Friday, December 10, 2010

Man's Search For Meaning

Man's Search For Meaning
by Victor Frankel

1. No man can tell another what his purpose for being is. Each must find out for himself, and accept the responsibility that his answer prescribes. 

2. "He who has a "why" to live can bear with almost any how."É. Nietzsche 

3. Anything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way. 

4. 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 personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself. 

5. The salvation of man is through love and in love. 

6. Humor is a vital weapon of the soul's fight for self-preservation. Humor, more than anything else in the human makeup, can afford an aloofness and an ability to rise above any situation, even if only for a few seconds. 

7. The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity - even under the most difficult circumstances- to add a deeper meaning to his life. 

8. Man's inner strength may raise him above his outward fate. 

9. It is a peculiarity of man that he can only live by looking to the future. And this is his salvation the most difficult moments of his existence, although he sometimes has to force his mind to the task. 

10. The prisoner who had lost faith in the future, his future, was doomed. With his loss of belief in the future, he also lost his spiritual hold; he let himself decline and became subject to mental and physical decay. 

11. A man's courage and powers of resistance are based in hopes of achieving some future goal. 

12. It really doesn't matter what we expect from life but rather what life expects from us. Stop asking about the meaning of life and instead think of yourself as the one being questioned by life, daily and hourly. The answer must consist not in talk or meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual. 

13. Sometimes the situation in which a man finds himself may require him to shape his own fate by action. Sometimes man may be required simply to accept fate, to bear his cross. Every situation is distinguished by its uniqueness, and there is always only one right answer to the problem posed by the situation at hand. 

14. "That which does not kill me, makes me stronger"É. Nietzsche 

15. Striving to find a meaning to one's life is the primary motivational force in man. 

16. In the Nazi concentration camps, one could have witnessed that those who knew that there was a task waiting for them to fulfill were most apt to survive.
17. Mental health is based on a certain degree of tension, the tension between what one has already achieved and what one still ought to accomplish, or the gap between what one is and what one could become. Such a tension is inherent in the human being and therefore indispensable to mental well-being. We should not be hesitant to challenge man with a potential meaning for him to fulfill. What man needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task. This state of tension is represented at one end by a meaning to be fulfilled and at the other by a man to fulfill it. 

18. What matters is not the meaning of life in general but rather a specific meaning of a person's life at a given moment. Everyone's task is as unique as his specific opportunity to implement it. 

19. Live as if you were already living for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now! 

20. The true meaning of life is to be discovered in the world rather than within man or his own psyche, as though it were a closed system. 

21. We can discover the meaning in life in three different ways: by creating a work or doing a deed, by experiencing something or encountering someone and by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering. 

22. When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. We have the ability to transform a personal tragedy into a triumph, to turn predicament into achievement. 

23. Suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice. 

24. Man's main concern is not to gain pleasure or avoid pain but rather to see a meaning in his life. 

25. Suffering is NOT necessary to find meaning. Meaning is possible even despite of suffering. To suffer unnecessarily is masochistic not heroic. 

26. The challenge in life is to live your thoughts not merely put them on paper. 

27. Ironically enough, in the same way that fear brings to pass what one is afraid of, likewise a forced intention makes impossible what one forcibly wishes. Excessive intention makes impossible what one wishes. 

Viktor Emil Frankl
28. A human being is not in pursuit of happiness but rather in search of a reason to be happy. Once the reason is found, one becomes happy automatically.

Viktor Emil Frankl M.D.Ph.D. (March 26, 1905, Czerningasse 6, LeopoldstadtVienna – September 2, 1997, Vienna) was an Austrianneurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor. Frankl was the founder of logotherapy, which is a form of Existential Analysis, the "Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy". Frankl was one of the key figures in existential therapy and a prominent source of inspiration for humanistic psychologists.

Read the whole Book: Man's Search For Meaning

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