Book Reviews, Economics

Man’s Search For Meaning

Suffering is a moment of clarity when you can no longer deny the truth of a situation and are forced into uncomfortable change. I’m lucky that I didn’t get everything I wanted in my life, or I’d be happy with my first job, my college sweetheart, my college town. Being poor when young led to making money when old. Losing faith in my bosses and elders made me independent and an adult. Almost getting into the wrong marriage helped me recognize and enter the right one. Falling sick made me focus on my health. It goes on and on. Inside suffering is the seed of change. – Naval Ravikant via Tribe of Mentors

Reading this, I was instantly reminded of Viktor Frankl’s 1946 memoir, Man’s Search for Meaning.  I mentioned the book to one of our speakers at TEDx Hickory last month, and he asked me to send him a one-page summary. For anyone that knows me well, you can imagine that was quite the challenge. The end result missed the one-page mark by a page or two and doesn’t exactly qualify as a summary. Frankl’s words are so powerful, I found it difficult to do them justice myself, so this piece is more of a highlight reel than a summary. Frankl’s experience demonstrates one thing: “Through suffering, when we are no longer able to change a situation, we can change ourselves.”

In the spirit of the holiday season, I thought our readers might appreciate the wisdom here more than another investment pitch.  I hope you enjoy it as much I did.

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Article by Christopher Pavese, Broyhill Asset Management


Man's Search For Meaning - Book Review

Man's Search For Meaning

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl's memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl's theory-known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos ("meaning")-holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.

At the time of Frankl's death in 1997, Man's Search for Meaning had sold more than 10 million copies in twenty-four languages. A 1991 reader survey for the Library of Congress that asked readers to name a "book that made a difference in your life" found Man's Search for Meaning among the ten most influential books in America.

Review

One of the great books of our time. —Harold S. Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People

"One of the outstanding contributions to psychological thought in the last fifty years."—Carl R. Rogers (1959)

"An enduring work of survival literature." —New York Times

"An accessible edition of the enduring classic. The spiritual account of the Holocaust and the description of logotherapy meets generations' need for hope."—Donna O. Dziedzic (PLA) AAUP Best of the Best Program

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