Man’s Search for Meaning is a book by Viktor Frankl where he shares his experiences as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps during World War II and describes his psychotherapeutic method, which involved identifying a purpose in life to feel positive about and then immersively imagining that outcome. As the title suggests the book teaches and inspires us all to discover meaning in the process of life.
These are some of the best quotes from the book Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl.
Quotes from Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’
An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior.
No man should judge unless he asks himself in absolute honesty whether in a similar situation he might not have done the same.
Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue
Life in a concentration camp tore open the human soul and exposed its depths.
Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality.
A man’s concern, even his despair, over the worthwhileness of life is an existential distress but by no means a mental disease.
The salvation of man is through love and in love.
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 individual.
There are things which must cause you to lose your reason or you have none to lose.
Instead of possibilities, I have realities in my past, not only the reality of work done and of love loved, but of sufferings bravely suffered.
Fear makes come true that which one is afraid of.
In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.
I do not forget any good deed done to me & I do not carry a grudge for a bad one.
The meaning of your life is to help others find the meaning of theirs.
It is not freedom from conditions, but it is the freedom to take a stand toward the conditions.
For the world is in a bad state, but everything will become still worse unless each of us does his best.
There is only one thing I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings.
If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering.
Human kindness can be found in all groups, even those which as a whole it would be easy to condemn.
Everywhere man is confronted with fate, with the chance of achieving something through his own suffering.
Since Auschwitz, we know what man is capable of. And since Hiroshima, we know what is at stake.
To Suffer unnecessarily is masochistic rather than heroic.
Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death, human life cannot be complete.
The truth-that love is the highest goal to which man can aspire.
You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you will feel and do about what happens to you.
It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us.
Love goes very far beyond the physical person of the beloved. It finds its deepest meaning in his spiritual being, his inner self.
Having been is also a kind of being, and perhaps the surest kind.
Live as if you were living for the second time and had acted wrongly the first time as you are about to act now.
A man who could not see the end of his”provisional existence” was not able to aim at an ultimate goal in life.
The immediate influence of behavior is always more effective than that of words.
Humor was another of the soul’s weapons in the fight for self-preservation.
Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become the next moment.
They died less from lack of food or medicine than from lack of hope, lack of something to live for.
Life is not primarily a quest for pleasure, as Freud believed, or a quest for power, as Alfred Adler taught, but a quest for meaning.
It is a peculiarity of man that he can only live by looking to the future.
Man is capable of changing the world for the better if possible, and of changing himself for the better if necessary.
No one has the right to do wrong, even if wrong has been done to them.
Don’t aim at success—the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it.
A positive attitude enables a person to endure suffering and disappointment as well as enhance enjoyment and satisfaction.
Life is like being at the dentist. You always think that the worst is still to come, and yet it is over already.
Once an individual’s search for meaning is successful, it not only renders him happy but also gives him the capability to cope with suffering.
I do not forget any good deed done to me, and I do not carry a grudge for a bad one.