"Challenging the meaning of life is the truest expression of the state of being human. "
-- Viktor Frankl
Man’s search for meaning
In this rare clip from 1972, legendary psychiatrist and Holocaust-survivor Viktor Frankl delivers a powerful message about the human search for meaning -- and the most important gift we can give others.
The core of the video is Frankl relating a story of what he recently learned in his flying lessons, about crosswinds and where you have to aim when searching for your destination.
In Frankl’s words, from the video,
“If you don’t recognize man’s search for meaning you make him worse, you make him dull, you make him frustrated, you add and contribute to his frustrations…”
Rather let us aim high, for “if we take man as he is, we make him worse, but if we take man as he should be we make him capable of what he can be.” (Goethe)
Summing up Frankl says, “We have to be idealists in a way, because then we end up as true realists.”
This talk was called Best of the Web:
Viktor E. Frankl was Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the University of Vienna Medical School.
He spent three years during World War II in concentration camps, including Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, and Dachau, where he formulated many of his key ideas.
Logotherapy, his psychotherapeutic school, is founded on the belief that striving to find meaning in life is the most powerful motivation for human beings.
Frankl wrote 39 books, which were published in 38 languages.
His best-known book, Man's Search for Meaning, gives a firsthand account of his experiences during the Holocaust, and describes the psychotherapeutic method he pioneered. The Library of Congress called it one of "the ten most influential books in America."
Frankl lectured on five continents.