Join getAbstract to access the summary!

Prisoners of Our Thoughts

Join getAbstract to access the summary!

Prisoners of Our Thoughts

Viktor Frankl's Principles at Work


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Ever wonder, "What`s the point of it all?" Viktor Frankl`s work suggests you must answer that question for yourself.

Editorial Rating



Author Alex Pattakos draws on his own experiences, TV sitcoms and, primarily, Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl to convey the idea that it is up to you to find meaning in your life and work. Pattakos includes exercises from his own coaching practice and some other widely used techniques (such as writing your own obituary) to help readers focus on the most meaningful elements of their lives. His book brings Frankl’s ideas to bear at the office, through such concepts as imbue your work with meaning, chose your own attitude and reach beyond yourself. While this may remind you of supportive guidance you have heard before (perhaps better stated), finds that it may provide tools for seeking purpose in your daily life. Pattakos’ book is useful, supportive and readable. If nothing else, it might encourage those who are unfamiliar with Viktor Frankl to read his work. He is the philosophical parent of this and many other such books.


Life Isn’t Random

Perhaps you hate your job but stick with it for security, all the while wondering whether life might hold more, and what that more might be. Maybe you perceive that you are the victim of bad luck, and that the only breaks you get are bad breaks. Maybe you wish that, for once, you could take control of your life. If so, you aren’t the only person who feels that way.

Viktor Frankl, a holocaust survivor, was an inmate at several Nazi concentration camps. After World War II, he founded a humanistic strain of psychotherapy called Logotherapy. The theories of Logotherapy can help you find meaning in your work. Some people find meaning in even the most routine and seemingly meaningless work. Consider your mail carrier, for example. Carrying mail doesn’t require an advanced academic degree. Yet, some mail carriers recognize that their work is indispensable to others, that it may in fact be (literally) part of a life-saving mission. Who knows what could be in a bag of mail? It is not the job that gives meaning to the person’s life, but the person who gives meaning to the job.

You have the freedom to choose how you will respond to circumstances. Everyone...

About the Author

Alex Pattakos, Ph.D., is founder of the Center for Personal meaning, based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and a principal of The Innovation Group. He is a keynote speaker, consultant and personal coach.

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

Related Channels