Viktor Frankl Quotes on The Importance of Having Meaning In Life

Viktor Frankl was an Austrian psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor.

Frankl published 39 books, with his most well-known being the world-wide bestseller; “Man’s Search for Meaning.” In it, he discusses his experiences in four different Nazi concentration camps and how they led him to develop his theory of logotherapy.

Logotherapy is a form of existential therapy that focuses on finding meaning in life. It is based on the belief that humans are most motivated by a quest for true meaning to their lives, rather than by pleasure or power.

These quotes by Viktor Frankl can be inspirational because of the unique perspective and experience he brings, particularly in times of adversity and suffering.  

Frankl’s best quotes speak of the importance of finding meaning within one’s life and the ability to always choose one’s attitude.


Viktor Frankl Quotes


“Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.” Viktor E. Frankl



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



“We do not ask life what the meaning of life is. Life asks us, what is the meaning of your life. And life demands our answer.” Viktor E. Frankl



“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 E. Frankl



“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.” Viktor E. Frankl



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



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



“What is to give light must endure burning.” Viktor E. Frankl



“Faith is trust in ultimate meaning.” Viktor E. Frankl



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



“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.’” Viktor E. Frankl



“Fear may come true that which one is afraid of.” Viktor E. Frankl



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



“Our greatest freedom is the freedom to choose our attitude.” Victor E. Frankl


Viktor Frankl Quotes on Meaning


“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 E. Frankl



“Challenging the meaning of life is the truest expression of the state of being human.” Viktor E. Frankl



“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.” Viktor E. Frankl



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



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



“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.” Viktor E. Frankl



“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.” Viktor E. Frankl



“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.” Viktor E. Frankl



“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.” Viktor E. Frankl



“What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task. 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.” Viktor E. Frankl


Viktor Frankl Quotes on Happiness


“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.’” Viktor E. Frankl


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


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


Viktor Frankl Quotes on Love


“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 the beloved person; and even more, he sees that which is potential in him, which is not yet actualized but yet ought to be actualized. Furthermore, by his love, the loving person enables the beloved person to actualize these potentialities. By making him aware of what he can be and of what he should become, he makes these potentialities come true.” Viktor E. Frankl


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


“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.” Viktor E. Frankl



“Life can be pulled by goals just as surely as it can be pushed by drives.” Viktor E. Frankl



“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 E. Frankl



“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.” Viktor E. Frankl



“I do not forget any good deed done to me and I do not carry a grudge for a bad one.” Viktor E. Frankl



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


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