Highly regarded as one of Viktor Frankl’s greatest works, “A Man’s Search For Meaning” highlights Dr. Frankl’s perseverance and survival through the Auschwitz concentration camp. His insights, both harrowing and enchanting, can be readily applied as a sort of spiritual compass for the modern-day man or woman.
With more distracting information than ever available today, most people quietly yearn for wisdom. Rather than fabricate a guidance system that may but probably won’t be applicable to your unique situation, I’ve leveraged one of the finest minds in recent historical memory to forge a more universal guidance system.
Here are 5 of my favorite and most applicable excerpts from one of Dr. Frankl’s most classic writings:
1. “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response.”
This is where emotional agility resides. Always, even if only for a split-second, we’re given a choice in our response after an event unfolds. Things become increasingly complicated when we either forget we have a choice or don’t believe we have one (even though, in essence, you’re choosing not to believe it).
Taking five full seconds to process events prior to responding — especially the ones we’re taken aback by — shifts the balance of power back in our favor. This space between is our mental fortress — the command center for life-altering actions to be triggered. Make sure you treat it as such.
2. “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.”
Some of the hardest, yet most freeing advice I’ve ever received is the statement “It’s not about you.” There are moments in life when we “do the right thing” and fill with spiritual joy. We don’t think about who may have been watching, if we’ll get credit, or how it may come back around. We just do it.
Those moments when we get outside of ourselves and stand for a greater purpose deliver the onset of lasting fulfillment. The times where you light up not because of the recognition you’ve received, but because you committed an act of true nobility are the one’s when you leave your mark on the world in a positive manner. The more you look to be a moon instead of the sun, the happier you will be along the way.
3. “In some way, suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning.”
You’ve heard it before: “Life has no meaning except for the meaning we give it.” While this understanding does give off a grim outlook, it’s actually quite the contrary. This grants us the freedom to assign whatever we see fit. When we realized a meaning isn’t necessarily fixed, we can sift through our options until we land on what’s most empowering.
In the book, Frankl recounts a story of a boy dying an early death. He shares how the boy once saw a situation unfold where he revered a terminally ill person’s courage and dignity in handling ultimate demise. Instead of cursing the heavens upon his own diagnosis, the boy stated fate was granting him a similar opportunity.
Luckily for most of us, our everyday experiences aren’t life or death. This is the case, however, until it’s not. The fragility and beauty of life are collapsed. It’s essential we maximize our time and minimize our suffering to make the most of it. Don’t cling to the first thing that shows up when a tough situation presents itself. Scan your optional meanings and make a wise, empowering decision.
4. “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
The majority of suffering occurs today when the blueprint of someone’s life doesn’t match reality. This gap between expectation and actuality is where pain resides. We can usually do a few things to shift the occurrence of reality, but much of it is outside our locus of control. To continue closing the gap, we must change the hard expectations we have for our lives.
Immediately after, feelings of resignation may show up, like we’re compromising what we deserve. However, the lasting change can be found in our values and what we place at highest importance. For example, many people want things like love and passion in their lives, but only if it’s packaged a certain way. Perhaps other desire success, but it must be distinct type of success. Reevaluating what we want the most versus what we want right now can be a prudent “saving grace” for making the most out of difficult situations.
5. “For the world is in a bad state, but everything will become still worse unless each of us does his best.”
As Don Miguel Ruiz asserts in “The Four Agreements,” always doing your best is critical to life working for you. Who gets the pick of the litter in terms of fame and fortune is damn-near a crapshoot, but there will be far less spoils for any of us to garner unless each of us does our best. This is where a certain degree of faith is required to continue making sacrifices for the sake of your contribution to the world, even if no one is watching.
The silver lining for those of us reading this article that we get to choose. Engaging in activities we legitimately enjoy puts us in a better state, which increases the likelihood we will be kind and supportive of others as we come in contact with them.
Life is hard enough for each individual. When left to our own devices, our minds often wander into darkness – sometimes unlikely to return. It is with this in mind, we do our best. We continue getting up, helping others, and doing as much of what we love as time permits. We may not shake the world this way, but we can certainly move it.
Which one of Viktor Frankl’s quotes is your favorite and why? Let us know in the comments below!
30 Inspirational Quotes by Michelle Obama That Will Lift Everyone Up
Michelle Obama, wife of former United States President, Barack Obama, an American lawyer and writer, a former First Lady of the United States of America, a mom, an author and a style icon. In the eight amazing years that she served as the First Lady of the United States of America, she managed to become an inspiration for women all across the globe.
She has always spoken and worked towards equal rights for women, education for girls and healthy living. She is the proper definition of the modern-day revolutionary woman. Over the last couple of years, she has been encouraging people everywhere with her incredible words of wisdom and motivation. Every single person – young or old, is sure to take inspiration and motivation from her words.
Here are 30 quotes spoken by Michelle Obama:
1. “When they go low, we go high.”
2. “Success isn’t about how much money you make. It’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.”
3. “Always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals.”
4. “The only limit to the height of your achievement is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work hard for them.”
5. “Being a healthy woman isn’t about getting on a scale or measuring your waistline. We need to start focusing on what matters – on how we feel, and how we feel about ourselves.”
6. “As women, we must stand up for ourselves. As women, we must stand up for each other. As women, we must stand up for justice for all.”
7. “No matter who you are, no matter where you come from, you are BEAUTIFUL.”
8. “Always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody says distract you from your goals.”
9. “No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contribution of half of its citizens.”
10. “You don’t have to say anything to the haters. You don’t have to acknowledge them at all. You just wake up every morning and be the best you can be. And that tends to shut them up.”
11. “Instead of letting your hardships and failures discourage or exhaust you, let them inspire you. Let them make you even hungrier to succeed.”
12. “Empower yourselves with a good education, then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise.”
13. “When girls are educated, their countries become stronger and more prosperous.”
14. “Success is only meaningful and enjoyable if it feels like your own.”
15. “Choose people who lift you up.”
16. “The difference between a broken community and a thriving one is the presence of women who are valued.”
17. “Don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered.”
18. “Just do what works for you because there will always be someone who thinks differently.”
19. “Every girl, no matter where she lives, deserves the opportunity to develop the promise inside of her.”
20. “Just try new things. Don’t be afraid. Step out of your comfort zones and soar.”
21. “Do not bring people in your life who weigh you down. Trust your instincts, good relationships feel good, they feel right, they don’t hurt.”
22. “The one way to get me to work my hardest was to doubt me.”
23. “Don’t ever make decisions based on fear. Make decisions based on hope and possibility. Make decisions based on what should happen, not what shouldn’t.”
24. “I have learned that as long as I hold fast to my beliefs and values – and follow my own moral compass – then the only expectations I need to live up to are my own.”
25. “Changing the big picture takes time… and the best thing to do is focus on the things that we can make in our lives. If we’re doing all that – that becomes the collage of real change.”
26. “People who are truly strong lift others up. People who are truly powerful bring others together.”
27. “We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own ‘to do’ list.”
28. “You can’t make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen.”
29. “I am an example of what is possible when girls from the beginning of their lives are loved and nurtured by people around them. I was surrounded by extraordinary women in my life who taught me about quiet strength and dignity.”
30. “If my future were determined just by my performance on a standardized test, I wouldn’t be here. I guarantee you that.”
What is your favorite quote from Michelle Obama? Comment Below!
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