April 24, 2018

April blogging #A-Z 2018- V

This post is written for the April blogging #A-Z 2018.
I have chosen the theme Books and Authors for this year.

V – Victor Frankl’s book: 
Man’s Search for Meaning in Life

Victor Frankl was an Austrian neurologist/psychiatrist and a Jew; who lived through and survived the Second World War.  He was noted for treating people prone to suicide. During the World War II. He along with his wife and family were deported to the concentration camp.

I recall attending a workshop which was based on the book “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey” in Bangalore. In one of the session the facilitator mentioned about Victor Frankl’s book “Man Search for Meaning in Life”.

Stephen Covey uses Victor Frankl's insight in developing the first Habit One – Being Proactive. Covey talks about Victor Frankl’s experiences in the concentration camp as to how “one night, cold, naked and alone in a small room, Victor Frankl began to realize that there were things that Nazi’s could never take away from him – the last of the human freedoms- his “freedom of choice”. So he says we can always choose our response, no matter what happens to us.

Victor Frankl quotes Nietzsche who says “A man who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how” having something to live for, Frankl says, was the only reason anyone survived in such conditions. For him it was the thought of seeing his wife again, returning to his work, and reconstructing his lost manuscript.

Frankl’s shares about other prisoners who had completely lost their “why” and quickly lost their life as a result. He says that we have stop asking about the meaning of life and think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life- daily and hourly. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each of us as individuals.

I was so impressed that the first thing I did was to pick up this book from St Paul’s Publication – those days online purchase was not popular and I started reading. I was very inspired by Victor Frankl who endured the horrors of the camps and used the power of imagination on his very own situations imagining himself giving lectures to the students. Frankl says that we may not have a choice in our circumstances and environment. But we always have a choice in how we react to those imposed upon us.

Victor Frankl is founder of Logotherapy, a belief that the primary motivating and driving force in humans is to find meaning in one’s life.

Some very popular quotes of Victor Frankl:
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves”

“In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of sacrifice”

“So live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now”

“A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the “why” for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any “how”
I would recommend this book and wouldn’t mind reading it another time…. Have you heard or read about Victor Frankl’s popular book “Man Search for Meaning” … Thank you for reading this post, appreciate you for stopping by..... would love to hear your thoughts.
Be Blessed & Be Happy!


  1. Horrific experiences of concentration camps and reading about them is so painful. And in that situation if a man can think positively and give freedom of choice a new perspective, then he is the most courageous and wise man. After reading here I am realizing that people who lose “why” lose meaning of life. It is so true.
    I agree with the statements you have shared in the last. Change situation or yourself, but a change is must for survival. Suffering brings humility and empathy in long run. And last one will bring no repentance in a person’s life. Beautiful post with lot of thoughts in it like always.

    1. Agree with you totally shesha...when I read for the first time, it was an eye opener for me, a kind of paradigms shift for it is so easy to blame situations and everyone around me... but to choose a response from this state is definitely a challenging experience.. speaks so much of the attitudes one can have in life. Change is inevitable and a yes must for moving on in life despite what ever sufferings one must have faced in life. Thank you for your reflections and I am glad to connect with you.

  2. Thank you for this lovely review Genevive. Yes, I have read Victor Frankl's book. Absolutely extraordinary.

    In your 5th paragraph you say 'He says that we have stop asking about the meaning of life' - but the way I understand him and his message is to continue searching for the meaning of life. But maybe *asking* too much about the meaning of life, takes us away from the present moment of experiencing life?

    I'll probably read his book again.

    1. Glad to know that you have read his book Susan... even now this book continues to be inspiring to me, things get a little more clearer when you read once again... agree with your thoughts and understanding to continue the search, I feel meaning also comes in learning to find answers to the present experiences too:)


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