Viktor E. Frankl wrote Man’s Search For Meaning to show how you can find meaning in your life and grow even in your darkest hours.

These heartbreaking and encouraging quotes offer hope. If those who survived the Nazi death camps can find meaning in their suffering then why not you and me?

 

A black and white candle glowing in the dark, headline "45 Heartbreaking Quotes from Man's Search For Meaning that offer hope" -Viktor Frankl

Photo Credit: Photo by Rahul from Pexels

Table of Contents

 

This post may include affiliate links to some of my favorite products that I use to help me reach my goals. Read my full affiliate disclosure here.

Man’s Search For Meaning Quotes About the Meaning of Life

“He Who Has a Why to Live For Can Bear Almost Any How.”

∼Friedrich Nietzsche, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page IX

'He Who Has a Why to Live For Can Bear Almost Any How.' ∼Friedrich Nietzsche, Man's Search For MeaningClick to Tweet

A bird flying in the sunset over water, quote, "He who has a Why to live for can endure almost any How." -Friedrich Nietzsche

“Those who know how close the connection is between the state of mind of a man – his courage and hope, or lack of them – and the state of immunity of his body will understand that the sudden loss of hope and courage can have a deadly effect.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 75

 

“The death rate in the week between Christmas, 1944, and New Year’s 1945, increased in camp beyond all previous experience.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 76

 

“It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl,  Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 77

 

“Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 77

 

“What you have experienced, no power on earth can take from you.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 82

 

The Earth rising over the horizon of the moon's surface, quote "What you have experienced, no power on earth can take from you." -Viktor E. Frankl

“If architects want to strengthen a decrepit arch, they increase the load which is laid upon it, for thereby the parts are joined more firmly together.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 105

 

Butterfly Emerging From Cocoon, quote "When we can no longer change a situation we are challenged to change ourselves." Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search For meaning

Butterfly Emerging From Cocoon

“When we are no longer able to change a situation: just think of an incurable disease such as incurable cancer – we are challenged to change ourselves.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 112

 

“A challenge to live my thoughts instead of merely putting them on paper.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 115

 

“…procreation is not the only meaning of life, for then life itself would become meaningless, and something meaningless cannot be rendered meaningful merely by its perpetuation.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 119

 

“Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 131

 

“We can predict the movements of a machine, of an automation, more than this, we can even try to predict the mechanisms or ‘dynamisms’ of the human psyche as well. But man is more than psyche.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 132

 

“A human being is not one thing among others; things determine each other, but man is ultimately self-determining.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 133

 

“One generation is realistic, for we have come to know man as he really is. After all, man is that being who invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz; however, he is also that being who entered those gas chambers upright, with the Lord’s Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 134

 

“What matters is to make the best of any situation.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page  137

 

“But happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue. One must have a reason to ‘be happy.’ Once that reason is found, however, one becomes happy automatically.'”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 138

 

“As we see, a human being is not one in pursuit of happiness, but rather in search of a reason to be happy, last but not least, through actualizing the potential meaning inherent and dormant in a given situation.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 138

 

“If you want anyone to laugh you have to provide him with a reason.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 138

 

“People have enough to live by but nothing to live for; they have the means but no meaning.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 140

 

“For, in the past, nothing is irretrievably lost but everything irrevocably stored and treasured.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 150

 

“and nothing and nobody can ever remove these assets from the past.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 151

 

“but everything great is just as difficult to realize as it is rare to find.” (the last sentence of Ethics of Spinoza)

∼Viktor E. Frankl

 

“Life is not primarily a quest for pleasure, as Freud believed, or a quest for power, as Alfred Adler taught, but a quest for meaning. The greatest task for any person is to find meaning in his or her life.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning

 

“Questions about the meaning of life can never be answered by sweeping statements. “Life” does not mean something vague, but something very real and concrete, just as life’s tasks are also very real and concrete. They form man’s destiny, which is different and unique”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning

 

“What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment….To put the question in general terms would be comparable to the question posed to a chess champion: “Tell me, Master, what is the best move in the world?” There simply is no such thing as the best or even a good move apart from a particular situation in a game and the particular personality of one’s opponent.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning

 

“The meaning of life is to help others find the meaning of theirs.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 165

 

Man’s Search For Meaning Quotes About Suffering

“There is only one thing I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings.”

∼Dastoevski, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 66

 

“If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 67

 

“Emotions which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it.”

