Mans Search for Meaning

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My personal notes from listening to a live discussion (a Philosopher’s Notes, Bali workshops), about the book: Man’s Search for Meaning. Although I have the book already, listening to the discussion made me want to write down all the great tips and crucial life tips so that I can re-read them again and again and be reminded and take on the principals learnt from this book.

Mans Search for Meaning

About the book:

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival.

Based on his own experience and the experiences of those he treated in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose.

Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished.

Frankl’s theory—known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos (“meaning”)—holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.

Here are my personal notes from the Philosopher’s Notes ‘discussion’ on the book Man’s Search for Meaning.

Success & Happiness is not something you can PURSUE, it’s something that you ENSURE by giving yourself to something bigger than yourself.

Success & Happiness is not something you can PURSUE, it’s something that you ENSURE by giving yourself to something bigger than yourself.

If you have a strong enough WHY, you can endure any HOW.

Man should not ask what his meaning for life is, but rather must recognise that it is he who is asked.

Life is intentionally empty of any meaning other than that which you give to it.

Stress is when your mind resists what is.

Love what is.

Whatever that is happening, act as if you wanted exactly that to have happened and embrace it.

If you are distressed by anything that is external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your own estimate of it… …and this, you have the power to revoke at any moment.

Our life is shaped by our thoughts.

Deliberately remove negative thoughts.

Who am I? What’s your truth? What’s important to me?

Do the little things that you know that are consistent with your higher self.

What one needs is a goal worthy of him.

Commit to something bigger than yourself.

Live for something bigger than ourselves.

Resistance creates suffering.

If anything stressful happens to you, don’t look at this as a misfortune, look at it as an opportunity to practice the values that you hold so dear, and then the most challenging event can be the most positive opportunity that allows you to express your highest self.

Every moment can become beautiful.

Don’t choose to be a victim.

Whenever we feel ourselves going into the suffering thing, that’s when it’s a good thing to practice pulling back and looking at it and saying:
“Ok, is this my only choice, is this my only possible outcome?”


Frankl, Viktor. “Man’s Search for Meaning”, 1946

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Penny (

Truth-seeker, ever-questioning, ever-learning, ever-researching, ever delving further and deeper, ever trying to 'figure it out'. This site is a legacy of sorts, a place to collect thoughts, notes, book summaries, & random points of interests.