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This book has 24 recommendations
Ryan Holiday (Founder/Brass Check)Frankl is one of the most profound modern thinkers on meaning and purpose. His contribution was to change the question from the vague philosophy of “What is the meaning of life?” to man being asked and forced to answer with his actions. He looks at how we find purpose by dedicating ourselves to a cause, learning to love and finding a meaning to our suffering. His other two books on the topic, Will To Meaning and Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning have gems in them as well.
Anant Jain (Co-Founder/CommonLounge)I remember that reading the book “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl was a pivotal moment for me. It’s the story of Frankl’s survival through Nazi concentration camps during World War II. It made me think long and hard about what living a fulfilling life really means for me and what are the things that I truly value. It's a short read, and I highly recommend you read this one.
Tony Robbins (Life Coach)Recommended by Tony Robbins on page 215 of Tools of Titans
Madalina Uceanu (Managing Partner/CareerAdvisor)My favourite book of all times remains “Man’s search for meaning“, written by Viktor Frankl, as it brings some very valuable lessons about human nature and what’s most important in life, acting as a good reminder to see the forest from the trees and focus on the values that represent you.
Deepak Chhugani (Founder/The Lobby)While it was hard to understand why this book would help in work, it was one of the many important readings that helped me be introspective and decide if I actually wanted to go through the hardships of starting a tech startup. There are plenty of easier ways to make money with less headaches, less disapproval from peers, among others, so it helped me figure out what I really wanted to do and find comfort in that decision.
Gunhee Park (Co-Founder/Populum)I can’t narrow down one favorite book, but there are a few that have had a strong impact on me over the past few years. Life and Death in Shanghai and Man’s Search for Meaning are great non-business books that have helped me gain a deeper perspective on life. Both books also helps you gain a stronger appreciation of the times we live in today.
James Altucher (Founder/StockPickr)He was in Auschwitz. His friends and family were dying all around him. He was tortured both physically and psychologically.
But he found the vein of meaning deep inside of him to keep going. And not only to keep going, to actually hope, and be excited about a future he didn’t even know if he would live for.
Read that one book alone. Read it over and over.
Simon Sinek (Best-selling Author)This is essential reading for anyone interested in the topic of purpose. Because Frankl’s personal experience was so extreme, the lessons are that much more stark. And, most importantly, his lessons are universally applicable to all our lives.
James Murphy (Marketing Manager/Live Nation)Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl because it helped me understand the concept of “suffering” on a much deeper level. More importantly, it led me to accept that how I respond to and deal with negative situations is completely in my control.
Henry Medine (Co-Founder/Space Jam Data)I promote range and diversity. Thus, I recommend readers to expose themselves to as many different topics as possible. I usually have 2-4 books I refer back to at any given time. They range in topics from management, art, spirituality and philosophy. Trying to get the engineering thing going but don't much of a mind for science.
Kevin Lamping (Founder/WebdriverIO)Another great read for folks looking for a little meaning in their life.
Emi Gal (CEO/Teads Studio)My all-time favorite book is Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, because it shows how even an inmate in a concentration camp can find meaning in life, and I believe having meaning in life is important.
Tudor Mihailescu (Finance and Business Enablement Manager)Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl is another masterpiece. Built around a very testing personal story, it leaves you empowered to be the master of your own destiny. Finding your logos (purpose), what really really drives you is probably the most important mission we have in life and, once that is somewhat conquered, everything else – no matter how difficult – will be just noise. Frankl’s journey, an interesting mix of personal and professional, is a great example.
Stephen Lew (Director/The School of Positive Psychology)"The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho is my all time favourite and followed by "Man in Search of Meaning” by Viktor Frankl. [...] Man in Search of Meaning draws onto the importance of developing awareness for one’s existential needs. Our existence or existential identity is a beacon of our life’s journey.
