Viktor E. Frankl quotes

  • When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Change #Positive #Inspiring

  • Live as if you were living a second time, and as though you had acted wrongly the first time.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Life #Time #Firsts

  • What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Life #Change #Happiness

  • There are two races of men in this world but only these two: the race of the decent man and the race of the indecent man.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Men #Two #Race

  • 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

    #Honesty #Humility #Men

  • 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

    #Happiness #Peace #Freedom

  • No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being until he loves him. By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person; and even more, he sees that which is potential in him, which is not yet actualized. Furthermore, by his love, the loving person enables the beloved person to actualize these potentialities. By making him aware of what he can be and what he should become, he makes these potentialities come true.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Love #Essence #Essentials

  • Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Men #Secret #Belief

  • The one thing you can't take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Way

  • If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be meaning in suffering.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Suffering #Meaning Of Life #Meaning Life

  • Our 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

    #Prayer #Men #Our Generation

  • A human being is not one thing among others; things determine each other, but man is ultimately self-determining. What he becomes - within the limits of endowment and environment- he has made out of himself. In the concentration camps, for example, in this living laboratory and on this testing ground, we watched and witnessed some of our comrades behave like swine while others behaved like saints. Man has both potentialities within himself; which one is actualized depends on decisions but not on conditions.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Men #Self #Decision

  • Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Wise #Powerful #Purpose

  • An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Normal #Behavior #Reactions

  • Life can be pulled by goals just as surely as it can be pushed by drives.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Inspirational #Life #Goal

  • I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Men #World #May

  • One evening, when we were already resting on the floor of our hut, dead tired, soup bowls in hand, a fellow prisoner rushed in and asked us to run out to the assembly grounds and see the wonderful sunset. Standing outside we saw sinister clouds glowing in the west and the whole sky alive with clouds of ever-changing shapes and colors, from steel blue to blood red. The desolate grey mud huts provided a sharp contrast, while the puddles on the muddy ground reflected the glowing sky. Then, after minutes of moving silence, one prisoner said to another, "How beautiful the world could be...
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Beautiful #Running #Moving

  • Love goes very far beyond the physical person of the beloved.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Beloved #Persons

  • Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Love #Personality #Way

  • If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be a 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

    #Fate #Suffering #Meaning Of Life

  • The last of the human freedoms is to choose one's attitudes.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Motivational #Attitude #Lasts

  • Man is capable of changing the world for the better if possible, and of changing himself for the better if necessary.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Men #World #Changing The World

  • 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

    #Faith #Inspiration #Responsibility

  • To suffer unecessarily is masochistic rather than heroic.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Suffering #Heroic #Masochistic

  • In his creative work the artist is dependent on sources and resources deriving from the spiritual unconscious.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Spiritual #Artist #Creative

  • 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.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Achievement #Tragedy #Matter

  • In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Fear #Sacrifice #Suffering

  • A human being is a deciding being.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Inspirational #Choices #Thrive

  • Man’s main concern is not to gain pleasure or to avoid pain but rather to see a meaning in his life.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Pain #Men #Gains

  • It isn't the past which holds us back, it's the future; and how we undermine it, today.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Past #Today

  • This is the core of the human spirit ... If we can find something to live for - if we can find some meaning to put at the center of our lives - even the worst kind of suffering becomes bearable.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Suffering #Spirit #Kind

  • When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his suffering as his task. . . . He will have to acknowledge the fact that even in suffering he is unique and alone in the universe. No one can relieve him of his suffering or suffer in his place. His unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Lying #Acceptance #Opportunity

  • I recommend that the Statue of Liberty be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the west coast.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Responsibility #Liberty #West

  • Only to the extent that someone is living out this self transcendence of human existence, is he truly human or does he become his true self. He becomes so, not by concerning himself with his self's actualization, but by forgetting himself and giving himself, overlooking himself and focusing outward.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Life #Self #Giving

  • Man is not fully conditioned and determined but rather determines himself whether he gives in to conditions or stands up to them.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Men #Giving #Determined

  • If we take a man as he is, we make him worse, but if we take man as he should be we make him capable of becoming what he can be.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Men #Becoming #Should

  • Our greatest freedom is the freedom to choose our attitude.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Business #Attitude #Freedom To Choose

