Do you ever think there are many people who are living without the meaning of life? it sounds weird but it is true.
There are many people who don’t know the meaning of life in fact many of them don’t have any hope to live life because they already have those things which are required to survive like- enough money, a good relationship, mentally and physically all right, etc.
In simple words they don’t have any goal, goal encourages a person to do hard work, encourages a person to leaves all his addiction and focus on his work. Now let’s understand man’s search for meaning summary by me in a summarized way.
So, according to me, firstly you should become successful because without money you can’t survive in this world then a question raises How to become rich?
Victor’s Life Experience
In the 1940s, during the Holocaust, Viktor Frankl spent many years as a prisoner in a concentration camp, and his mother, father, brother, and wife were assassinated. He was kept like the rest of the Jewish prisoners.
He Didn’t get enough food and every time assassinations happened everywhere, sometimes people died due to lack of food or poisonous gas.
Now in such situations, many people had killed their hope and meaning of life and live as living dead body but victor’s case was different because he was a neurologist and psychiatrist, he observed the people around him, observed how people are behaving, and reacting in this situation.
That’s why every single day was interesting and adventurous for Viktor.
Viktor also noticed that some people who are not losing hope, their way to see life was different from others. In other words, they were looking such situations as a challenge that they had to overcome.
The situations were enough to make anyone hopeless and meaningless person, dreams and hope were snatched from everyone.
And they had nothing, except one thing “ability to choose how to react in such situations”.
What is the Meaning of Life?
The ancient and modern existential philosopher also talked about it and even existentialism central theme says-
life means suffering, and be in suffering means finding meaning in suffering. Let’s understand in simple way-
If you have purpose in life, then you will also have purpose of dying and suffering.
But no one can tell you about your purpose because everyone’s life purpose is different, in short, you have to find the purpose of your life, and take the responsibility associated with it, this is your duty.
According to the book, it does not matter what we expect from our life, but in reality, what life expects from us, it matters.
Instead of asking yourself the meaning of life, see life in that way like- life is asking what you want to contribute to this world?
According to author Viktor, the real meaning of living life is to take responsibility of finding the solution of problems and to overcome the obstacles placed in the way of these solutions.
Means, lift a load in life or become a responsible for something. It is similar to maximum successful people thinking.
Frankl said quoting Friedrich Nietzsche-
He who has a why to live, can bear with almost anyhowFriedrich Nietzsche
In simple words, a person who has some responsibility and meaning in life who can bear any problem in life.
Even in his psychiatric work of Victor, he observed his patient that the meaning was very important in life, but on the other side victor’s those patients who did not have any meaning, easily became addicted of drugs alcohol, short tempered, and have a high level of depression.
Now come on the next topic of man’s search for meaning summary
Why we are living?
Frankl also told us that meaning is not related to success, luxurious life, comfortable life because whenever our life becomes little bit easier and we are not fighting continuously to live.
Then many people got a question in their mind why I am living? this is also one of the major issues of people because they have resources to survive, but does not have any reason to live.
Let’s understand it with a quick real example- Karan is the neighbor of my best friend, he is the son of a wealthy businessman, so he got zero financial problems in his childhood and teenage.
As time went his father died due to a heart attack, he became very depressed after his father’s death and leave all hope from his life, actually, he wants to become a cricketer.
He was very connected with his father and his mother died when was three years old, so for him, everything was his father and this untimed death impacted him too much.
I and our few friends also tried to guide him about his career, but unfortunately in the last, he hanged himself and his story ends here.
Victor named this blank space (no reason to live) as an Existential Vacuum. Those people who are the prey of this problem, we can see three symptoms in them.
After observing this problem in people Frankl discovered new therapy on the basis of this observation and he named it logotherapy.
This therapy helps people as a guide to find the meaning and purpose in life.
3 Ways to Find Meaning in Life
According to Frankl, there are three ways to find meaning, as you already know the meaning is very essential in life.
There are many ways to find meaning because every person is different himself so the way can be different, but these are the main ways which are applicable on most of the people according to this book. The first one is
Do Some Work or Pursue a Goal
It is the way because when the person has no any valuable goal or target, they waste their life aimlessly. It means aim gives you meaning.
Every person has the ability to contribute or give unique thing to this world, now it is your choice what is that thing? and this thing happens when you set a target.
When you set a goal and work on it and complete it, you feel useful, because we evolved as feel useful in our community when we do some work.
Or when we do not work then we feel useless and depressed. This is the reason why we know others by their work not by their name.
Because according to psychology, A person is known by his/her work, not by name and others remember him by his work, not by name.
That’s why Frankl says, Whatever you are passionate about, make it that mission of your life, and if you don’t have any passion or hobby and don’t know what should I make my goal.
Then simply go outside of your house, explore things, take new experiences, increase your knowledge, and build new skills. Find new opportunities which can take the benefits of your skills, knowledge, and experience.
In the last, when you think, you can give your whole life to that work which you have chosen then go for it, Congratulation you have found the meaning of your life.
