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  1. 1. By Emily Esfahani Smith
  2. 2. 1. Which events influenced Viktor Frankl to write his bestselling book? How? (p1-2)2. Who did he survive in the concentration camps? (p1)3. What, in his opinion, was the key to surviving in these camps? (p2)4. Which two basic human aspects influence a person’s will to survive? (p4)5. What three aspects are discussed in his book? (p5)6. Draft a quick graph based on the facts in paragraph 7. What conclusions can you draw from it?7. What are some advantages of having purpose and meaning in life? (p7)8. What is the main difference between a happy life and a meaningful life? (p7/p13/p15)9. Which one, happiness or meaning, differentiates human beings from animals? How? (p12/p14)10. How are happiness and meaning different in terms of time? (p17/p18)11. What dilemma did Frankl find himself into before the concentration camps? What do you think about his final decision? (p20-p25)12. What aspect, happiness or meaning, does this article favor? Which words/phrases suggest a certain bias towards one or the other?
  3. 3. • Viktor Frankl, author of Man’s Search for Meaning, claims that finding meaning in life helped many survive Nazi concentration camps• One has the freedom to choose the right attitude to life’s circumstances• He found that the responsibility found in love and creative work drives people’s desire to continue living• His book emphasizes self-sacrifice over the pursuit of happiness• Americans claim to be happy, but find it difficult to define a purpose to their lives• Trying to find happiness makes it impossible to find it• “Takers” usually are happy, which “givers” have more meaningful lives• Happiness is about feeling good and having what one needs, not different from animals• Happiness is related to selfishness and only fulfilling one’s desires• Joy and meaning emerges from giving to others• Sometimes happiness needs to be sacrificed to obtain meaning• Meaning is also about transcending the present moment, which makes it long lasting, while happiness is transitory• Frankl had to sacrifice his family life and professional success to take care of his parents in concentration camps
  4. 4. • Viktor Frankl, author of Man’s Search for Meaning favors the pursuit of meaning in life over searching for happiness. Purpose can be found in the responsibilities of love or creative work. Actively searching for happiness actually makes it more difficult to find it. Happiness is a selfish endeavor no different from animals trying to fulfill their needs , while meaning is more transcendental, emerging from giving to others, suffering and self-sacrifice. Happiness can be temporary, while purpose transcends time.• 79 words
  5. 5. 1. How is this article relevant to the times we live in?2. Where do you find happiness? Can you remember one of your happiest moments?3. Where/how do you find meaning in your life?4. Even though we do not have concentration camps any more, which essential life choices do you think human beings can make these days to add meaning to their lives?5. Costa Rica has been labeled “the happiest country in the world”. Are there reasons to believe this is true? Are we far from fulfilling this ideal?