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80 Viktor Frankl Quotes To Help You Live A Meaningful Life

80 Viktor Frankl Quotes To Help You Live A Meaningful Life

Learn from the wisdom of Viktor Frankl!

This article presents the 80 most inspiring and thought-provoking Viktor Frankl quotes about the purpose of life and how to find it.

These quotes offer insights into the meaning of life, the importance of finding purpose, and the power of the human spirit.

Whether you are struggling with a difficult challenge or simply looking for inspiration, Frankl’s words can offer guidance and hope.

The Most Famous Viktor Frankl Quotes

1. “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.” — Viktor Frankl

Image of Viktor Frankl representing Viktor Frankl quote.

2. “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.” — Viktor Frankl

3. “An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior.” — Viktor Frankl

4. “When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.” — Viktor Frankl

5. “The point is not what we expect from life, but rather what life expects from us.” — Viktor Frankl

Portrait of Viktor Frankl representing Viktor Frankl quote.

6. “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” — Viktor Frankl

7. “What is to give light must endure burning.” — Viktor Frankl

8. “It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness.” — Viktor Frankl

9. “No one has the right to do wrong, even if wrong has been done to them.” — Viktor Frankl

10. “Even more powerful than fate is the courage that bears it steadfastly.” — Viktor Frankl

Photograph of Viktor Frankl representing quote about courage.

Viktor Frankl Quotes On Life And Meaning

1. “Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become.” — Viktor Frankl

Viktor Frankl's image representing his quote about existence.

2. “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.” — Viktor Frankl

3. “In times of crisis, people reach for meaning. Meaning is strength. Our survival may depend on our seeking and finding it.” — Viktor Frankl

4. “Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue. As the Talmud says, ‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.’” — Viktor Frankl

5. “Man can only find meaning for his existence in something outside himself.” — Viktor Frankl

Image of Viktor Frankl wearing glasses representing Viktor Frankl meaning of life quote.

6. “The search for meaning is the primary motivation in human life.” — Viktor Frankl

7. “The meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day, 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.” — Viktor Frankl

8. “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.” — Viktor Frankl

9. “We must never forget that we are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having a human experience.” — Viktor Frankl

See also: 80 Powerful Spiritual Affirmations To Awaken Your Spirit

10.  “When a person can’t find a deep sense of meaning, they distract themselves with pleasure.” — Viktor Frankl 

Monochrome image of Viktor Frankl representing his quote on meaning and pleasure.

11. “Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.” — Viktor Frankl

See also: 150 Deep Dark Quotes

12. “A life of short duration…could be so rich in joy and love that it could contain more meaning than a life lasting eighty years.” — Viktor Frankl

13. “Ultimate meaning necessarily exceeds and surpasses the finite intellectual capacities of man… What is demanded of man is not, as some existential philosophers teach, to endure the meaninglessness of life, but rather to bear his incapacity to grasp its unconditional meaningfulness in rational terms. Logos is deeper than logic.” — Viktor Frankl

14. “Individuality can only be valuable when it is not individuality for its own sake but individuality for the human community.” — Viktor Frankl

15. “I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was duty. I worked—and behold, duty was joy.” — Viktor Frankl

Image of Viktor Frankl representing his quote on joy.

See also: 80 Inspiring Quotes On Joy To Turn Your Frown Upside Down

16. “Man is not primarily motivated by the pursuit of pleasure or the avoidance of pain, but by the call of a meaningful task.” — Viktor Frankl 

17. “It is we ourselves who must answer the questions that life asks of us, and to those questions we can respond only by being responsible for our existence.” — Viktor Frankl

18. “Nothing is likely to help a person overcome or endure troubles than the consciousness of having a task in life.” — Viktor Frankl 

19. “Whether a life is fulfilled does not depend on how great one’s radius of action is, but rather only on whether the circle is fully filled out.” — Viktor Frankl 

20. “Success, like happiness, is the unexpected side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself.” — Viktor Frankl 

Monochrome portrayal of Viktor Frankl representing his quote on success.

See also: 220 Best Proverbs About Success To Give You Inspiration

Viktor Frankl Quotes On Love And Relationships

1. “Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.” — Viktor Frankl

Image of Viktor Frankl with a woman representing his quote on love.

2. “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” — Viktor Frankl

3. “The best way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” — Viktor Frankl

4. “The secret of a happy marriage is to keep your eyes wide open before you tie the knot, and half shut afterwards.” — Viktor Frankl

5. “The most important thing in a relationship is to be interested in the other person and not in yourself.” — Viktor Frankl

Image of Viktor Frankl with his wife representing his quote on relationships.

6. “Love goes very far beyond the physical person of the beloved. It finds its deepest meaning in his spiritual being, his inner self. Whether or not he is actually present, whether or not he is still alive at all, ceases somehow to be of importance.” — Viktor Frankl

7. “The foundation of a happy marriage is a deep friendship.” — Viktor Frankl

8. “For the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth – that Love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love.” — Viktor Frankl

9. “Life is not primarily a quest for pleasure, as Freud believed, or a quest for power, as Alfred Adler taught, but a quest for meaning.” — Viktor Frankl

10. “Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality.” — Viktor Frankl

Monochrome image of Viktor Frankl and his wife representing his quote about love.

11. “The more one forgets himself – by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love – the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself.” — Viktor Frankl

12. “I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved.” — Viktor Frankl

13. “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.” — Viktor Frankl

14. “As long as a self is driven by an id to a Thou, it is not a matter of love, either. In love the self is not driven by the id, but rather the self chooses the Thou.” — Viktor Frankl

15. “No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him.” — Viktor Frankl 

Viktor Frankl next to his wife representing his famous quote on love.

