Man’s Search for Meaning

frankl meaning
mans search for meaning


Viktor Frankl wrote an inspirational book – Man’s Search for Meaning, based on his experience in surviving Auschwitz. It has become a classic. These are my notes after reading the book. All are Frankl’s own words.

What matters is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning at a given moment.

We should not ask what the meaning is, but recognize that it is we who are constantly asked this question.

It really does not matter what we expect of life – rather what does life expect from us – moment by moment, day by day.

Life’s meaning is concrete just as are life’s tasks. The meaning of life is discovered in the world rather than from within.

Live life as if you were living already for a second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now.

We are all responsible and must actualise the potential meaning of our life. And these experiences are then stored forever in our past.

The meaning of life always changes but never ceases to be.

We create meaning by

  • Work and action
  • By experiencing something or encountering someone notably through the experience of love and the transcendent
  • By our attitude to unavoidable suffering – then we are challenged to change ourselves.