Timothy Rice

Man's Search for Meaning

Those who have a "why" to live can bear with almost any "how".

Rating: 4.5/5 – Required reading

Man’s Search for Meaning is one of those great books that is able to attach language to intuitions that I have been growing slowing for many years. Two concepts stood out in particular:

The first is that we always have the final freedom to choose our attitude in any situation we find ourselves in. This is solid distillation of much of my personal life philosophy regarding our responsibility to take ownership of every decision we do – and do not! – make.

Second, that a life lacking purpose quickly descends into the “existential vacuum”, devoid of all joy, hope, and desire. I’ve observed this in myself and others who seem to otherwise have very comfortable and affluent lives. An absence of guiding purpose leaves them in a nihilistic state despite (or perhaps because of!) an over-abundance of bodily comforts. The effectiveness of Frankl’s proposed cure for this affliction - find something to give your life to - is readily verified in my own life, particularly my experience as a parent.

Frankl also provides the best answer I’ve seen so far to the question “what is the meaning of life?” though he changes it slightly to “where can meaning be found in life?". His declaration that meaning is found in action, experience, and suffering align with the moments if greatest purpose that I’ve experienced in my own life.

This is a great book, and an easy inclusion on my list of writing that everyone ought to read.

Man’s Search for Meaning on Amazon
Man’s Search for Meaning on Goodreads
My Goodreads Profile