Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor E. Frankl
Perhaps it’s because I myself am a man searching for meaning. Or perhaps it’s because the publishers wrote ‘9 million copies sold’ on the front cover. But for some reason, I was drawn to this book.
Holocaust survivor memoirs are about as easy to come across as a coffee shop in East London. In fact – I think that’s all hipsters read when sipping their flat whites, isn’t it? That and adult colouring books.
(Note – Yes, I did read this book in a number of East London coffee shops, however I was drinking an almond milk cappuccino – so I have every right to poke fun at my slightly less frothy and more milky bearded brothers and sisters).
But if you want to have the lessons that you know you should take away from such tragic stories literally written down for you by a Doctor and Psychotherapist, then you can’t go far wrong with this book.
Viktor Frankl founded a form of therapy called logo therapy which helps address mental health issues and depression by helping patients find meaning in their lives. Frankl was one of the few who survived Auschwitz – a place where you’d think finding a meaning to life was as hard as finding a vegan in a butchers. Unless they were protesting. They do like to protest, vegans.
But what this book fantastically teaches us is that meaning can be found in any situation, and especially through suffering.
It’s 50% a fascinating tale of survival through the most intense oppression known to man and 50% science lesson and self-help analysis that can really open your eyes to how much our way of thinking and approach to any situation can change our entire lives.
A must read, whether you are struggling with your very own search for meaning, or indeed have your meaning firmly defined.