Clara Benacerraf
Clara Benacerraf
15 December, 2023

Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl: Takeaways

A book recommended by Ms. Clara Benacerraf.

During the winter holiday season, when people often contemplate the deeper aspects of life and seek a sense of connection and meaning, Viktor Frankl's book “Man’s search for Meaning” can be a relevant and enriching choice. It may also serve as a reminder of the importance of gratitude, compassion, and the pursuit of a meaningful life.


Reading "Man's Search for Meaning" can provide valuable insights into the resilience of the human spirit and the power of finding purpose, especially during challenging times. Here are some key takeaways:


  • Accept what is not under your control. You cannot control what happens to you. However, you can always decide how you want to respond to these circumstances. You are free to choose your attitude towards everything that happens to you.
  • Success is a side effect, not a goal in itself. Instead of putting all your time and energy into achieving success, invest your time and energy into creating something meaningful, having a meaningful purpose. Success will come as a side effect.
  • You are a vulnerable and finite being. Suffering is part of human life, something inevitable. The awareness of finitude guides you to choose fullness in each day.
  • It is possible to find meaning and purpose in life, even in the most difficult circumstances. The search for meaning is a fundamental human need and can support both resilience and emotional wellbeing.
  • Suffering does not last forever. Just as suffering is inevitable, it is not constant. Suffering ceases to be suffering when the meaning behind it is discovered.
  • Meaning keeps you alive. Viktor Frankl confirmed in the concentration camps that those who lost hope and could not find meaning and purpose in life died soon. On the other hand, those who had in mind a project to carry out, a task to accomplish, a loved one to encounter after liberation, found the strength to survive the hell they were experiencing.
  • You have the freedom and the responsibility to create your own meaning in life. Life challenges you, questions you, and it is up to you to rise above the challenge and give an answer to life.
  • Gratitude and Appreciation: Frankl's experiences in the concentration camps emphasize the importance of appreciating the small joys and moments of beauty even amid adversity.


"Man's Search for Meaning" is a book that transcends cultural, geographical, and individual differences. His lessons are applicable not only in extreme situations but also in everyday life, encouraging individuals to reflect on their values, choices, and the pursuit of a meaningful existence.