Todd Henry (Founder of Accidental Creative)Frankl was in a concentration camp in WWII, and lost many family members and friends at the hands of Nazi tyranny. In reading his story, and learning how he managed to survive, I was struck by how he reframed the question about life purpose. He argues that instead of asking “what do I want out of life?”, we should instead ask “what does life want from me?” Approaching daily activity with a mindset of contribution and adding value re-frames many of the trivial stresses and frustrations and helps me to instead focus on the bigger picture of what I’m adding to the world.
Jason Calacanis (Entrepreneur, Angel Investor)John Brockman, my dear friend and agent (if I ever get around to writing a book), handed me one of the most important books of my life: “Authentic Happiness” by Marty Seligman. That book led me to the most important book of my life: “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl. Frankl was a psychologist and Holocaust survivor. He studied how people react to horrible circumstances that are beyond their control. He studied why some people give up and others carry on. While few of us can understand the level of suffering of people during the Holocaust, Nanking or the Killing Fields, Frankl put his theories forward so that we could carry them into our daily lives. Logotherapy was what Frankl called his theories, and their major tenants are that we choose how to find meaning in our circumstances and that our experiences all have meaning. My interpretation of Frankl is that you actually get to choose how you feel about your circumstances.
Erik Rostad (Creator/Books of Titans project)You can get books on particular skills you need for a given job, but these books will help having the right mindset for a career and how work should fit into the greater story of your life. For pursuing the right goals: Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.
David Heinemeier Hansson (Co-Founder/Basecamp)Man’s Search for Meaning is part holocaust first-person account, part exposition of “logotherapy”, and combined completely profound. Humans can endure the most gruesome treatment if they have something to live for. And they can die from the most pampered existence once there’s nothing to live for. It’s exceedingly well written, and wonderfully short. The author wrote it in 9 days, and yet it’s probably the best book on the philosophy of life that I’ve read outside of the Stoic classics. Very highly recommended.
Roxana Bitoleanu (Founder/Taraba Virtuala)[One of the books that had the biggest impact on Roxana Bitoleanu] Man's search for meaning, a story about resilience in the most extreme way possible.
George Logothetis (CEO/Libra Group)Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl made a profound impact on me. Frankl, a psychologist, spent years in the Nazi concentration camps under barbaric conditions. Yet he was somehow able to convert and channel his own suffering into improving the lives of others with his work after the war. Reading his story was an inspiration—a lesson and a deep and poignant message that if you can find the strength (and awareness) to attach meaning to your own suffering it can make it a little more bearable. And a further reminder as to how lucky we are to live in a free Western World. It tells us what it means to live with dignity, valuing freedom and our common humanity in spite of being subjected to unspeakable savagery.
Adam Johnston (CEO & Co-Founder/Last Call Trivia)If you read enough, any missed nuggets will eventually surface again in another book, unless you’re reading Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl. If you’re reading that, make sure you grab every nugget you can the first time and then go back and reread it a few times.
Chris Goward (Founder/WiderFunnel & GO Group Digital)Here are some of the books that have been very impactful for me, or taught me a new way of thinking: [...] Man’s Search for Meaning.
Laurentiu-Victor Balasa (CEO / Underline)To learn how to appreciate the entrepreneurial struggle and see how easy it is compared to real hardships
David McCann ( Principal / AOP Capital)How many times in Entrepreneur land and business let alone life do we find ourselves in the frustration situation where stuff isn’t just going according to plan. The goals, the tasks list the business plans and even the people aren’t working out. In fact they’re not even behaving. We kill ourselves with exhaustion trying all the force, cunningness and other tricks plus smarts to advance or muscle through. All has not failed perhaps the real issue is ourselves – we need to change or evolve.
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Ryan Holiday, Anant Jain, Tony Robbins, Madalina Uceanu, Deepak Chhugani, Gunhee Park, James Altucher, Simon Sinek, James Murphy, Henry Medine, Kevin Lamping, Emi Gal, Tudor Mihailescu, Stephen Lew, Todd Henry, Jason Calacanis, Erik Rostad, David Heinemeier Hansson, Roxana Bitoleanu, George Logothetis, Adam Johnston, Chris Goward, Laurentiu-Victor Balasa, David McCann
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