The Last Freedom

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Viktor E. Frankl

Viktor E. Frankl, M.D., Ph.D., an internationally-renowned psychiatrist and neurologist, endures years of unspeakable horror while imprisoned in Nazi death camps. In the toughest of situations, with survival a daily concern, Dr. Frankl develops the theories that would forever impact the world of psychiatry. His core belief: Man’s primary motivational force is his search for meaning.

In the book, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” Dr. Frankl’s first published work in 1946, he writes about the last of human freedoms – the ability to choose one’s attitude within a given set of circumstances. Even while held captive within a concentration camp, man has a choice. This last human inner freedom cannot be lost – it is what makes life meaningful and purposeful.

I can only imagine the challenge of choosing one’s attitude in a concentration camp. In America, where freedom reigns, the choice is not just easy – the Constitution of the United States supports freedoms as the central part of our laws.

Dr. Frankl believes that a person cannot be replaced, nor can their life be repeated. A man cannot answer the question about the meaning of life – he can only answer the question of the meaning of his life. For that, he alone must be responsible.

The messages in Dr. Frankl’s book are powerful and life-changing.

  • You cannot be replaced.
  • Only you can do what you do and what needs to be done.
  • The primary motivational force is the search for meaning.
  • The freedom to choose is what makes life purposeful and meaningful.
  • Figure not the meaning of life but the meaning of your life.

Only you can do what you do and what needs to be done by you. Are you right now doing what only you can do and what needs to be done by you?

What one decision . . . one single choice . . . will make your life more purposeful and meaningful? Is today the day for taking the first step?

Today, I will . . .