Because meaning is, what is the purpose of your life, which shows why you are living on this planet.
And it helps you to feel useful not useless.
This is the first one, and let’s understand the second one of man’s search for meaning summary.
Make Good Relationships
Frankl’s definition is a little bit different than others about love and relationship. According to him, Love is not only feeling of doing love.
But the real love is, recognizing the potential of your loved ones and help them to achieve their highest potential.
Let’s understand it with an example- creating opportunities for your kid if you have, give your experiences about life to your younger brothers and sisters and explain them how to take right decision in life.
Support your friends in their bad time, and mentoring junior member of your team. This is love.
If you are not raising each other’s levels means you and your loved ones then it may not be a love, it is just a transaction. Good and real relationship increase our quality of life and make us more productive.
No human can be completely aware about you, unless he/she loves you. In simple form, if you are unable to find meaning then find a person whose life you can make better. This should a target of your all relationships.
There are also some other things which will help you to make good relationships easier.
The third way is from man’s search for meaning summary is
Bravely Bear Your Suffering and Take Responsibility of it
According to Forbes, taking responsibility is the trait which is found in Great Leaders.
Frankl explains us by giving an example of himself, To get out of there, he imagined himself giving a psychology lecture in a concentration camp.
It made all his pain and tension into meaning, and after it, he observed every moment with full attention in a concentration camp. He observed how prisoners are reacting in a very bad situation.
In this way, along with the observing prisons, he was beating his suffering also.
On the basis of his experience in concentration camp, he gives us wise advice- whenever you are in trouble or feeling bad due to some problems then find the use of that problems, and ask yourself how can I convert such suffering into valuable.
Even in every movie, story, and play suffering is shown as a transformation part like in the starting, hero is a normal person or reckless person nobody likes him even his parents also, you will have also seen this in most of the films, but the time comes at which hero transform himself and become a great person.
This transformation phase is suffering part of hero, and in reality suffering makes us deep and mentally strong.
Frankl says- we can not avoid the pain of disappointments and problems, you can find meaning in suffering but condition is instead of doing give-up and complain, find the light inside you which can beat this darkness.
We who lived in a concentration camp can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of breadViktor Frankl
Man’s Search for Meaning Audiobook and PDF
For your facility I am giving you Free Man’s search for meaning audiobook from Amazon, so you can hear its important points and author’s life experience and implements his learnings in your life.
Or if you want to read book then here is man’s search for meaning pdf free, it will help you.
Man’s Search for Meaning Review
According to me, I like this book because of the life experiences of the author, there is a reality in that. Things like becoming a prisoner in a concentration camp and getting a solution to survive there in bad conditions.
This book gives us a very simple method and way to get meaning in our life. This is based on purely life experience of author. I recommend this book to everyone because there are two types of people in the world-
One is successful people who have everything like- good health, enough wealth, and healthy and the second one is unsuccessful people who don’t have such things.
So unsuccessful people should try to achieve success, it is the first priority for them in other words, this is the meaning of theirs life according to author’s point “pursue a goal and do work on it”.
Here is an important thing for successful people because they have everything to survive their life and live a happy life.
Maximum such type of people doesn’t know the meaning of their life and live their life aimlessly, in this case, I’ll say again “pursue a goal and do work on it”. Make your passion your goal, do what you love, and make a goal on that.
It can be anything painter, singer, etc. And for the unsuccessful people becoming a successful people is goal in itself.
This is my opinion after reading this book.
This book got 4.36 rating on Goodreads
Little Bit About Viktor Frankl
Viktor Frankl was born on 26 March 1905, he was an Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist, philosopher, author, and holocaust survivor.
About his early life, Viktor was the second child of three children of Gabriel Frankl, a civil servant in the ministry of social service, and his mother name was Elsa.
His interest was in psychology, after being graduated from high school in 1923, he studied medicine at the University of Vienna. In 1924 his first scientific paper published in the international journal of psychoanalysis.
In between 1928 and 1930 he organized the youth counselling centers. In 1948 Viktor got his PhD in philosophy from university of Vienna.
He also gave lectures at Harvard University, Southern Methodist University, Duquesne University. After it, he wrote man’s search for meaning over 9 days period. Initially, book titled A Psychologist Experiences the Concentration Camp, it was released in German in 1946.
The English version released in 1959 with Man’s search for meaning title. This book was listed as one of the most influential books in the U.S. by the Library of Congress in 1991.
It is important to have meaning in life, the purpose or goal to dedicate your whole life. According to my opinion, life without aim or goal is a factor of getting suicidal thoughts because in this situation you feel useless and when you feel useless, you also get some situation in which other people says you useless directly or indirectly.
It is a fact and proven thing, it is because what you think inside about yourself, is what you will become in this world.
In simple words, it is like the law of attraction, think positive about yourself, think about what you want to become in the future make a goal about it and start doing work on it.
It makes you busy, and doesn’t let you think useless. Well this is my opinion about how to find meaning in life? and I also overcome such problems like feeling useless, depression, stress.
All such things, I have read from this book and written this man’s search for meaning summary.