- Viktor Frankel was in a concentration camp during the holocaust. Killed his family, including his preg wife. He was in for three years. He moved to Vienna and, under a year, produced these lectures. His more known book, Man’s Search for Meaning. It was a short book but very insightful and inspirational.
- It was hard for anyone to find meaning in the concentration camp. But they had to have one to live and survive this horror. They found meaning by just being defiant in any way they could, even if only mentally not being dragged down. They were told that they were not worth the soup, but no one can tell you your worth
- They took a song given to them by the guards at the camp to sing, but they made it their own and took it to be a positive model for their eventual liberation. So, you can make it your own despite what you are given.
- Don’t be negative or want to tear things down. The worrisome thing is the lack of positive leaders or mentors for people. And a concern that activism wasn’t about making things better or building on what works and just fixing it. But this negativity and the desire to tear down was prevalent.
- Even with the war being over and prisoners being released, people were depressed and saw no future. There was the threat of more war or the atomic bomb or just a desire to return to normal, but that was not happening. So don’t allow people to bring you down or tell you that happiness and meaning are not genuine or available.
- It isn’t our work that gives us meaning through finding meaning in it. We are not tools to be slotted into a job but instead have a purpose with our work. We can’t find meaning with consumerism and buying things. It leaves us broke and empty.
- Pleasure can’t give us meaning, but the lack of satisfaction can make us feel like our meaning is elusive. Yet, it is still there and still in our grasp.
- It’s not about having a job or not having a job or having money or not having money. You don’t need to learn anything to have meaning
- Because the meaning of life is the answer to these questions. You can ask, who am I? What is it that I can do? How can I give life meaning to my answers? And how can I give my life meaning through my actions and that it doesn’t in the end matter where it is you are in life, your location, your circumstances, but instead it matters? What did you do with the life you have? What action are you going to take? Where can you make it happen? And how are you going to fulfill the meeting every day with what you do and how you treat other people.
- Throwing the chessboard against the wall and quitting the game of life doesn’t have meaning. Winning does, and losing does t
- We are unique on this planet. The only person likes us ever. Our strengths and weaknesses make us unique, which makes us special, and we must find meaning because we cannot be replaced.
- Death can give us the urgency to find meaning. If it did not exist, we would be empty, so death and suffering could hold meaning.
- People have what they have. If you have no job, perhaps your meaning is finding a job or having the time to help other people with volunteer work. However, you have different ways to be meaningful with wealth, and more is expected of you.
- We have an essential job: to use what we have to take action and help other people and help ourselves. And he says in the end, quote, live as if you were living for a second time, and you had acted the first time wrongly as you’re trying to act now
- In the end, life is meaning itself.
- He quotes Hillel and says, there’s a proclamation made by this founder of the Talmud. “If I do not do it, who else will do it? But if I only do it for me, what am I then? And if I do not do it now, when will I do it?” So he says in that statement that we have meaning, and that’s where we have our individual illnesses.
- In the end, the purpose of life is life itself.
- We have a life. We’re individually created, uniquely made on this planet, and have a specific role to play here.
- Write a list of three things that you could act on right now. What could you do? That would really add to the meaning of your life