Man's Search for Meaning - Viktor Frankl

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Man's Search for Meaning - Viktor Frankl by Mind Map: Man's Search for Meaning - Viktor Frankl

1. You have a choice

1.1. You always have a choice

1.1.1. Between a stimulus and a response is a gap In that gap Is our ability to choose how we respond to any situation

1.2. There will always be external circumstances that you can not control

1.2.1. Something as simple as traffic

1.2.2. Or something as dire as a viral outbreak

1.2.3. You can not control those circumstances

1.3. What you can control is

1.3.1. Your internal response

1.3.2. You have the freedom to choose your reaction

1.4. It's not about what life throws your way

1.4.1. What matters is how you respond to that situation

1.5. "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing, the last of the human choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way"

1.6. There is space between what happens to us and what we do

1.6.1. That is the space where we choose our respone

1.6.2. We are responsible Response - Able

1.7. "Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom."

2. Frankl found - There are 3 ways to find meaning

2.1. Pursuing a Life Task

2.1.1. The Auschwitz death camp When Frankl entered Auschwitz Nazi guards As he was going through that ordeal He wrote "When I was taken to the concentration camp of Auschwitz, a manuscript of mine ready for publication was confiscated. Certainly, my deep desire to write this manuscript anew helped me to survive the rigors of the camps I was in." As he was suffering through the concentration camp He used scraps of paper he collected around the camp He knew He had to finish the manuscript He had to survive the camp Because if he died Frankl found Those who had a task waiting for them

2.1.2. So the question is What is your life's task? Is it a business project or an invention you want the world to have? Is it a book you have been meaning to write Is it some art work you have been wanting to create? Is it a charity you want to support? When you pursue your life's work Life feels meaningful

2.2. Experiencing someone/something

2.3. Facing Suffering

2.3.1. During 3 yrs in the Nazi concentration camps Frankl endured inhumane amounts of suffering But he found a way to rise above that suffering in that moment By imagining himself He looked at that suffering As a learning event In some ways his suffering became his work He said "I imagined myself giving a lecture on the psychology of the concentration camp. And all that oppressed me at that moment became objective seen and described from Remote viewpoint of science. by this method, I succeeded somehow in rising above the situation above the suffering of the moment, and I observed them as if they were already of the past." As Frankl says "Suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds meaning"

2.3.2. When we are faced with suffering or crisis We must ask ourselves What is the meaning in this suffering? Why is this suffering/crisis going to be helpful/valuable? Often the greatest value in suffering/crisis How it strengthens your character We must see every suffering/crisis as an opportunity to Strengthen our values and our principles We must see every crisis as A brutal workout in the gym That will only strengthen us in the long term

2.3.3. Frankly says "By accepting the challenge to suffer bravely, life has a meaning up to the last moment, and it retains this meaning literally till the end. "The most important task every day, is to find meaning and make life meaningful"

2.3.4. Story Once, an elderly general practitioner consulted me because of his severe depression. He could not overcome the loss of his wife who had died two years before and whom he had loved above all else. Now how could I help him? What should I tell him? I refrained from telling him anything, but instead confronted him with a question, "What would have happened, Doctor, if you had died first, and your wife would have had to survive you?:" "Oh," he said, "for her this would have been terrible; how she would have suffered!" Whereupon I replied, "You see, Doctor, such a suffering has been spared her, and it is you who have spared her this suffering; but now, you have to pay for it by surviving and mourning her." He said no word but shook my hand and calmly left the office.

3. Handling fear: Paradoxical intention technique

3.1. Fear brings about that which we are afraid of

3.2. Solution:

3.2.1. Intend precisely that which you fear

3.3. Example

3.3.1. A patient who used to sweat too much and was scared of it

3.3.2. Solution He was asked to intend to sweat too much - to show people how much he could sweat He could not sweat as a result!

3.4. Hyper-intention makes what we wish for impossible

4. "He who has a why to LIVE for can bear almost any HOW" - Nietzsche

4.1. "Any attempt to restore a man's inner strength in the camp had to first succeed In showing him some future goal. Whenever there was an opportunity for it, one had to give them a why, and an aim for their lives in order to strengthen them to bear the terrible HOW of their existence."