Viktor Frankl Quotes On Hope And Resilience

1. “One must have a reason to “be happy.” Once the reason is found, however, one becomes happy automatically.” — Viktor Frankl

Image of Viktor Frankl representing his quote on being happy.

2. “The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.” — Viktor Frankl

3. “What man actually needs is not a tensionless state, but rather, the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him.” — Viktor Frankl

See also: 170 Genius Goal Achievement Quotes To Help You Succeed

4. “No man and no destiny can be compared with any other man or any other destiny. No situation repeats itself, and each situation calls for a different response. Sometimes the situation in which a man finds himself may require him to shape his own fate by action.” — Viktor Frankl

5. “The attempt to develop a sense of humor and to see things in a humorous light is some kind of a trick learned while mastering the art of living.” — Viktor Frankl

Portrait of Viktor Frankl representing his quote on humor.

6. “For what then matters is to bear witness to the uniquely human potential at its best, which is to transform a personal tragedy into a triumph, to turn one’s predicament into a human achievement.” — Viktor Frankl

7. “There were always choices to make. Every day, every hour, offered the opportunity to make a decision, a decision which determined whether you would or would not submit to those powers which threatened to rob you of your very self, your inner freedom; which determined whether or not you become the plaything to circumstance, renouncing freedom and dignity.” — Viktor Frankl

8. “Everywhere man is confronted with fate, with the chance of achieving something through his own suffering.” — Viktor Frankl

9. “A positive attitude enables a person to endure suffering and disappointment as well as enhance enjoyment and satisfaction. A negative attitude intensifies pain and deepens disappointments; it undermines and diminishes pleasure, happiness, and satisfaction; it may even lead to depression or physical illness.” — Viktor Frankl

10. “They died less from lack of food or medicine than from lack of hope, lack of something to live for.” — Viktor Frankl

Viktor Frankl's image representing his quote on hope.

11. “Life is potentially meaningful under any conditions, even those which are most miserable. And this in turn presupposes the human capacity to creatively turn life’s negative aspects into something positive or constructive. In other words, what matters is to make the best of any given situation.” — Viktor Frankl

12. “Those who know how close the connection is between the state of mind of a man – his courage and hope, or lack of them – and the state of immunity of his body will understand that the sudden loss of hope and courage can have a deadly effect.” — Viktor Frankl

13. “No-one will be able to make us believe that man is a sublimated animal once we can show that within him there is a repressed angel.” — Viktor Frankl

14. “Once an individual’s search for a meaning is successful, it not only renders him happy but also gives him the capability to cope with suffering.” — Viktor Frankl

15. “Human kindness can be found in all groups, even those which as a whole it would be easy to condemn.” — Viktor Frankl

Image of Viktor Frankl representing his quote on human kindness.

Viktor Frankl On The Power Of The Human Spirit

1. “But there was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.” — Viktor Frankl

Viktor Frankl posing in white shirt representing his quote on courage and suffering.

2. “The human spirit is indestructible.” — Viktor Frankl

3. “The crowning experience of all, for the homecoming man, is the wonderful feeling that, after all he has suffered, there is nothing he need fear anymore – except his God.” — Viktor Frankl

4. “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.” — Viktor Frankl

5. “In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.” — Viktor Frankl

Image of Viktor Frankl wearing white shirt representing his quote on suffering.

6. “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 Frankl

7. “Instead of possibilities, I have realities in my past, not only the reality of work done and of love loved, but of sufferings bravely suffered. These sufferings are even the things of which I am most proud, though these are things which cannot inspire envy.” — Viktor Frankl

8. “The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity – even under the most difficult circumstances – to add a deeper meaning to his life.” — Viktor Frankl

9. “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 Frankl

10. “Man is not fully conditioned and determined but rather determines himself whether he gives in to conditions or stands up to them.” — Viktor Frankl

Image of Viktor Frankl wearing white representing quote about choosing.

11. “I believe that my handicap will only enhance my ability to help others. I know that without the suffering, the growth that I have achieved would have been impossible.” — Viktor Frankl

12. “We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that 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 Frankl

13. “Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength.” — Viktor Frankl

See also: 130 Best Positive Inner Strength Quotes To Build You Up

14. “Fundamentally, therefore, any man can, even under such circumstances, decide what shall become of him – mentally and spiritually. He may retain his human dignity even in a concentration camp.” — Viktor Frankl

15. “Each of us carries a unique spark of the divine, and each of us is also an inseparable part of the web of life.” — Viktor Frankl

Viktor Frankl wearing white shirt and glasses representing his quote divine spark.

16. “When I was taken to the concentration camp of Auschwitz, a manuscript of mine ready for publication was confiscated. Certainly, my deep desire to write this manuscript anew helped me to survive the rigors of the camps I was in.” — Viktor Frankl

17. “Since Auschwitz, we know what man is capable of. And since Hiroshima, we know what is at stake.” Viktor Frankl

18. “Even the helpless victim of a hopeless situation, facing a fate he cannot change, may rise above himself, may grow beyond himself, and by so doing change himself.” — Viktor Frankl

19. “As such, I also bear witness to the unexpected extent to which man is capable of defying and braving even the worst conditions conceivable.” — Viktor Frankl

20. “Man is capable of changing the world for the better if possible, and of changing himself for the better if necessary.” — Viktor Frankl

Image of Viktor Frankl posing in white shirt representing his quote about change.

See also: 80 Powerful Making A Difference Quotes To Inspire Change

In Conclusion

Frankl’s work is a reminder that we are all capable of finding meaning in our lives, no matter what challenges we face.

I hope these Viktor Frankl quotes offer hope and inspiration to anyone who is struggling to find their way.

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80 Viktor Frankl Quotes To Help You Live A Meaningful Life