Viktor Frankl quotes are an inspiring source for everyone who is searching for the meaning of life. His psychotherapeutic school, Logotherapy is founded on the belief that striving to find meaning in life is the most powerful motivation for human beings. Viktor Frankl`s ted talk “Why to believe in others” changed the life of many.
His book “The Pursuit of Meaning” considered as an “education to responsibility. Outside influences are important but not all-determining. Within limitations we have a say about who we are and who we want to become. We need never let ourselves be reduced to helpless victims.”
This gives all of us who had to go through traumatic experiences.
Frankl recommends three different courses of action to find meaning:
- “through deeds,
- the experience of values through some kind of medium (beauty through art, love through a relationship, etc.) or
- suffering. While the third is not necessarily in the absence of the first two, within Frankl’s frame of thought, suffering became an option through which to find meaning and experience values in life in the absence of the other two opportunities” (Frankl 1992, p. 118).
The Holocaust survivor Viktor E. Frankl is also widely known for his book Man’s Search for Meaning (also called Concentration camp book) which in 1991 was named one of the 10 most influential books in the United States by the Library of Congress and Book-of-the-Month Club.
Viktor E. Frankl Love Quotes
“For the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth – that Love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love.”
“Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him. By his love he is able to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person; and even more, he sees that which is potential in him, which is not yet actualized but yet ought to be actualized.”
“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.”
“I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved.”
Viktor Frankl Quotes On Compassion
“No man should judge unless he asks himself in absolute honest whether in a similar situation he might not have done the same.”
“Human kindness can be found in all groups, even those which as a whole it would be easy to condemn.”
“If we take man as he really is, we make him worse. But if we overestimate him…we promote him to what he really can be.”
“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread.
Viktor Frankl Quotes On Suffering
“Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.”
“It is not freedom from conditions, but it is freedom to take a stand toward the conditions.”
“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.”
“In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.”
“If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.”
“To suffer unnecessarily is masochistic rather than heroic.”
Viktor Frankl Happiness Quotes
“It is well known that humor, more than anything else in the human make-up, can afford an aloofness and an ability to rise above any situation, even if only for a few seconds.”
“To the European,” Frankl wrote, “it is a characteristic of the American culture that, again and again, one is commanded and ordered to ‘be happy.’ But happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue. One must have a reason to ‘be happy.‘”
“Only when the emotions work in terms of values can the individual feel pure joy.”
“The attempt to develop a sense of humor and to see things in a humorous light is some kind of a trick learned while mastering the art of living. Yet it is possible to practice the art of living even in a concentration camp, although suffering is omnipresent.”
“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.”
“What is to give light must endure burning.”
“We cannot, after all, judge a biography by its length, by the number of pages in it; we must judge by the richness of the contents…sometimes the ‘unfinished’ are among the most beautiful symphonies.”
“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!”
“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.”
“The consciousness of one’s inner value is anchored in higher, more spiritual things, and cannot be shaken by camp life. But how many free men, let alone prisoners, possess it?”
“I do not forget any good deed done to me and I do not carry a grudge for a bad one.”
Quotes On Meaning of Life
There are plenty “meaning of life quotes” but Viktor Frankl`s quotes are definitely the most authentic and valuable ones.
The central theme running through the works of Viktor Frankl is: the will to meaning. Here are our favorite quotes.
“It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. 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.”
“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.”
“Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.”
“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”
“The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.”
“The more one forgets himself – by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love – the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself. What is called self-actualisation is not an attainable aim at all, for the simple reason that the more one would strive for it, the more he would miss it. In other words, self-actualisation is possible only as a side-effect of self-transcendence.”
Viktor Frankl Quotes On Success
“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. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it”
“What is to give light must endure burning.”
A Word From SimpleSavvySmart.com
While the answer to the meaning of life is highly personal, the road can be easier by following wisdom. There is no doubt that Viktor Frankl has gathered a tremendous amount of wisdom over this lifetime which is worth being considered.
No matter what your meaning of life will look like, at SimpleSavvysmart.com we are sure – You will love what you can be.