Viktor E Frankl 1946
This book was voted by the American Library of Congress as one of the 10 most influential books of all time.
The book consists of a moving account of Frankl’s imprisonment in Auschwitz and other concentration camps and his struggle during that time to find reasons to live.
Viktor Frankl was already a respected neurologist and psychiatrist prior to the outbreak of war. He used his experience in the death camps to pioneer a psychotherapeutic method known as logotherapy.
Frankl believed that man’s (and woman’s!) deepest desire is to search for meaning and purpose in life. His experience showed him that we can either let our circumstances dictate our attitudes or we can choose our attitude, which can then change our circumstances. Through it all he decided that even though his body was being held captive, he was still free to control his mind and his attitude.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for direction in life.
Favourite quotes from Man’s Search for Meaning:
“Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.”
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”