Man's Search for Meaning Summary 2023 - Deepstash

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Man's Search for Meaning Summary

About Man's Search for Meaning Book

A prominent Viennese psychiatrist before the war, Viktor Frankl was uniquely able to observe the way that he and other inmates coped with the experience of being in Auschwitz. He noticed that it was the men who comforted others and who gave away their last piece of bread who survived the longest - and who offered proof that everything can be taken away from us except the ability to choose our attitude in any given set of circumstances.

The sort of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner decision and not of camp influences alone. Only those who allowed their inner hold on their moral and spiritual selves to subside eventually fell victim to the camp's degenerating influence - while those who made a victory of those experiences turned them into an inner triumph.

Frankl came to believe that man's deepest desire is to search for meaning and purpose. This outstanding work offers us all a way to transcend suffering and find significance in the art of living.

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Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

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“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.”



Frankl’s Traumatic Life

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 factors, like - sheer luck, hoping to see his family again, and his decision to let fate take its course. He understood that making an active decision to change his fate could potentially lead to death coming sooner.


Logotherapy to Spread Freedom

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. Instead, search for meaning in everyday tasks and in the relationships you have with your friends and family.

It does not matter what life throws at you. What truly matters is how you choose to handle these situations. 

Everyone must find unique meaning in their lives and then go out and fulfill it.


This book shows that even if in extreme situations there is always hope and something to fight for.

About the Book

When i started reading this book i had no idea that i was going to encounter something so stunning. Although the book is not very long (like 100 pages) its content contain very deep meanings and makes you think about life, time, mercy, hope, freedom and evilness on every single page.


About the Author

Viktor Emil Frankl was an Austrian neurologistpsychiatristphilosopher, writer, and Holocaust survivor. He was the founder of logotherapy, a school of psychotherapy that describes a search for a life's meaning as the central human motivational force. 


In 1942, just nine months after his marriage, Frankl and his family were sent to the Theresienstadt concentration camp. His father died there of starvation and pneumonia. In 1944, Frankl and the surviving members of his family were transported to Auschwitz, where his mother and brother were murdered in the gas chambers. His wife died later of typhus in Bergen-Belsen. Frankl spent three years in four concentration camps.


This describes what in essence makes human life worth living.

At the heart of the book

Man can survive any how as long as his why is strong enough


You never lose the ability to choose

No matter the situation, we have the ability to choose how we react, we always have the choice to choose our attitude. As long as you hold onto this, no matter what happens, we would have lived well.


You decide to act

It is not the circumstances but an inner decision that leads to man’s behavior. We may blame our circumstances but the truth is our inner constitution was not strong enough. You can always control what you do in your limited capacity.


Understand the meaning in suffering

  • To live is to suffer, to survive is to find meaning in the suffering.
  • Life holds a potential meaning under any conditions, even the most miserable ones.
  • A man’s suffering is similar to the behavior of gas. If a certain quantity of gas is pumped into an empty chamber, it will fill the chamber completely and evenly, no matter how big the chamber
  •  Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete
  • This infinite meaning of life includes suffering and dying, privation and death.


Love and Humour

  • Love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire.
  • Love goes very far beyond the physical person of the beloved. It finds its deepest meaning in his spiritual being, his inner self. Whether or not he is actually present, whether or not he is still alive at all, ceases somehow to be of importance
  • Man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment.
  • Humor, more than anything else in the human make-up, can afford an aloofness and an ability to rise above any situation, even if only for a few seconds


Achieving Success and freedom

  • Don’t aim at success—the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.
  • 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
  • It is this spiritual freedom—which cannot be taken away—that makes life meaningful and purposeful.



No more happiness sometimes gave you the choas, no more relationship gave you lonely but what think gave you the reason for life is logo therapy, the real positive attitude is your true friend for sure the structure of life.

After completion of this Viktor Franklin book , it gave me the boost for rethinking who am I and what is my purpose to come on the planet , if I suggest to the humanity for bringpeace in your life is to serve the humanity.The book focuses on love, hope, responsibility, inner freedom, the beauty to be found in both nature and art as means that help one endure and overcome



One of my favourite books to go, when i feel down and depressed.


"I said that someone looks down on each of us in difficult 

hours- a friend, a wife, somebody alive or dead, or a God- and 

he would not expect us to disappoint him."





In his book he set out the meaning and suffering. He helped people in the moment of suffering when he tells them to know their meaning of suffer. To understand that every situation could be more devastating and meaningful from the one you suffer now.

Frankl said that from the aspect you watch every situation could make a difference. When he was in the concentration camp, his meaning was to write about his suffering and share his expertise about the situation there, and his only hope was to be able to publishhis paperwork. He watched a lot of people lose their hope and meaning then die.




The meaning is the light that keep you alive, when that light is off you slowly start to die.

An example is when one of the prisoners of concentration camp said that he dreamt how the army will come next day and set them free, next day no one came. He loses hope, get ill from tuberculosis and die.

The only hope for this prisoner was the army and freedom that he dreamt of, and when that reality break apart he lose hope for any other option, how possibly they will be saved.



When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” 



That is the glorious responsibility of such a time, that we know how many difficulties we have to bear, and yet at the same time how many opportunities we hold in our hands! ‘He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.



That is the glorious responsibility of such a time, that we know how many difficulties we have to bear, and yet at the same time how many opportunities we hold in our hands! ‘He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.


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