is: (A) attitude (attitudinal value).
This unique contribution of logotherapy to mental health is that it enables you to be a “yes” sayer in the face of tragedy, to find meaning in meaningless situations.
Even when creative or experiential ways of finding meaning are not possible, a person still seeks to find meaning in the midst of suffering – bearing it courageously rather than feeling degraded because of it.
Meaning ensues from the attitude brought towards the blows of fate.
Frankl referred to the capacity for finding meaning in the face of human suffering, guilt, and even certain death. We have the potential to transform suffering into human achievement and guilt into meaningful action.
By that, we can become more than we were before, by facing the challenges life presents to us. South African dissident, Nelson Mandela, is an inspiring example. He tolerated 30 years of imprisonment with dignity, because his imprisonment symbolized the struggle for equality.
MEANING CAN GIVE US STRENGTH AND COURAGE!
What is your meaning and have you defined it in every area of your life?
If not, I hope that this chapter will help you get started in finding your meaning.
- Written by international team of expert
- Reveals secrets to ignite your health, wealth & success
- Well organized and structured
- Easy and fun to read
So you wish to escape the humdrum and enjoy higher visibility, success and status in your field. You have noted that many are trapped in a vicious cycle of life and mindset, making no real progress. However, you wish to be different.
Fire is synonymous with heat and light, so the phrase Ignite Your Life connects your desire to move from darkness and anonymity to becoming recognizable and significant. It is this state that the PremierExperts® in this book have attained. They have achieved different levels of visibility and success in their chosen fields. As you read this book, you will note that they all come from diverse and unique backgrounds, confirming that success is not set aside for any particular individual or group and is not limited to any particular subject
The PremierExperts® in this book cover a variety of topics, but for each author there is a commonality of mindset that promotes success. They utilize knowledge, goal setting, perseverance, passion and action to move them to their desired goal. The information they have shared here - including guidance on 'how to' as well as 'how NOT to' - makes their stories invaluable to all who wish to learn the secrets to successful achievement.
A portion of the royalties earned from Ignite Your Life will be given to Entrepreneur’s International Foundation, a not for profit organization dedicated to creating unique launch campaigns to raise money and awareness for charitable causes.