∼Baruch Spinoza, from Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 74

 

“How much suffering there is to get through.” ∼Rilke, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 89

 

“I called to the Lord from my narrow prison and He answered me in the freedom of space. How much suffering there is to get through.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 89

Earth and stars from space, quote "I called to the Lord from my narrow prison and He answered me in the freedom of space" -Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search For Meaning

“In some way, suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 113

 

“To suffer unnecessarily is masochistic rather than heroic.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 113

 

“Life’s meaning is an unconditional one, for it even includes the potential meaning of an avoidable suffering.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 114

 

“Instead of possibilities, I have realities in my past, not only the reality of work done and of love loved, but of sufferings bravely suffered. These sufferings are even things of which I am most proud, though these are the things which cannot inspire envy.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 122

 

“Once an individual’s search for a meaning is successful, it not only renders him happy but also gives him the capability to cope with suffering.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 139

 

“…meaning is available in spite of – nay, even through – suffering, provided, as noted in Part two of this book, that the suffering is unavoidable. If it is avoidable, the meaningful thing to do is to remove the cause, for unnecessary suffering is masochistic rather than heroic.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 147

 

“If on the other hand, one cannot change a situation that causes his suffering, he can still choose his attitude.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 147

 

A fire burning at night, quote "What is to give light must endure burning" -Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search For Meaning

“What is to give light must endure burning.” ∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning

 

Man’s Search For Meaning Quotes About Freedom

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way”.

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 66

 

“It is the spiritual freedom – which cannot be taken away – that makes life meaningful and purposeful.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl,  Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 67

 

“What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthy goal, a freely chosen task.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 105

 

“Freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness. That is why I recommend that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 132

 

“There is nothing conceivable which would so condition a man a to leave him without the slightest freedom.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 133

 

“the sort of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner decision, and not the result of camp influences alone”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning

Man’s Search For Meaning Quotes About Moving On

“No man should judge unless he asks himself in absolute honesty whether in a similar situation he might not have done the same.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning

 

“Only slowly could these men be guided back to the common place truth that no one has the right to do wrong, not even if wrong has been done to them.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl,Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 91

 

“Every human being has the ability to change at an instant.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 131

 

“Man is capable of changing the world for the better if possible, and of changing himself for the better if necessary.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 131

 

“Even the helpless victim of a hopeless situation, facing a fate he cannot change, may rise above himself, may grow beyond himself, and by so doing change himself. He may turn a personal tragedy into a triumph.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 146

 

“Live as if you were living for the second time and had acted as wrongly the first time as you are about to act now.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning, Page 150

More Viktor Frankl Quotes

“Don’t aim at success–the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue … as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a course greater than oneself.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning

 

“…it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life — daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning

 

“…what they considered “very important” to them now, 16 percent of the students checked “making a lot of money”; 78 percent said their first goal was “finding a purpose and meaning to my life.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning

 

“man’s search for meaning may arouse inner tension rather than inner equilibrium. However, precisely such tension is an indispensable prerequisite of mental health”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning

 

”that kind of depression which afflicts people who become aware of the lack of content in their lives when the rush of the busy week is over and the void within themselves becomes manifest.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning

 

“1) by creating a work or doing a deed; (2) by experiencing 1) by creating a work or doing a deed; (2) by experiencing….The second way of finding a meaning in life is by experiencing something — such as goodness, truth and beauty — by experiencing nature and culture or, last but not least, by experiencing another human being in his very uniqueness — by loving him.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning

 

“Bismarck could be applied: Life is like being at the dentist. You always think that the worst is still to come, and yet it is over already.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning

 

“…our current mental-hygiene philosophy stresses the idea that people ought to be happy, that unhappiness is a symptom of maladjustment. Such a value system might be responsible for the fact that the burden of unavoidable unhappiness is increased by unhappiness about being unhappy……..he is not only unhappy but also ashamed of being unhappy…”

∼Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search For Meaning

 

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

∼Viktor E. Frankl

A bird flying in a blue, pink, and white sky, quote, "Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." -Viktor Frankl

 

Conclusion

  • What is your “why”? Anyone can learn the “how”, but if your “why” is strong enough, you will get through the how.
  • Everyone has the freedom to choose their attitude in any circumstance, and no one can ever take that from you. In that way, you are always free.
  • Viktor E. Frankl’s Man’s Search For Meaning offers hope to those who are suffering or searching for meaning in their lives. It has helped me make sense of the suffering in my life.
  • Find meaning in your suffering, and you can take away its power.
  • I try to live everything positive I talk about in this blog, and I hope you do the same.
  • From Man’s Search For Meaning, the meaning of life is not perpetuation, pleasure, or accumulation of wealth. It is growing your character and helping others find their meaning.

If you haven’t read this life-changing book, click here to check out the current pricing of Man’s Search for Meaning on Amazon.

 

Related Posts

250 Encouraging Quotes About Life For Hard Times

50 Quotes About Age To Make You Rethink Time and Aging

47 Paulo Coelho The Alchemist Quotes With Page Numbers

200 Inspirational Motivational Quotes For Work, Students, and Life

List of 1,000 Positive Words to Write the Life You Want

 

What is Your Meaning?

What is your favorite quote or quotes from Man’s Search For Meaning? Share what you’ve learned in the comments.

Follow me on Pinterest where I share simple health tips and inspirational quotes.

shares
%d bloggers like this: