“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how” Friedrich Nietzsche.
I am not sure how did I come to read this book. I cannot remember who recommended it to me or where did I even learn about it but what I know for sure is that I will not be able to forget it. The book, Man’s Search for Meaning, does not only provide the story of a Holocaust survivor, with many shocking details about the daily struggle in concentration camps, the transportation experience between camps, and even the suffering after being liberated, the book details the theory that the author, Viktor Frankl, who is neurologist and psychiatrist developed and utilized: the Logotherapy.
I wonder how much energy is really needed to believe and apply the principles that he discussed in the book. Some of the principles of Logotherapy are:
- “Life has meaning under all circumstances, even the most miserable ones.”
- “Our main motivation for living is our will to find meaning in life”.
- “We have the freedom to find meaning in what we do, and what we experience, or at least in the stance, we take when faced with a situation of unchangeable suffering”.
My best parts of the book are:
- “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 or as the by-product of one’s 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 conscience 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”.
- “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.”
- “Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him. By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person; and even more, he sees that which is potential in him, which is not yet actualized but yet ought to be actualized. Furthermore, by his love, the loving person enables the beloved person to actualize these potentialities. By making him aware of what he can be and of what he should become, he makes these potentialities come true.”
I do highly recommend reading this book.