  • 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 own life.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Quests #Taught #Tasks

  • As a professor in two fields, neurology and psychiatry, I am fully aware of the extent to which man is subject to biological, psychological and sociological conditions. But in addition to being a professor in two fields I am a survivor of four camps - concentration camps, that is - and as such I also bear witness to the unexpected extent to which man is capable of defying and braving even the worst conditions conceivable.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Men #Two #Survivor

  • The more one forgives himself - by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love - the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Giving #Causes #Humans

  • To draw an analogy: a man's suffering is similar to the behavior of a gas. If a certain quantity of gas is pumped into an empty chamber, it will fill the chamber completely and evenly, no matter how big the chamber. Thus suffering completely fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little. Therefore the "size" of human suffering is absolutely relative.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Men #Soul #Mind

  • There is nothing in the world, I venture to say, that would so effectively help one to survive even the worst conditions as the knowledge that there is a meaning in one's life.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Venture #World #Helping

  • The existential vacuum manifests itself mainly in a state of boredom.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Boredom #Vacuums #Existential

  • Fear may come true that which one is afraid of.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Fear #May

  • What will it matter to him if he notices that he is growing old? Has he any reason to envy the young people whom he sees, or wax nostalgic over his own lost youth? What reasons has he to envy a young person? For the possibilities that a young person has, the future which is in store for him? "No, thank you," he will think. "Instead of possibilities, I have realities in my past, not only the reality of work done and love loved, but of sufferings bravely suffered. These sufferings are even the things of which I am most proud, though these things are things that cannot inspire envy."
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Past #Reality #Thinking

  • A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the "why" for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any "how."
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Responsibility #Men #Waiting

  • The meaning of our existence is not invented by ourselves, but rather detected.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Existence

  • Every human being has the freedom to change at any instant.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Instant #Humans

  • Human kindness can be found in all groups, even those which as a whole it would be easy to condemn.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Kindness #Groups #Would Be

  • Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Chaos

  • 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. 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

    #Life #Mean #Responsibility

  • Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Men #Challenges #Purpose

  • We cannot, after all, judge a biography by its length, by the number of pages in it; we must judge by the richness of the contents...Sometimes the 'unfinisheds' are among the most beautiful symphonies.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Beautiful #Death #Symphony

  • Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Mean #People #Today

  • 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.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Life #Men #Answers

  • The point is not what we expect from life, but rather what life expects from us.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

  • The attempt to develop a sense of humor and to see things in a humorous light is some kind of a trick learned while mastering the art of living.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Art #Humorous #Light

  • We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that 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

    #Life #Positive #Leadership

  • Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated, thus, everyone's task is unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Inspirational #Change #Wisdom

  • For the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. 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.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Life #Men #What Matters

  • Just as a small fire is extinguished by the storm whereas a large fire is enhanced by it - likewise a weak faith is weakened by predicament and catastrophes whereas a strong faith is strengthened by them.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Strong #Famous Inspirational #Fire

  • Love goes very far beyond the physical person of the beloved. It finds its deepest meaning in its spiritual being, his inner self. Whether or not he is actually present, whether or not he is still alive at all, ceases somehow to be of importance.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Spiritual #Self #Alive

  • I shall never forget how I was roused one night by the groans of a fellow prisoner, who threw himself about in his sleep, obviously having a horrible nightmare. Since I had always been especially sorry for people who suffered from fearful dreams or deliria, I wanted to wake the poor man. Suddenly I drew back the hand which was ready to shake him, frightened at the thing I was about to do. At that moment I became intensely conscious of the fact that no dream, no matter how horrible, could be as bad as the reality of the camp which surrounded us, and to which I was about to recall him.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Dream #Sorry #Sleep

  • Challenging the meaning of life is the truest expression of the state of being human.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Motivational #Expression #Challenges

  • Nothing is likely to help a person overcome or endure troubles than the consciousness of having a task in life.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Motivational #Tasks #Overcoming

  • For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Happiness #Dedication #Causes

  • Being tolerant does not mean that I share another one's belief. But it does mean that I acknowledge another one's right to believe, and obey, his own conscience.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Believe #Mean #Liberty

  • But there was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Courage #Grief #Men

  • Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Force #Situation #Freedom To Choose

