Man's Search for Meaning - Book Review

What can you do during acute inhuman soul-crushing conditions in life? Hope. This book is about “Hope.” - dopamine for life.

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s presents his life in Nazi death camps and learning for spiritual survival. The narrative is based on his experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice. The author aptly reiterated throughout the book “We cannot avoid suffering, but we can choose how to cope with it, and find a meaning to live.”

The book has three parts, life and lessons from the death camp, logotherapy, and final citings from various incidents of depression of his patients and others.

I was pleasantly surprised when the author described his outlook towards happiness, which I have been thinking lately and coincided with my formulation

“Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it.”

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