Life Advice From Viktor Frankl

Viktor Frankl was a psychologist and Holocaust survivor. He is best known for the book “Man’s Search For Meaning” where he explores such topics like meaning, freedom, responsibility and suffering in life.

Viktor Frankl was a psychologist who wrote about the importance of finding meaning in life. He is known for his book “Man’s Search for Meaning”. Read more in detail here: viktor frankl quotes.


Note from the editor: This is a guest post by Cory Edwards. Cory is a lyricist and professional musician. He resides in St. Louis, Missouri, with his wife and two children.

Viktor Frankl (1905-1997), a psychologist and brain surgeon, specialized in treating depression, particularly in people who were at risk of suicide. He was deported to Auschwitz as a Jew in Nazi Germany, where he was reduced to nothing but his “bare existence.” They stole the rest of his stuff as he entered the camp, including his clothing, his wedding ring, and the manuscript of a novel he was writing. Then he was brought into a shower room and had every inch of his body shaved. The fact that genuine water, not gas, trickled from the shower heads was his sole solace.

Frankl was a sedentary guy who didn’t receive much physical activity in his life. Frankl, according to one of his fellow inmates, was the least likely to survive the grueling treatment he was about to receive. But, because to his deep inner life and his willingness to aid other inmates, as well as a few lucky breaks, he survived to tell the story. His narrative serves as a lesson in manliness during times of adversity, whether little or major.


Have a sense of why you’re doing what you’re doing. Frankl stayed alive by devising a goal: to prevent other inmates from committing suicide. He accomplished this by assisting them in finding their own sense of purpose. He would tell one guy that he needed to stay alive in order to return to a daughter who was safe in another nation. He would tell another, who had no surviving family, that he needed to return to his career and finish the job he had started.

Furthermore, part of his sense of purpose was the ability to suffer well. “What mattered was not what we anticipated from life, but what life expected from us,” he wrote. We needed to stop asking questions about life’s purpose and start thinking of ourselves as individuals who are being questioned by life on a daily and hourly basis. Our response must be based on right action and good behavior, not on discourse and reflection. In the end, living involves accepting responsibility for finding the proper solution to life’s challenges and completing the responsibilities that it continuously assigns to each person.”

Create a vibrant inner life. The individual with a strong intellect in the concentration camp would often prove to be the more powerful prisoner. On a chilly march through the snow, they were guys who could enjoy the beauty of the mountains, the forest, or the dawn. Composing speeches, rebuilding missing documents, and picturing life after incarceration kept their minds occupied. To maintain a strong connection to their religious convictions, they held prayer gatherings.


“Sensitive individuals who were accustomed to a rich intellectual life may have endured a great deal of suffering (they were typically of delicate constitution), but the harm to their inner selves was less,” Frankl stated. They were able to escape their dreadful circumstances and withdraw to a life of inner richness and spiritual liberty.”


Viktor Frankl and his wife with flowers portrait.


Develop a strong affection for your wife. An additional source of strength was accessible to those who were married and deeply in love with their spouses. This was not a location where a man’s pain could be alleviated by simple sexual desire (the sexual drive was mostly dead for the underfed and overworked prisoners). However, a guy discovered significant power for endurance when he thought about his wife – her face, her voice, and little episodes from their life together. Whether the wife was living or deceased, Frankl found this to be the case. He was often reminded of Solomon’s words, “For love is as powerful as death.”

“I realized how a man who has nothing left in this world might nevertheless experience joy, even if for a little while, in the gaze of his lover,” Frankl wrote. In a state of absolute desolation, when man is unable to express himself by constructive action, when his only success may be to endure his sufferings in the right – an honorable – in such a state, man might find fulfillment through loving contemplation of his beloved.”

Make a decision about your attitude. “The one thing you can’t take away from me is how I choose to react to what you do to me,” Frankl wrote. The last of one’s liberties is the ability to select one’s attitude in every given situation.” This does not imply that you should imagine rainbows on a cloudy day, while it is possible. It might entail preferring wrath to coldness, pleasure to sadness, strength to weakness, and hope to despair. No man’s actions are exclusively determined by his circumstances. His actions may be influenced by his decision — an option that every living being possesses.

Man’s Search for Meaning, a book about the psychotherapy theories he developed while in concentration camps, tells Viktor Frankl’s tale. It is required reading for every man, since it depicts the depths to which one may go and the heights to which one can soar in the face of the most heinous suffering conceivable.



Viktor Frankl was a survivor of the Holocaust who wrote about his experience in “Man’s Search for Meaning.” He is also known for his quote, “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference.” Reference: viktor frankl quotes on hope.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Frankl say about the meaning of life?

A: The meaning of life is to find your gift, the purpose of life is to give it away.

What life expects from us Frankl?

A: Life expects nothing from us. We are not called to live up to others expectations, but rather our own.

What are the three main sources of meaning in life according to Viktor Frankl?

A: Viktor Frankls three sources of meaning are purpose, engagement and transcendence.

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