You know My Name Not My Story

Man’s Search For Meaning – One Of The Most Influential Books Of Our Time

Oct 15 • Personal Journeys to Happiness, The Brave Discussion Movement • 2023 Views • No Comments

You know My Name Not My Story

Have you reached a turning point in your life? I call it being stuck in the doldrums? Often we are forced to stop and listen. It often takes something painful, sometimes even tragic to listen to our inner compass. When we do we often find one door after another opens with relative ease, as though it’s breathing a fresh breeze or new life into us.

I’ve just finished writing my first e-book, based on this very personal experience, inspired by the ProBlogger Event at the weekend. It’s been a task that for some reason that I have put off for some time. However now just seemed right.

So often we judge others without knowing their story. We know their name but not their story and, failing to understand we are all searching for meaning in our lives. My new e-book, Storytiser is an 8 step process to help you develop a life plan that will give you clarity and direction for living a great life story, to filter your decisions through a life theme.  If you are like me you, we often have so much going on in our lives that we forget to focus on the things that really matter, that will make a difference to our own wellbeing and happiness. It’s based on my own experience so take the things that work for you and if it resonates try them. I’ll share with you how this simple process worked for me. It blends the discipline of storytelling with the philosophy of acclaimed psychologist Viktor Frankl. I thought I’d share the therapeutic philosophy of Frankl with you today. And if you haven’t read this little wonder, add it to your must read list now.

Viktor E. Frankl was Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the University of Vienna Medical School. He spent three years during World War II in concentration camps, including Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, and Dachau, where he formulated many of his key ideas. Logotherapy, his psychotherapeutic school, is founded on the belief that striving to find meaning in life is the most powerful motivation for human beings.

Frankl wrote this book in just nine days after being released  and it outlines what he thought about for the years he was imprisoned – the importance of finding meaning.

There are three ways to glean meaning that I took away from this book and applied them to our lives in 2012:

 

1. From work. contributing to life. being useful and having a legacy.

 

2. From experiencing. from engaging with ideas, art, nature and people.

 

3. And from rising above suffering.

Frankl noticed that that the prisoners who survived had this in common: they nourished their inner life. In fact, he noted, the more sensitive people in the camps – those you’d expect to crumble – survived better.

Frankl wrote 39 books, which were published in 38 languages. His best-known, Man’s Search for Meaning, gives a firsthand account of his experiences during the Holocaust, and describes the psychotherapeutic method he pioneered. The Library of Congress called it one of “the ten most influential books in America.” Frankl lectured on five continents.

According to Frankl, the book intends to answer the question “How was everyday life in a concentration camp reflected in the mind of the average prisoner?” Part One constitutes Frankl’s analysis of his experiences in the concentration camps, while Part Two introduces his ideas of meaning and his theory of logotherapy. It is the second-most widely read Holocaust book in the bookstore of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

At the time of the author’s death in 1997, the book had sold over 10 million copies and had been translated into 24 languages.

Viktor Frankl founded logotherapyViktor Frankl, is credited with the third Viennese school of psychology after Freud and Adler suggested the primary longing in man is for a sense of meaning. As Miller so eloquently captures it: “He developed Logotherapy as a way of helping clients experience meaning in their lives. Frankl’s Logotherapy involves having a project to work on, somebody to share love with and a redemptive explanation for their suffering.”

Nothing in my life (nor probably in your own) will ever compare to the horrors Frankl experienced in the Nazi camps. But as he tells us in his book, there’s something everyone can learn from his experiences. This is a thought provoking book that sounds dry but within there is a real treasure to be found. A life without meaning, is a life without purpose. Have you read it? I’d love to know how this little book touched you?

To accompany this post, I found this rare clip  of Frankl from 1972 where Frankl delivers his own powerful message about the human search for meaning — and the most important gift we can give others.

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