High signal digest #18
"Man's Search for Meaning" summary + links from this week
est. reading time 2min
Today at a glance:
Biggest takeaways from “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl. Viktor shares his experience as a prisoner in the Nazi concentration camp.
Links from this week that you might enjoy
Why did I read this book?
This is one of the most recommended books. Many cite it as the most transformative book they’ve ever read. I remember reading it in 2017 for the first time and then re-reading the notes last year. Odds are you read it, but maybe we took away different things. Share what stood out to you?
Raw notes from the book/biggest takeaways
We are capable of enduring great suffering for the right cause (our why)
3 ways to find meaning in life:
work = do something significant, contribute to well-being of others
love = care for another person
suffering = have courage when things get tough
Our greatest freedom is the freedom to choose our attitude
We are responsible for finding meaning in our lives. Nobody will do it for us and it will be different for each person
Meaning in our lives can change. Meaning is subjective and will evolve for some of us. We have to figure out what is meaningful to us throughout life (multiple chapters) and pursue that.
Quotes that stood out:
“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.”
“Those who have a 'why' to live, can bear with almost any 'how'.”
“Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become the next moment. By the same token, every human being has the freedom to change at any instant.”
“What matters is to make the best of any situation.”
“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. The greatest task for any person is to find meaning in his or her life.”
“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.”