Viktor Frankl wasn’t just a psychologist, he was a Holocaust survivor. His writing focused on life and existence. Here are 3 quotes from Viktor Frankl to ponder.
Viktor Frankl was a neurologist, psychiatrist, and psychologist. But there is so much more to him than his professions. Frankl was also an Austrian Jewish man who survived the holocaust. His writing was inspired by the trauma he experienced. He took the worst years of his life and wrote a masterpiece of a book.
This psychologist and psychiatrist combined his knowledge and life experiences and developed a different way to understand others. Viktor Frankl used his own experience, and the experience of others, to help people. That is why this psychologist shared everything through his book: Man’s Search for Meaning.
In the past, I have shared quotes from Carl Jung to help us better understand psychoanalysis, and quotes from Sigmund Freud to understand ourselves and the world. Viktor Frankl was inspired by Sigmund Freud to study psychology and psychoanalysis. But then, he combined what he already knew and his life experience to improve the existing theories and develop psychoanalysis into something new. Instead of just taking his knowledge and apply it to his patients, he started applying his knowledge to himself, to help himself live in the darkest of times. These three quotes make us think about who we are and what we are here for.
On the ‘Why’ and ‘How’ of Life
Viktor Frankl was a psychologist who experienced the horrific events of the Holocaust. Like millions of others during the Holocaust, this psychologist was persecuted, captured, and abused. He lost everything, except a reason to live.
This quote from the psychologist perfectly explains two relevant aspects of the meaning of life. It is both personal and intrinsic, and above all, a reason to continue living. So, each one of us goes through a personal search of the meaning of life, but not all of us are able to find it easily. Viktor Frankl found the meaning of his life while going through the darkest moment of his life. But once we find the meaning of life, we can stand against anything. That is why many people struggle, because they do not yet have a “why.”
This is a quote to ponder about our reasons to live, especially in dark times or difficult situations. Because, even in those moments, there will always be a “how”, and with that how there will always come the force and encouragement to struggle. And that is the reason why no matter how tired we are of fighting, somehow we continue doing it. That is what life is actually about.
Viktor Frankl is admired due to his own developments in psychotherapy. Viktor Frankl tested his theories by giving therapy to prisoners. Because, for him, prisoners retained in cells experience part of the loss he felt. That is why Frankl decided to apply his therapy to prisoners and document it. In the process, Frankl wrote The Will to Meaning.
This quote is from Viktor Frankl’s 1969 book The Will to Meaning: Foundations and Applications of Logotherapy. Through this book, the psychologist shares his findings with the world. One thing he shares is how he started applying logotherapy to prisoners. That was the name Viktor Frankl gave to his therapy: ‘Logotherapy’. He believed that the main motivation within us is the search for the meaning of life. So, Logotherapy is the guide to find that meaning. Viktor Frankl’s results show that the desire to live is still present in every human being, no matter the condition.
This quote is one every psychologist should ponder. ITe is a guide to the psychologists and psychotherapists who apply logotherapy on their patients. We could take this quote to understand not only prisoners but also patients in general. This is because Viktor Frankl explains the foundation of any intervention or psychotherapeutical process. And that is treating people as human beings instead of as a broken object that needs repair.
Frankl makes us ponder how we treat prisoners or patients, and the consequences of those treatments. Because, as the quote points out, the human condition will always remain. Psychologists will therefore have better results by treating patients as humans instead of as disorders. And that will encourage the person to treat themselves as a human being.
On Struggling and Life Meaning
Thankfully for us, Victor Frankly decided that his story, and everything he learned in the horrible experience of the Holocaust, had to be shared. Because like many people from the Holocaust, Viktor Frankl lost everything, including his entire family. Knowing his work would help others, he wrote his book in just nine days.
This quote is also from Man’s Search For Meaning. This quote is also about the real meaning of life. We tend to think that life should not have struggles. We try to avoid suffering, even when it is impossible. A common belief in our society is that we need to be in a neutral, stable state to live a happy and full life. According to Frankl, that is completely wrong. Because life itself is not neutral or stable.
As the quote explains, we all need to fight for something. The fight and struggle that allows us to conquer something is the meaning of life. We live to do something, to achieve something. What keeps us alive is the struggle to do so.
Thanks to Viktor Frankl we can understand the fact that the meaning of life is different for each person. It is intrinsic. There are many reasons to live, and many ways to bring meaning to life because we change constantly and grow, and the meaning we give to life changes with us. But when we recognize what our reason to live is, that is when we start fighting. Because life is not stable, and even just to survive, we must struggle.
Viktor Frankl was an amazing writer. He was able to combine his knowledge, experiences, and feelings into wonderful books for us. Along with that, this psychologist is the best example of his profession, a man who applied what he preached.