“It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness.”
“Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue. One must have a reason to ‘be happy’.”
“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. The more one forgets himself — by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love — the more human he is.”
“This uniqueness and singleness which distinguishes each individual and gives a meaning to his existence has a bearing on creative work as much as it does on human love. When the impossibility of replacing a person is realized, it allows the responsibility, which a man has for his existence and its continuance to appear in all its magnitude. 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’.”
“If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering.”
“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 Emil Frankl (1905-1997), Man’s Search for Meaning: An Introduction to Logotherapy, 1956/1963.
“Life asks of every individual a contribution, and it is up to that individual to discover what it should be.” — Viktor Emil Frankl (1905-1997)
“Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.”
“I have said that man should not ask what he may expect from life, but should rather understand that life expects something from him. It may also be put this way: in the last resort, man should not ask ‘What is the meaning of my life?’ but should realize that he himself is being questioned. Life is putting its problems to him, and it is up to him to respond to these questions by being responsible; he can only answer to life by answering for his life.” — Viktor Emil Frankl (1905-1997), The Doctor and the Soul: From Psychotherapy to Logotherapy, 1952/1986, Introduction.