- Author: Viktor Frankl
- Page count: 200
- Genre: Biography
- Originally published: 1946
Man’s Search for Meaning is a 1946 book by Viktor Frankl chronicling his experiences as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. The book describes not only how he was able to survive a Nazi concentration camp, but come out feeling positive through identifying purpose in life and the power of having a positive outlook.
3 Key themes of Man’s Search for Meaning
Perspective is everything
Despite being in a Nazi concentration camp and having everything stripped from them – Frankl and his fellow prisoners refused to let their circumstances define them. Showing that we get to choose how to react to any given thought, emotion, or set of circumstances.
Suffering is part of life
Frankl shows that suffering is an essential part of life and also the key to having a meaningful life. The book shows that experiencing pain is not necessarily bad because we often come out the other end softer, more thoughtful, more compassionate, more spiritual than we were before.
Having a purpose or goal is key to survival
Working as a psychiatrist to other inmates in the camp, Frankl found that those who survived did so by cultivating what he calls an “inner hold”; by having a future goal in mind, thus proving the importance of having a goal.
Despite being written back in 1947, Man’s Search for Meaning is as relevant today, as it was back then. It’s worth a read as one of the most fundamentally important books you need if you’re looking to make changes and build a meaningful life for yourself and those around you.