In the USSR, many Chassidim were sent to prisons, gulags, and firing squads for daring to commit “crimes” such as teaching children Hebrew or building a Mikvah.
One such Chassid was sent to a gulag in the north pole. It was known that people who when sent to that gulag never came back sane, if they came back at all.
This Chassid however, returned to civilization after serving his sentence completely sane.
His friends asked him, “how did you do it? How did you maintain your sanity in a place where no one can?”
The Chassid answered “The rest go crazy because when you take away their ability to hunt, drink and enjoy themselves, you take away everything they live for. But I, What did i do at home? I prayed to God three times a day as Torah commands, What did i do in the north pole? I prayed to God three times a day as Torah commands!”
When we live without purpose, we aren’t really alive at all, and even when life is good, we suffer. But when we live with a purpose, no matter what happens to us we maintain our sanity and our happiness, because our purpose doesn’t change. No matter where we are, we know who we are.
When we live without purpose we can be knocked out with a feather, but when we recognize that we were created for a purpose bigger than ourselves, we are invincible.
And that can never be taken away from us.