Man’s Search for Meaning

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir of life in Nazi death camps has riveted generations of readers. Based on Frankl’s own experience and the stories of his patients, the book argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward.

I picked up this book a few weeks ago at Barnes and Noble because one of my old professors from Shenandoah University told me she thought I’d enjoy it. I already gave you a little back story of what the book is about above so, now I will talk about quotes/scenes that really hit home with me throughout the book

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

This is a rather lengthy quote from the book, but it touches on so much that is relevant to a lot of people. The focus of the quote is on two particular aspects of our lives; happiness and success. Now to the contrary to what a lot of people say the latter (success) does not always bring along happiness and vice versa. Viktor Frankl believes that to achieve both of these things one must be willing to add a few more things to the list of things to be achieved. You must be willing to follow your conscience (Your heart) to what you believe it is telling you to pursue, then you must stick with that for the LONG RUN and in the LONG RUN you will achieve both happiness and success. Now I put emphasis on the long run because from what I took from the quote is that just like most things in life you will experience instants gratification from something new, then something happens you’ve hit a wall, a setback, mental block anything. At that exact point is where you should be thinking of the “LONG RUN” to yourself because a lot of people make excuses and reasons why they should quit and not mess with something difficult with so many other options available and miss out on their true calling. If you believe this is your calling you must endure, persevere, and overcome the struggles that you face and after that in the LONG RUN weeks, months, maybe even years down the road. Then you will have achieved both happiness and success, but now you have those memories of your experiences going through struggles to look back on and draw strength from and now nothing can stand in the way of what you set your mind too.


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