A few years ago, I read Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search For Meaning”.Tweet It!
Though it’s a brief read, I learned so much from it.
Frankl is a great storyteller. He takes the reader with him as he struggles to adapt to life in a World War II concentration camp. From his training as a neurologist and psychiatrist, he has a unique perspective toward the challenges he faced while surviving the Holocaust.
When confronted with the horrors of his experience, Frankl turned to the words of Nietzsche:
“He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How.”
Frankl saw three possible sources for meaning (or the “Why” as Nietzsche calls it) — in work (doing something significant), in love (caring for another person), and in courage during difficult times. He famously wrote:
“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.”
Here are a few of the other lines in the book that resonated with me:
“For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.”
“..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.”
“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.”
P.S. Frankl is an inspiration and an embodiment of the theme of Resilience. Our Curated Resources for Resilience include other good reads from the likes of Epictetus, Brené Brown, Ryan Holiday and Cheryl Strayed. Become a member to get access →
Begin your day feeling grounded and inspired.
A free 30-day email series where we share the most impactful stories and ideas that have helped us on our journey to live a more meaningful life.
Free. Unsubscribe anytime.
“I’m in the midst of big life transitions at the moment, chasing book deals, relocating, taking risks, carving out a life that feels honest, so your emails have been a perfectly timed source of inspiration and reassurance.” Jo in London, Great Britain
"Love the emails! They are a great reset or what I would call mindful chiropractic adjustment to approaching the day. Thank you!" Laurie in Albuquerque, New Mexico
"I love the emails. They give me a new perspective and things to think about and apply in my life." Monica in Johannesburg, South Africa
"It's food for the soul and sets my spiritual compass in the right direction." Farahdiva Samsul in Assam, India
"Absolutely LOVE the daily emails. One of the only email subscriptions I read daily. Keep them coming!!" Adriana in New York, New York
"The emails are thought-provoking and uplifting. A little pause from the crazy happenings of modern life. A quick chance to reflect, smile, and think about a life lived mindfully." Pharan in Queensland, Australia
"I have thoroughly enjoyed the Mindfully Mailed series. Daily I await this little nugget of goodness to hit my inbox each day." Tambria in Shreveport, Louisiana
Welcome to Holstee
Our monthly membership helps conscious people (like you!) live a more meaningful life through actionable guide, inspiring art, thought-provoking content and a like-minded community.BECOME A MEMBER →
This article is part of our series on the theme of Resilience.EXPLORE Resilience →
Distilled from our Manifesto, positive psychology, the science of mindfulness, and ancient philosophic studies we have identified twelve themes core to living both fully and mindfully. We mapped these twelve themes to each of the twelve months in a year. Together with our community we explore one each month.VIEW OUR THEMES →