In this video, legendary psychiatrist and Holocaust-survivor Viktor Frankl delivers a powerful message about the human search for meaning — and the most important gift we can give others. Viktor talks about the importance of being an idealist, or what he called the real realist. As he shared, “If we take a man as he is, we make him worse, but if we take a man as he should be, we make him capable of becoming what he can be.”
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.
The clip we prepared for you today is from a speech he gave in 1972. The video starts with him just beginning to share the results of a survey related to United States teenagers.
About Viktor Frankl
Viktor Frankl was a world-renowned psychiatrist and professor who spent three years in a Nazi concentration camps, including Auschwitz, during World War II. During this time he lost his entire immediate family — mother, father, brother, and pregnant wife – with the exception of one sister. Among the thirty-nine books he authored was a book Man’s Search for Meaning. In this book he detailed his experience in the concentration camps, and shared his philosophy around the importance of meaning and hope. 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.