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This is a short book in two parts. The first part is Frankl relating some of his experiences in concentration camps in WWII. The second part is about his school of psychotherapy he termed Logotherapy.
A few quotes get to the heart of Frankl's view:
A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the "why" for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any "how."
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.
So in Frankl's view happiness and success are not objectives to pursue. The pursuit in life is the "why" and once you know the why you are alive then not only will you be on the road to self-actualization and happiness but you will also be able to endure any hardship that life presents.
Responsibleness is a large aspect of Frankl's theories becasue through responsibleness we take on tasks and actions that help us determine our meaning - the why in our lives. Responsibleness also balances freedom. "In fact, freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness."
So how do we go about determining our own meaning? On that Frankl says it's a continual, situation and temporal pursuit achived through one of three methods: creating a work or doing a deed; experiencing something or encountering someone; and the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering.
"Live as if you were living for the second time and had acted as wrongly the first time as you are about to act now."
A thought provoking book to be sure.
 

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Reading this book is a life changing experience!

Review: Man's Search for Meaning

User Review  - Luca Prosperi - Goodreads

An intense elegy to the power that each individual has of giving significance to each experience. However, it sometimes emerges from the book that giving meaning to one's life is something totally ... Read full review

Review: Man's Search for Meaning

User Review  - Tiffany Petru - Goodreads

Very dry. The Holocaust parts were interesting as usual - and the author made some nice connecting psychological points about the stages - but just when he was on to something, he jumped to another ... Read full review

Review: Man's Search for Meaning

User Review  - Meggha - Goodreads

Man's search for meaning, life of an ordinary concentration camp inmate from the objective perspective of a psychiatrist. I would recommend it as not just a book to read but a book one should own. Read full review

Review: Man's Search for Meaning

User Review  - Mary Ann - Goodreads

This was the third time around for this book. Every time I pick it up I find a passage or two which just hits me again with its insightfulness. I finished this book just as the TV was showing the ... Read full review

Review: Man's Search for Meaning

User Review  - Ryan Rodriquez - Goodreads

"At any moment, man must decide, for better or worse, what will be the monument of his existence." This book is a revelation. I am in borderline disbelief that I have never heard of this book (or ... Read full review

Review: Man's Search for Meaning

User Review  - Lauren - Goodreads

It wasn't terrible. Sad story but it just attests to the perseverance of the human mind and the will to survive. I would recommend it to anyone who feels lost in life. Read full review

Review: Man's Search for Meaning

User Review  - Helen Z - Goodreads

Pleasantly short and insightful Read full review

Review: Man's Search for Meaning

User Review  - Yasmine Abdel Hai - Goodreads

The book invokes very important lines of thought specifically the timing i read the book made it more influential than it should.as i tend to disagree with a lot of the ideas proposed and i found some ... Read full review

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