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Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor E. Frankl

  • “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” 
  • “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.”
  • “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.”
  • “But there was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.” 
  • “An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior.”
  • “Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.”
  • “In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.” 
  • “So live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!”
  • “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.”
  • “I do not forget any good deed done to me & I do not carry a grudge for a bad one.”
  • “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.” 
  • Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become the next moment. By the same token, every human being has the freedom to change at any instant.” 
  • “For the world is in a bad state, but everything will become still worse unless each of us does his best.”
  • “What is demanded of man is not, as some existential philosophers teach, to endure the meaninglessness of life, but rather to bear his incapacity to grasp its unconditional meaningfulness in rational terms.”
  • “Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it.”