[January 16, 2020] A number of my blog’s readers have graciously recommended several beautiful books for highlighting. Thank you, and please continue to email or post those recommendations in the comments section. I’ll do my best to select some of the more informative works. There are some of those recommended that are popular, usually from high-level politicians or Hollywood types. It is unlikely I will read them. While often quick to reach the height of the charts in the NYT or other similar publications or are selected for review, I find those books to be intellectually unchallenging. I have a surprise today for a book that makes me think. It also takes me on an emotional journey, one that I do not fully understand but enjoyed making nonetheless. The book is by Viktor Frankl. How I missed his book by not writing a review is still a mystery to me. Here it is, please purchase the book and read it carefully.
Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl, 2006
Professor Jordan Peterson, whom I’ve pointed out on several occasions in my leadership blog, speaks about the works of Viktor Frankl. Frankl’s writings have had an impact on American psychology and, yes, on me also. That is why I chose this particular book. Thanks to Mr. TJ Asper, one of my readers, who suggested the book. The book begins with some background. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Frankl relates the severe conditions in the concentration camp. Those without any purpose died. Those that had developed purpose and meaning to the harsh conditions got out of bed every morning to face another unbearable day.
The book has three parts; the first one describes the way the Jews prisoners were treated in the Nazi Concentration Camps and how their lifestyle was. In the second part, the author described the basics of Logotherapy, a way of treatment of the Psychotherapeutic Patients. And finally, in the third part, he explains what he means by Man’s Search for Meaning. 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. His theory holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we find meaningful. Frankl has hit upon something of high value here; ‘pleasure’ is not what we should strive to achieve but the adoption of responsibility to ultimately find meaning.
A classic. This book is highly recommended.
To go to the full Professional Reading list, click on this direct link: www.theleadermaker.com/reading-list/
Side Note: Please remember and take a look at Tom Copeland’s reading blog. His website, which I recommend, can be found here: https://militaryreadinglists.com/map