Viktor Frankl endured the horror of being in the Nazi concentration camps during World War II. His perspective as a psychiatrist and neurologist led him to a deep existential contemplation of what it is to be human particularly in dire conditions. After the war, he published his most famous book, Man’s Search for Meaning.
In it, Frankl was able to shine a light on the essential nature of humans, life, and the role of meaning. He discovered that even in the most brutal environment a sense of meaning provided the means by which a person could have the strength to continue on and remain true to themselves.
He described a number of examples of inmates who were unable to connect to a sense of meaning and the disastrous effect it had on them. His book is insightful and deeply compassionate. When society cracked apart during the Holocaust, Frankl was able to see the light shining through and bring back the story for all to receive. His life is a profound example of what is possible.
In his work, Frankl saw a sense of meaning as central to well being and flourishing. He expressed his belief that there was meaning in adversity as an opportunity to clarify one’s understanding and resilience.
It is not freedom from conditions, but it is freedom to take a stand toward the conditions.
Viktor Frankl possessed a willingness to seek meaning in his experiences. You, too, have the ability to access this same quality. It is this willingness that creates the conditions in which you may successfully awaken to what is already within. The discovery of your innate light and truth is what brings you authentic success.
“The challenges, obstacles, and difficulties are what create the opportunity to forge your resilience. As a result, this resilience forms the unshakeable foundation of your integrity. It’s in these times that you truly come to know who you are and what you’ll stand for.” Zette Harbour, The Genius of Integrity
Visit my column, Successful Awakenings, to read more inspiring tips and practical steps for creating your unique version of success. Everything you need is already within you and hearing the words of those who have already taken the journey will awaken your own awareness and understanding.