In this book he poignantly describes his experience in Auschwitz during the Holocaust. One of his key observations was that those prisoners who gave up on life, who had lost all hope for a future, were inevitably the first to die.
Frankl kept alive by maintaining hope, he dreamt of the prospect of seeing his wife again and indulged in ambitions of lecturing on the psychological lessons learnt from his Auschwitz experience after the war. Engaging with vivid mental imagery allowed him to maintain his focus and motivation to survive, giving him the meaning and purpose required to bravely ‘soldier’ on.
Horrific as his experience was, it reinforced what was already one of his key ideas: 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.
Frankl proposed that the greatest task for any person is to find meaning in their life.
Reading about Frankl’s story made me consider; what gives my life meaning? This is my invitation to those reading, how do you measure your life? It would be great to hear and read about what gives your life meaning – so readers… can you think of up to 3 things that gives your life meaning?
Information cited from the Financial Philosopher and Viktor E. Frankl’s book, ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’.