Viktor Frankl Quotes In English

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Viktor Frankl Quotes In English

Hello, Welcome in a collection of quotes and thoughts by Viktor Frankl on motivation, inspiration, happiness, success, adversity, meaning, life, psychology, love and reflection. Our team gives you some quotes about Viktor Frankl. He was born on 26 March 1905, Leopoldstadt, Vienna, Austria. Viktor Emil Frankl was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor, surviving Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, Kaufering and Türkheim. He died in 2 September 1997, Vienna, Austria.

  • “I do the unpleasant tasks before I do the pleasant ones.”

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

  • “God is the partner of your most intimate soliloquies”

  • “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.”

  • “Man can only find meaning for his existence in something outside himself.”

  • Viktor Frankl Quotes In English

  • “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.”

  • “If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be meaning in suffering.”

  • “Since Auschwitz, we know what man is capable of. And since Hiroshima, we know what is at stake.”

  • “Man is not fully conditioned and determined but rather determines himself whether he gives in to conditions or stands up to them.”

  • “We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread.”

  • Viktor Frankl Quotes In English

  • “When a man cannot find meaning, he numbs himself with pleasure.”

  • “The more one forgets himself – by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love – the more human he is.”

  • “At such a moment, it is not the physical pain which hurts the most (and this applies to adults as much as to punished children); it is the mental agony caused by the injustice, the unreasonableness of it all.”

  • “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.”

  • “When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer… his unique opportunity lies in the way he bears his burden.”

  • Viktor Frankl Quotes In English

  • “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.”

  • “I try to do everything as soon as possible, and not at the last moment. This ensures that, when I am overburdened with work, I will not face the added pressure of knowing that something is still to be done.”

  • “A painter tries to convey to us a picture of the world as he sees it; an ophthalmologist tries to enable us to see the world as it really is. The logotherapist’s role consists of widening and broadening the visual field of the patient so that the whole spectrum of potential meaning becomes conscious and visible to him.”

  • “Pain is only bearable if we know it will end, not if we deny it exists.”

  • “We must never forget that we may also find meaning in life even when confronted with a hopeless situation, when facing a fate that cannot be changed. 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. When we are no longer able to change a situation-just think of an incurable disease such as inoperable cancer-we are challenged to change ourselves.”

  • Viktor Frankl Quotes In English

  • “A man’s concern, even his despair, over the worthwhileness of life is an existential distress but by no means a mental disease.”

  • “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!”

  • “The last freedom is choosing your attitude.”

  • “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.”

  • “As for the concept of collective guilt, I personally think that it is totally unjustified to hold one person responsible for the behavior of another person or a collective of persons.”

  • Viktor Frankl Quotes In English

  • “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.”

  • “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.”

  • “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.”

  • “Ultimate freedom is a man’s right to choose his attitude.”

  • “You can take away my wife, you can take away my children, you can strip me of my clothes and my freedom, but there is one thing no person can ever take away from me – and that is my freedom to choose how I will react to what happens to me!”

  • Viktor Frankl Quotes In English

  • “Each of us carries a unique spark of the divine, and each of us is also an inseparable part of the web of life.”

  • “I am absolutely convinced that the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Maidanek were ultimately prepared not in some ministry or other in Berlin, but rather at the desks and in the lecture halls of nihilistic scientists and philosophers.”

  • “An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior.”

  • “Austrian public-opinion pollsters recently reported that those held in highest esteem by most of the people interviewed are neither the great artists nor the great scientists, neither the great statesmen nor the great sport figures, but those who master a hard lot with their heads held high.”

  • “It is here that we encounter the central theme of existentialism: to live is to suffer, to survive is to find meaning in the suffering.”

  • Viktor Frankl Quotes In English

  • “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.”

  • “Man’s main concern is not to gain pleasure or to avoid pain but rather to see a meaning in his life.”

  • “Consider a movie: it consists of thousands upon thousands of individual pictures, and each of them makes sense and carries a meaning, yet the meaning of the whole film cannot be seen before its last sequence is shown. However, we cannot understand the whole film without having first understood each of its components, each of the individual pictures. Isn’t it the same with life? Doesn’t the final meaning of life, too, reveal itself, it at all, only at its end, on the verge of death?”

  • “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.”

  • “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 Frankl Quotes In English

  • “Man is not fully conditioned and determined but rather determines himself whether he gives in to conditions or stands up to them. In other words, man is ultimately self-determining. Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment.”

  • “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.”

  • “I had wanted simply to convey to the reader by way of concrete example that life holds a potential meaning under any conditions, even the most miserable ones. And I thought that if the point were demonstrated in a situation as extreme as that in a concentration camp, my book might gain a hearing. I therefore felt responsible for writing down what I had gone through, for I thought it might be helpful to people who are prone to despair.”

