30 Minute Meditations on Being Human from the Life and Writings of Viktor Frankl, Day 13: Self-Creation

Viktor Frankl
Viktor Frankl

Lesson for the Day: A human being possesses the inner capacity of free-will and, therefore, can choose, when his or her life is going in the wrong direction, to change for the better.

“[O]ur assertion of human existence as a self-creating act corresponds to the basic assumption that man does not simply ‘be,’ but always decides what he will be in the next moment. At each moment the human person is steadily molding and forging his own character. Thus, every human being has a chance of changing at any instant. There is the freedom to change.”

Source: Viktor E. Frankl, Psychotherapy and Existentialism: Selected Papers on Logotherapy (New York, N.Y.: Simon and Schuster, Inc., 1967), p. 61.

30 Minute Meditations on Being Human from the Life and Writings of Viktor Frankl, Day 10: The Last of Human Freedoms

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Lesson for the Day: You always retain the freedom to choose how you respond to adversity and suffering.

“We who lived in the concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread.  There 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.”

Source: Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning, 3rd ed. (New York, N.Y.: Simon and Schuster, 1984), p. 75.