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Man's Search For Meaning

Man's Search For Meaning

by Viktor E Frankl

VIKTOR E. FRANKL

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

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Frankl was a professor and psychiatrist from Vienna. He and his family were persecuted as Jews in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Frankl himself was lucky as he was one of few to survive but his family wasn't.

In the camps Frankl himself was kept alive by a combination of fact...

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Logotherapy guides one to find their purpose and meaning in their lives. This meaning differs by individual and can change from hour to hour.

Meaning can be found in even the smallest of details. So, don’t spend all your waking hours searching for an all-encompassing meaning of life. Instea...

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VIKTOR E. FRANKL

“Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.”

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The Three Wells of Meaning

We should not question 'What is the meaning of life?' When we reverse the issue, the dilemma of interpretation is simpler to solve. 

During the concentration camps, Frankl, as a psychiatrist, discovered three rich sources of meaning. These are the three ‘wells of meaning.’ ...

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#1 Pursue a Life Task

If you died today, there would be a task that you and only you could have completed. A piece of work that required your unique collection of experiences, knowledge, and strengths. 

If you are unaware of it - 

  • seek new experiences
  • acquire knowledge
  • develop a rare c...

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VIKTOR E. FRANKL

“Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.”

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#2 Love

According to Frankl 'Love' has little to do with the feeling of being in love and more about struggling to help others succeed.

  • “Love” is the act of recognizing the potential in others and helping them actualize that potential. 
  • Love is creating opportunities for your child or ...

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VIKTOR E. FRANKL

“The more one forgets himself—by giving himself to another person to love—the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself.”

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You can use your imagination to overcome suffering. Take this incident (from Frankl's experience)-

While walking in the cold while being beaten by a Nazi guard, he recalls a man whispering to him, “If our wives could see us now! I do hope they are better off in their camps and don’t know wh...

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VIKTOR E. FRANKL

“(By) accepting the challenge to suffer bravely, life has a meaning up to the last moment, and it retains this meaning literally to the end.”

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