Today’s video is on the book man’s search for meaning by Viktor Frankl, who was a professor of neurology and psychiatry and this is probably one of the most powerful books I’ve ever read. The book chronicles Victor Frankel’s experiences as a concentration camp inmate during world war II.
You have to find meaning in your life- you have to find a purpose something bigger than yourself and you know searching for your meaning. During his time in camp he’s tortured, he’s beaten, and worked to the brink of death. Not given enough food or proper clothing or shoes during the freezing temperatures he’s subjected to.
Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl
Vermin frostbitten toes and edema he paints a truly horrific existence of his day-to-day camp life daily people drop dead all around him from disease and starvation and are executed for no reason at all his mother father brother and wife were all killed in the camps you know with all this in mind how could he find life worth preserving so let’s jump into the first main takeaway from the book and that is you have to find meaning in suffering and in your life as Nietzsche says he who has a why to live for can bear almost any how you know even though Franco was living in extremely difficult circumstances and had been stripped of almost all his humanity he noticed something his ability to find meaning and even the diaries of circumstances helped him to survive he noticed two types of prisoners those that had lost faith meaning and hope in the future and those that didn’t the ones that looked at life as a challenge to be overcome the ones who had a white to live or more likely to survive he discovered that in life you can either make a victory of your experiences or you can ignore the challenge and simply fade away so you have to ask yourself do you have a strong Y in your life a Y strong enough to get you through any challenge you know what are you living for what is your purpose and I challenge you to sit back and reflect on that and think about that deeply in Victor’s case he thought of future lectures that he would be giving based on his experiences in Doom so his current life experiences became more objective he looked at them as learning events and he believed and I quote in some way suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds meaning so to him suffering became a task that he didn’t turn his back on he embraced it and realized that hidden opportunities for achievement he had a strong why so do you look for the white behind a tough situation or do you just complain about it so many of us suffer from existential frustration in our existence we’re bored and without meaning we become frustrated with life this can cause an array of issues like depression anxiety and so on so Victor Frankel’s take can bring inner tension and that’s just natural and necessary you know struggling to achieve a goal is normal and natural so really I challenge you again to sit back think about what’s your purpose what is your meaning in life really take the time to reflect on it all right the second big takeaway from this book is that you have a choice you always have a choice between stimulus and response there’s a gap and in that gap is the ability to choose how you respond to any given situation there’ll always be external forces acting upon you that you can’t control such as the traffic weather and so on what you can control are those internal forces your response never forget that you have the freedom to choose your reaction it doesn’t matter what life throws your way what matters is how you respond to the situation it’s your attitude towards your existence that makes all the difference and in the words of Viktor 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 you and you alone decide what your life will be in the next moment man is capable of changing the world and can change himself for the better you have the freedom to change at any instant even in a concentration camp where you have no freedom at all you can behave like a swine or a saint which one depends on decisions not on conditions so let’s look at an example from the book a man’s wife died and he was depressed so the doctor asked him what if it was your wife that died she would suffer now he says oh yes she would the doctor says okay then you were the one to take on the suffering instead of her isn’t that what you would prefer the man says yes of course so that’s an interesting way to look at the suffering did the situation change no the only thing that changed was the old man’s attitude towards the situation that’s a great example of someone finding meaning in suffering by changing how they respond to the circumstance it’s not about your situation it’s about your attitude towards your circumstances when we are no longer able to change the situation we are challenged to change ourselves and there are many more lessons in the book so I highly recommend you get a copy and you read it I think is available online or you can read my more in-depth summary on my blog I’ll post a link down below but one more lesson here happiness and success cannot be pursued and I’ll quote Viktor Frankl here don’t aim at success the more you aim at it and make it a target the more you’re 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 or as the byproduct of one surrender to a person other than oneself happiness must happen and the same holds for success you have to let it happen by not caring about it I want you to listen to what your conscious commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge then you will live to see that in the long run in the long run I say success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it so again just a couple big takeaways from the book check it out and if you liked the video please like and subscribe and go ahead and check out some of my other videos if you like this one thanks guys.