Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl begins with a deeply moving personal account of Frankl's imprisonment in Auschwitz and other concentration camps for five years, and his struggle during this time to find reasons to live.
The second part of the book, called "Logotherapy in a Nutshell," describes the psychotherapeutic method that Frankl pioneered as a result of his experiences in the concentration camps. Logotherapy is based on Frankl's belief that man's search for meaning is his primary motivation for life.
Out of this book comes what I consider to be one of the great quotes of all time and one that has influenced me deeply's comments:
The last of human freedoms - the ability to chose one's attitude in a given set of circumstances.
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We must never forget that we may also find meaning in life even when confronted with a hopeless situation, when facing a fate that cannot be changed. For what then matters is to bear witness to the uniquely human potential at its best, which is to transform a personal tragedy into a triumph, to turn one's predicament into a human achievement.
Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.
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