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Viktor Frankl Quotes


An Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor.
(1905 - 1997)

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A human being is a deciding being.
[Humanity]
 

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.
 

Challenging the meaning of life is the truest expression of the state of being human.
 

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.
 

Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for.
 

Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated, thus, everyone's task is unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.
 

Everything can be taken from a man or a woman 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.
 

Fear may come true that which one is afraid of.
 

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.
 

I recommend that the Statue of Liberty be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the west coast.
 

It is a peculiarity of man that he can only live by looking to the future. And this is his salvation in the most difficult moments of his existence, although he sometimes has to force his mind to the task.
[Future]
 

It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness.
[Happiness]
 

Life can be pulled by goals just as surely as it can be pushed by drives.
 

Live as if you were living a second time, and as though you had acted wrongly the first time.
 

Man does not simply exist, but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment.
[Decisions]
 

Our greatest freedom is the freedom to choose our attitude.
[Freedom]
 

Sports allow men to build up situations of emergency. What he then demands of himself is unnecessary achievement - and unnecessary sacrifice. He artificially creates the tension that he has been spared by affluent society.
 

The last of human freedoms - the ability to chose one's attitude in a given set of circumstances.
 

The last of the human freedoms: to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.
[Decisions]
 

Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked.
 


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