Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl wrote a book as a victim of the Holocaust, called, Man’s Search of Meaning. The book is about finding the underlying concept of the purpose of life. “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.” (Frankl, 65-66). Frankle lies in finding a purpose and taking responsibility for ourselves and other human beings. This statement means that even if one might have nothing or very little left in their life in terms of wealth, food, shelter etc, he will still always have the fundamental basic human right which is that no one can take away, the right to choose and with very little or sharing the bare minimum you have with others will be a generous decision to make, a deed.
Frankl emphasized that realizing the value of suffering is meaningful only when the first two creative possibilities are not available (for example, in a concentration camp) and only when such suffering is inevitable – he was not proposing that people suffer unnecessarily. There is a reason to all hurt which pays off at the end and suffering is what makes life worth preserving. You have to find meaning in suffering and in your life. You should look at the challenges in your life as objectives and think of them as learning events. Make suffering a task and embrace it, you can find meaning and hidden opportunities in any challenges. For example, we being the teens that we are, we often take life for granted and complain over the tiniest things one of them being explaining to be bored all the time which results in depression, obesity anxiety and many more. To prevent this we need to find a why, a purpose in our lives as it can bring inner tension and that’s naturally necessary.
The book also refers to the opportunity of free will that we all possess even in the torture. This means that we are able to have some choice in how we act and assumes that we are free to choose our behavior, in other words we are self determined no matter the circumstances. You always have a choice between stimulus and response, there’s some space purposely held for the ability to choose how you respond to any situation. There are always choices to make. It it up to us to decide how we want to handle situations and surroundings. It is up to us to decide where we want to stand in life and where we are headed. We shall not be forced as we are independent of our decisions and routes.
Every moment in an opportunity in your favour. You might have external forced stopping you such as stereotypes, weather etc but you will always be able to hold onto your response, your freedom to choose your reaction. Your situation does not matter if anything does matter it is your attitude towards it. You and you alone can decide what and how you want your life to turn out to be the next time you blink. Any man is capable of changing the world and can change himself for the better. For example, in the concentration camp where Frankl was held he noticed two types of people, people who had given up and people who were still holding on. Therefore, it is up to you whether you make your decisions based on purpose or conditions.
It is not about your situation, it is about the way you come across it. The quote and the book refers to power being the primary motivation for man to search for the meaning or purpose. This means that if you have power or control over yourself, you can go further in life with less suffering as your situations or problems could have been a lot worse. Therefore, we should take full responsibility for our life and decisions. Own the fact that you’re the one responsible for everything you think, do and achieve. Don’t get angry at others, don’t be frustrated, don’t get anxious. Own the freedom to choose how you can react to any situation and then act accordingly. If you are confident of yourself in your eyes only then you will be able to settle peace within and around yourself.
The reason why I chose this statement or perhaps why I was drawn to his statement is because I have been in a situation where I felt like I had lost everything and I was helpless. However after a couple months I actually started to acknowledge who I was and started to pick up the leftovers of myself to build myself up from where I left off. I learned from my mistakes from other people’s mistakes and unjust treatment towards me and chose to go my own way and who I am today is because of that single decision to not give up. Today, as you are reading this, just know that I am satisfied and happy with a purpose of life and I would not have come to this day if I had given up all my hope Taking everything above into consideration, I do agree with the idea presented in the statement.
As Frankel once said, “I do not forget any good deed done to me and I do not carry a grudge for a bad one.” (page 162). If people continue to not speak up for themselves and keep their fears hidden which are by the way constantly them down, they will never be able to enjoy the rest of their life or live satisfied. There will be regrets and part memories haunting them day by day and it all comes back to free will and the way one decides to settle the situations. On the other hand, it doesn’t matter if the memories were bad, you can also have good memories and honestly, that will be more in your favour as you will be happier with yourself and life if you reflect back on the cherishable moments. At the end of the day, in order to accomplish satisfaction, we need to be wiser of our decisions. This links back to the original quote because you can end up homeless too but it up to you if you want to be homeless with regrets knowing you could’ve made better decisions or be homeless knowing you tried your best and it is what it is therefore be grateful I am alive without any guilt.
In conclusion, try to be happy with yourself, the decisions you make, the reality you live in and the outcomes of your decisions. “To Frankl, an optimist acknowledges and accepts external reality, even at its worst. But most importantly, the optimist then says “yes” to all of life, including its problems. The optimist decides to harness and use the difficulties to create something more positive and meaningful for himself and for others.” (Carson, 2016). Do not give someone a chance to pull your leg and engrave their power on your soul and keep you tied within yourself for the rest of your life.
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