“Man’s main concern is not to gain pleasure or to avoid pain but rather to see a meaning in his life.” Here are 21 Inspirational Man's Search for Meaning Quotes.

1. “He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How.” — Nietzsche.

2. “Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment.” — Viktor Frankl

3. “As the focus of striving shifts from conflict to selfless goals, the life as a whole becomes sounder even though the neurosis may never completely disappear.” — Gordon W. Allport

4. “As soon as the patient stops fighting his obsessions and instead tries to ridicule them by dealing with them in an ironical way — by applying paradoxical intention — the vicious circle is cut, the symptom diminishes and finally atrophies.”— Viktor Frankl

5. “The neurotic who learns to laugh at himself may be on the way to self-management, perhaps to cure.” – Gordon W. Allport

Man's Search for Meaning Quotes

6. “Logotherapy bases its technique called ‘paradoxical intention’ on the twofold fact that fear brings about that which one is afraid of, and that hyper-intention makes impossible what one wishes.”— Viktor Frankl

7. “Pleasure is, and must remain, a side-effect or by-product, and is destroyed and spoiled to the degree to which it is made a goal in itself.”— Viktor Frankl

8. “At any moment, man must decide, for better or for worse, what will be the monument of his existence.”— Viktor Frankl

9. “What is demanded of man is not, as some existential philosophers teach, to endure the meaninglessness of life, but rather to bear his incapacity to grasp its unconditional meaningfulness in rational terms. Logos (meaning) is deeper than logic.”— Viktor Frankl

10. “How could I have interpreted such a ‘coincidence’ other than as a challenge to live my thoughts instead of merely putting them on paper?”— Viktor Frankl

Man's Search for Meaning Quotes

11. “Such a value system might be responsible for the fact that the burden of unavoidable unhappiness is increased by unhappiness about being unhappy.”— Viktor Frankl

12. “Suffering unnecessarily is masochistic rather than heroic.”— Viktor Frankl

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

14. “In some way, suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.”— Viktor Frankl

15. “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.”— Viktor Frankl

Man's Search for Meaning Quotes

16. “It is, therefore, up to the patient to decide whether he should interpret his life task as being responsible to society or to his own conscience.”— Viktor Frankl

17. “Live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!”— Viktor Frankl

18. “One should not search for an abstract meaning of life. Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life to carry out a concrete assignment which demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is as unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it.”— Viktor Frankl

19. “Man’s search for meaning may arouse inner tension rather than inner equilibrium. However, precisely such tension is an indispensable prerequisite of mental health. There is nothing in the world, I venture to say, that so effectively helps one to survive even the worse conditions as the knowledge that there is a meaning in one’s life.”— Viktor Frankl

20. “Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, 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.”— Viktor Frankl

21. “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….To put the question in general terms would be comparable to the question posed to a chess champion: “Tell me, Master, what is the best move in the world?” There simply is no such thing as the best or even a good move apart from a particular situation in a game and the particular personality of one’s opponent.”— Viktor Frankl

Best Man's Search for Meaning Quotes

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
― Viktor E. Frankl
“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.”
― Viktor E. Frankl
“Those who have a 'why' to live, can bear with almost any 'how'.”
― Viktor E. Frankl

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