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Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl - Book Review

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2 min read
Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl - Book Review

Table of contents

🚀 The Book in 3 Sentences
  1. Frankl found a pattern in the tendencies of those who survived the Holocaust.
  2. We all have the freedom to decide what we do. That’s what makes life meaningful.
  3. “He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How.” —Friedrich Nietzsche
🌟 Star Rating

5/5.

🎨 Impressions

When I first heard of this book, it sounded boring. I wasn’t sure if life had inherent meaning in the first place, so I was hesitant to read it. The book, however, made me realize that, regardless of its true veracity, life should be lived as if it has inherent meaning. When we have a purpose, we find a reason to live, to continue wading through the most tumultuous waters.

Frankl starts the book of by describing how he ended up in—and survived—four concentration camps. This was the first book I’ve read that made me feel excited for the main character, Frankl, when he was saved. When the Red Cross arrived at his last concentration camp, a wave of relief came over me.

The second half is dedicated to Frank’s version of psychotherapy, logotherapy, or focusing on a search for meaning in one’s life. This half of the book is harder to understand than the first one. It’s similar to an easier-to-read philosophy book. Nonetheless, it’s still worth a careful read because of how powerful logotherapy can be.

I believe everyone should read this book at some point in their life. Frankl survived one of history’s worst tragedies and lost his wife but continued to help others. There’s something about the book that offers a glimpse into how he endured a profusion of suffering.

Unfortunately, Frankl is sexist in that the subject of his book is the man. But, I believe his observations are still profound to everyone, regardless of gender.

How I Discovered It

I saw this book in John Fish’s video My Top 10 Books of All Time.

Who Should Read It?

Those that are:

  • interested in logotherapy,
  • having a hard time,
  • intrigued by philosophy,
  • or looking to find meaning in their lives.
☘️ How the Book Changed Me
  • I’m more appreciative of my life and the privileges that it comes along with.
  • I’ve changed how I see suffering that’s inevitable as a test of my resolve.
  • I’m more enthused about living life in hopes that I will find my life’s meaning.
  • I’ve found a book that everyone should read.
✍️ My Top 3 Quotes
Love goes very far beyond the physical person of the beloved. It finds its deepest meaning in his spiritual being, his inner self. Whether or not he is actually present, whether or not he is still alive at all, ceases somehow to be of importance.
They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that 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.
We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life—daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. 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.
Michel Liao

Michel Liao

Boise, Idaho, United States
Hello! I'm a sophomore studying computer science at Princeton. I like reading, rock climbing, and running.