  • ...being human always points, and is directed, to something, or someone, other than oneself—be it meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter. The more one forgets himself—by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love—the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself.... What is called self-actualization is not an attainable aim at all, for the simple reason that the more one would strive for it, the more he would miss it. In other words, self-actualization is possible only as a side-effect of self-transcendence.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Simple #Self #Giving

  • What is to give light must endure burning.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Inspirational #Life #Motivational

  • Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Inspirational #Leadership #Being Happy

  • It is a peculiarity of man that he can only live by looking to the future...And this is his salvation in the most difficult moments of his existence, although he sometimes has to force his mind to the task.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Men #Mind #Tasks

  • The salvation of man is through love and in love.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Love #Life #Men

  • It said to me, 'I am here — I am here — I am life, eternal life.'
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Said #Eternal Life

  • We had to learn...that it did not really matter what we expected from life but rather what life expected from us.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Live In The Moment #Matter #Moments

  • Pain is only bearable if we know it will end, not if we deny it exists.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Pain #Remembrance #Ends

  • A sound philosophy of life, I think, may be the most valuable asset for a psychiatrist to have when he is treating a patient.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Philosophy #Thinking #Mentor

  • Despair is suffering without meaning.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Suffering #Despair #Existential

  • Our attitude towards what has happened to us in life is the important thing to recognize. Once hopeless, my life is now hope-full, but it did not happen overnight. The last of human freedoms, to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, is to choose one's own way.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Mom #Attitude #Parent

  • I would say that our patients never really despair because of any suffering in itself! Instead, their despair stems in each instance from a doubt as to whether suffering is meaningful. Man is ready and willing to shoulder any suffering as soon and as long as he can see a meaning in it.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Meaningful #Men #Long

  • Between stimulus and response is the freedom to choose.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Healing #Conflict #Stimulus And Response

  • Everywhere man is confronted with fate , with a chance of achieving something through his own suffering.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Inspirational #Fate #Men

  • Pain from problems and disappointments, etc., is inevitable in life, but suffering is a choice determined by whether you choose to compare your experience and pain to something better and therefore feel unlucky and bitter or to something worse and therefore feel lucky and grateful!
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Gratitude #Pain #Disappointment

  • Man's inner strength may raise him above his outward faith.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Inspirational #Men #Challenges

  • 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. The ultimate cause of my friend's death was that the expected liberation did not come and he was severely disappointed.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Friendship #Loss #Men

  • Now, it is my contention that the deneuroticization of humanity requires a rehumanization of psychotherapy.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Humanity #Psychotherapy #Contention

  • Humor was another of the soul's weapons in the fight for self-preservation.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Fighting #Self #Soul

  • Most important, however, is the third avenue to meaning in life: 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

    #Inspirational #Fate #Challenges

  • It is this spiritual freedom - which cannot be taken away - that makes life meaningful and purposeful.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Meaningful #Spiritual #Taken

  • [Speaking of his experience in a concentration camp:] As we said before, any attempt to restore a man's inner strength in the camp had first to succeed in showing him some future goal...Woe to him who saw no more sense in his life, no aim, no purpose, and therefore no point in carrying on. He was soon lost.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Men #Goal #Inner Strength

  • As such, I also bear witness to the unexpected extent to which man is capable of defying and braving even the worst conditions conceivable,
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Men #Bears #Unexpected

  • The one thing you can't take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one's freedoms is to choose one's attitude in any given circumstance. Regardless of what happens to you you can always choose to be grateful by imagining how it could have been worse!
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Gratitude #Attitude #Grateful

  • It is true that we can see the therapist as a technician only if we have first viewed the patient as some sort of machine.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Firsts #Machines #Patient

  • These tasks, and therefore the meaning of life, differ from man to man, and from moment to moment. Thus it is impossible to define the meaning in life in a general way.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Men #Way #Meaning Of Life

  • Ultimate freedom is a man's right to choose his attitude.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Attitude #Men #Ultimate Freedom

  • What you have experienced, no power on earth can take from you.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Earth

  • Our main motivation for living is our will to find meaning in life.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Motivation #Find Me #Meaning Life

  • Success is total self-acceptance ...
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Acceptance #Self #Self Acceptance

  • No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him.
    -- Viktor E. Frankl

    #Essence #Humans

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