May Book Club Learnings – Man’s Search For Meaning

By Cheree Bernard on June 17, 2021

Key Points:

  • Meaning of life in (3) ways through logotherapy
  • The importance of having a “why”
  • Critical questions to ask oneself
  • Grounding quotes by Viktor Frankl

At SPECTRAFORCE we are not only committed to doing what is best for our clients, but we also focus on the overall development of our employees.

One of the initiatives our DE&I committee undertakes is – Discuss & Discover Group. The Discuss & Discover Group encourages employees to keep their minds healthy and spend free time in fruitful ways like reading, which allows them to learn and discuss their findings.

For May, the group chose “Man’s Search for Meaning” written by Viktor E. Frankl. Throughout the book, Frankl gives so many reasons to ponder about one’s own life. While it’s not only a profound read but also an amazing story of survival. It talks about how powerful our minds can be. 

Frankl believes that logotherapy is how we can discover the meaning in life in three different ways. 

  1. By creating a work or doing a deed
  2. By experiencing something or encountering someone
  3. By the attitude, we take toward unavoidable suffering

Throughout the book, Frankl encourages readers to think about their “why” and teaches the reader many lessons. Below are some of the questions he wants the reader to ponder:

  • What is your meaning of life?
  • To ask yourself, “what are your why’s?”. Frankl states, “He who has a WHY to live for, can bear almost any HOW.”
  • How we should cope up with challenging situations. 
  • That life is a paradigm shift. The mind is always moving from one paradigm to another. 
  • It is important to find humor in your everyday life.
  • We should not take what we consider “basic things” for granted.
  • We should ask ourselves what it is to truly suffer.

As mentioned, Frankl encourages the reader to ask those questions, but also take in his overall teachings:

  • How you live your life given what you are presented with. 
  • How hope is strong enough to get through the daily horrors. 
  • Frankl found that those who could find meaning or purpose in their suffering were the ones who also seemed better able to find the strength to go on.
  • While we cannot stop challenges in our life, it is dependent on us to make the most of life. We are the champions in our life.
  •  It’s important to keep progressing in life, and equally important to realize the value of what we have today, cherish it, and celebrate things before running towards the next opportunity.
  • Just by living, we can endure a lot in life.
  •  Make the most of what you have.
  •  Count your blessings and be grateful for them.
  • We all have the potential to bring a positive change in the world.
  •  Suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.
  • Man sometimes does not even know what he wishes to do. Instead, he either wishes to do what other people do (conformism) or he does what other people wish him to do.
  • Everyone’s task is as unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it.

Frankl’s Quotes:

“And there were always choices to make. Every day, every hour; offered the opportunity to make a decision, a decision which determined whether you would or would not submit to those powers which threatened to rob you of your very elf, your inner freedom; which determined whether or not you would become the plaything of circumstance, renouncing freedom and dignity to become molded into the form of the typical inmate.” Pg. 66

“Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it.” Pg. 74
“…there are two races of men in the world, but only these two – the “race” of the decent man and the “race” of the indecent man.” Pg. 86

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” pg. 104

“What he becomes – within the limits of endowment and environment – he has made out of himself.” Pg. 134 & 160

“…there is no reason to pity old people. Instead, young people should envy them. It is true that the old have no opportunities, no possibilities in the future. But they have more than that. Instead of possibilities in the future, they have realities in the past – the potentialities the have actualized, the meaning they have fulfilled, the values the have realized – and nothing and nobody can ever remove these assets from the past.” Pg. 151

“The meaning of your life is to help others find the meaning of theirs.” Pg. 165

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