  • “One should not search for an abstract meaning of life … Life can be made meaningful in a threefold way: first, through what we give to life … second, by what we take from the world … third, through the stand we take toward a fate we no longer can change …”

  • “Our greatest human freedom is that, despite whatever our physical situation is in life, WE ARE ALWAYS FREE TO CHOOSE OUR THOUGHTS!”

  • Viktor Frankl Quotes In English

  • “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.”

  • “Success, like happiness, is the unexpected side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself.”

  • “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, 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. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long run — in the long run, I say — success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think of it.”

  • “The more one forgets one’s own self, the more human the person becomes.”

  • “If you call ‘religious’ a man who believes in what I call a Supermeaning, a meaning so comprehensive that you can no longer grasp it, get hold of it in rational intellectual terminology, then one should feel free to call me religious, really.”

  • Viktor Frankl Quotes In English

  • “When I was taken to the concentration camp of Auschwitz, a manuscript of mine ready for publication was confiscated. Certainly, my deep desire to write this manuscript anew helped me to survive the rigors of the camps I was in.”

  • “Logotherapy sees the human patient in all his humanness. I step up to the core of the patient’s being. And that is a being in search of meaning, a being that is transcending himself, a being capable of acting in love for others.”

  • “In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way – an honorable way – in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment.”

  • “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.’”

  • “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 Quotes In English

  • “When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.”

  • “If there is a 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.”

  • “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.”

  • “Challenging the meaning of life is the truest expression of the state of being human.”

  • “Live as if you were living a second time, and as though you had acted wrongly the first time.”

  • Viktor Frankl Quotes In English

  • “Life can be pulled by goals just as surely as it can be pushed by drives.”

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

  • “Man is that being who invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz; however, he is also that being who entered those chambers upright, with the Lord’s Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips.”

  • “Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it.”

  • “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 Frankl Quotes In English

  • “The last of human freedoms – the ability to chose one’s attitude in a given set of circumstances.”

  • “I recommend that the Statue of Liberty be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the west coast.”

  • “Being human always points, and is directed, to something or someone, other than oneself – be it a meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter.”

  • “Even a genius cannot completely resist his Zeitgeist, the spirit of his time.”

  • “A human being is a deciding being.”

  • Viktor Frankl Quotes In English

  • “Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for.”

  • “No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him.”

  • “Fear may come true that which one is afraid of.”

  • “Faith is trust in ultimate meaning.”

  • “Religion is the search for ultimate meaning.”

  • Viktor Frankl Quotes In English

  • “To the European, it is a characteristic of the American culture that, again and again, one is commanded and ordered to ‘be happy.’ But happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue. One must have a reason to ‘be happy.’”

  • “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.”

  • “When a person can’t find a deep sense of meaning, they distract themselves with pleasure.”

  • “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”

  • “The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me.”

  • Viktor Frankl Quotes In English

  • “Our greatest freedom is the freedom to choose our attitude.”

  • “What is to give light must endure burning.”

  • “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.”

  • “Between stimulus and response is the freedom to choose.”

  • “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 Frankl Quotes In English

  • “It isn’t the past which holds us back, it’s the future; and how we undermine it, today.”

  • “You don’t create your mission in life – you detect it.”

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

  • “Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality”

  • “Life asks of every individual a contribution, and it is up to that individual to discover what it should be”

  • Viktor Frankl Quotes In English

  • “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.”

  • “Humor was another of the soul’s weapons in the fight for self-preservation.”

  • “Even when it is not fully attained, we become better by striving for a higher goal.”

  • “We can discover this meaning in life in three different ways: 1. by doing a deed; 2. by experiencing a value; and 3. by suffering.”

  • “Self-actualization cannot be attained if it is made an end in itself, but only as a side effect of self-transcendence.”

  • Viktor Frankl Quotes In English

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

  • “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.”

  • “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.”

  • “The quest for meaning is the key to mental health and human flourishing”

  • “To suffer unecessarily is masochistic rather than heroic.”

  • Viktor Frankl Quotes In English

  • “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.”

  • “The point is not what we expect from life, but rather what life expects from us.”

  • “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!”

  • “Despair is suffering without meaning.”

  • “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 Frankl Quotes In English

  • “View life as a series of movie frames, the ending and meaning may not be apparent until the very end of the movie, and yet, each of the hundreds of individual frames has meaning within the context of the whole movie.”

  • “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.”

  • “Every human being has the freedom to change at any instant.”

  • “Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him. By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features.”

  • “In times of crisis, people reach for meaning. Meaning is strength. Our survival may depend on our seeking and finding it.”

  • Viktor Frankl Quotes In English

  • “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.”

  • “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.”

  • “…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.”

  • “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.”

  • “[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 Frankl Quotes In English

  • “Man’s inner strength may raise him above his outward fate.”

  • “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.”

  • “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.”

  • “A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life, I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth – that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire.”

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