4.1.1. "Any attempt to restore a man's inner strength" "Had to first succeed in showing him some future goal"

4.1.2. "One had to give them a Why" "An Aim for their lives" "In order to strengthen them to bear the terrible HOW of their existence"

4.1.3. When the prisoner found a reason to live for The chance of their survival increased dramatically

4.1.4. But those who could not find a reason to live for Decreased their chances of survival They were more prone to

4.2. Frankly talks about 2 Prisoners contemplating suicide

4.2.1. Their argument "There was nothing more to expect from life"

4.2.2. But they did not commit suicide Why They found a meaning They found a reason to keep going For one It was his child waiting for him in a foreign country The other man He was a scientist And he had a series of books that still needed to be finished

4.3. Here is what Viktor Frankl said

4.3.1. "A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward human being who affectionately waits for him or to an unfinished work will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the why for his existence and will be able to bear almost any how."

4.3.2. As Frankl says When a man has a clear reason for his existence Whether it be a loved one waiting for him or Some unfinished work That man will bear almost any HOW He will go through the most difficult and trying times Because he has something greater to LIVE for

5. "When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves."

6. Suffering behaves like gas

6.1. You pump a small amount into a box and it fills the box

6.2. Pump a large amount into the box and it fills it too

6.3. The density might be different

6.3.1. But suffering becomes pervasive. Just like the gas

7. The last human freedom

7.1. Everything can be taken from us

7.2. Except for the last of human freedoms

7.2.1. The freedom to choose one's response

7.2.2. The freedom to choose one's attitude

7.3. This freedom is never lost

8. Logotherapy

8.1. Greek: Logos = meaning

8.2. Man's search for meaning is the primary motivation in life

8.2.1. Meaning will help us survive the toughest of conditions

8.2.2. "He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how." -Nietzsche

8.3. Tension

8.3.1. Our search for meaning leads to tension Between what we have accomplished and What we are going after

8.3.2. Such tension is required for our mental well-being We need to be constantly striving for a worthwhile goal

8.3.3. A state of equilibrium without tension can be very dangerous

8.4. Meaning of life

8.4.1. We should not ask what the meaning is Instead we are being asked by life what the meaning is

8.4.2. Each one of us must answer to life in our way

8.5. Finding meaning in suffering

8.5.1. "When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are forced to change ourselves"

8.5.2. Suffering stops being suffering once you have meaning

8.5.3. We humans will go through suffering - if there is meaning behind it

9. Recommended readings

9.1. Emotional Equations

9.1.1. Despair = Suffering - Meaning

9.2. 7 Habits of highly effective people

10. Intro

10.1. Viktor Frankl

10.1.1. During 2nd World war He was a prisoner in the Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz Dakau For 3 years All his family His Wife His father His mother and his brother Died in these concentration camps However, he survived the concentration camps Inhumane torture Extreme Hunger Brutal living conditions And major illnesses

10.1.2. While others around him perished every day He managed to find hope and meaning in the midst of all the suffering

11. The Power of Meaning

11.1. Frankl realized during the concentration camps

11.1.1. Most prisoners died Not because of lack of food or because of the endless torture Or the horrible living conditions

11.1.2. They died because They had lost meaning They had lost hope

11.2. Even though Frankel was living in extremely difficult circumstances, and had been stripped of almost all his humanity, he noticed something,

11.2.1. his ability to find meaning in even the diarist of circumstances helped him to survive

11.3. He noticed two types of prisoners

11.3.1. those that had lost faith, meaning and hope in the future,

11.3.2. those that didn't lose meaning and hope They looked at life as a challenge to be overcome

11.3.3. the ones who had a why to live for were more likely to survive.

11.4. He noticed

11.4.1. In life you can either Make a victory of your experiences or Ignore the challenges and simply fade away

11.5. After world war 2

11.5.1. Frankl saw the same in his psychiatry practice Patients who had lost meaning in life Would often fall into And the only way to get people to want to LIVE again Was to help them find meaning

11.6. Meaning is a very powerful form of LIFE energy

11.6.1. No matter how challenging a crisis may be Or how great the suffering

11.6.2. When we have meaning We can endure any crisis And triumph over the biggest challenges and setbacks

11.7. "Faith is trust in ultimate meaning."

11.8. So how can we find meaning?

11.8.1. We should not ask LIFE what the meaning is Instead we must create and find our own meaning

11.8.2. Each one of us must answer to life in our way

11.8.3. "Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked" "For the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person's life at a given moment."