Brief Book Review – “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl

Man's Search for MeaningMan’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

By far, this has been the most enjoyable and most meaningful book regarding psychology that I have ever read. Throughout the book, I was amazed to read what Viktor and his comrades and enemies had endured in the Nazi camps during World War II. His insights of mankind that he took into and away from those experiences are indispensable and profound. I made a point to share some of my favorite quotes from the book on social media as I was reading this book. A few of my favorites towards the end of the book are as follows:

In regards to the notion that the elderly envy the young and the young pity the elderly,

“Instead of possibilities, I have realities in my past, not only the reality of work done and of love loved, but of sufferings bravely suffered. These sufferings are even the things of which I am most proud, though these are things which cannot inspire envy.”

On the pursuit of pleasure as a main goal,

“Pleasure is, and must remain, a side-effect or by-product, and is destroyed and spoiled to the degree to which it is made a goal in itself.”

Concerning how to live one’s life,

“Live as if you were living for the second time and had acted as wrongly the first time as you are about to act now.”

And in the afterword, .. writes about Frankl’s view on attitude,

“A positive attitude enables a person to endure suffering and disappointment as well as enhance enjoyment and satisfaction. A negative attitude intensifies pain and deepens disappointments; it undermines and diminishes pleasure, happiness, and satisfaction; it may even lead to depression or physical illness.”

I also very much enjoyed how Frankl covers he much American trend of being unhappy and ashamed of being unhappy. Frankl teaches you to look for the meaning of your suffering, if you must be subjected to such suffering. Instead of looking at unhappiness as an illness, look upon it as a means to a meaningful end.

A huge part of what Frankl is saying in this book, and the biggest lesson I learned from it is that there is no logic in trying to define life in general as having a profound meaning; however, one’s own life should be spent finding the meaning in your own journey, and taking the good and the bad together, and being proud of both, as necessary parts to living a complete and fulfilling life.

I now have an interest in learning more about logotherapy, the psychiatric method that Frankl helped to pioneer and give legitimacy to.



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Brief Book Review : “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kehneman

Thinking, Fast and SlowThinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As the four stars indicated, yes, I really liked this book. I love any author that challenges me intellectually to understand concepts on a higher plane of thought and rationale. In this book, Kahneman challenges the notion that what we declare as rationale behavior is actually how our brains rationally work.

He exposes how two different systems in our minds are at work as we encounter everyday decisions, as well as life changing decisions. The text is complete with numerous and very descriptive accounts of experiments and mathematical examples of how the research into his and his colleagues’ theories were tested.

I really like that this book is one in which it changes how I will look at decision making and snap judgments. Any book that can change how you see the world is worth reading.

I high recommend it.



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Growth from Purge

I’d like to think I could go through life not regretting past decisions. This, however, does not mean that I cannot learn from mistakes, grow as a person, and emerge as something more mature, intellectual, responsible, properly cautious, properly adventurous, patient and principled.

My late teens and nearly all of my twenties were spent believing in one thing but doing another. I look back, and I think of so many times that I made decisions that were contrary to the principles that I claimed to believe. Of course, not all of my decisions were bad, and not all of my experiences were unwanted or void of fun and adventure. I do feel,however, that I wasted much time. Lately, wasting time has been the thing that I find myself pondering over and over again.

I do not want to continue to waste the time I have in my life. Whether I live to be one hundred or do not live to see 34, I want to feel like I am constantly growing, on the inside as a person, and outwardly as a neighbor to all I encounter.

Part of trying to improve the present and the future is cleaning up the past. Obviously, I cannot undo anything, but I can clean up certain messes. Part of my recent steps to clean up a few old messes is to purge unwanted or obsolete connections on social media. I have manage to purge my list of facebook connections from over 300 to less than 150.

Another, and more significant step, at least for me, is that I have discontinued my bandcamp and youtube page. Although it was a fun ride to produce and share my music over the last 7 years, I cannot say I am extremely pleased with how its content reflects on the type of person that I want to be and become. I still love music, and I will likely keep making music for others; however, I have no plans to record any new vocals. I do not wish to be judged based on the reactive and aggressive outpourings of a young, ambitious, and sometimes hurting and hurtful man’s verbal tirades.

In regard to not wasting time, there are several things that I would like to do with my life. Most of which would be a challenge as a standalone project and nearly impossible to do while trying to split focus on other tasks. My priority in the short term is to prioritize the things I want to do with my life. I need to focus my attention and dedicate myself to accomplishing something real and substantial.

Thanks for reading.

Best of luck to all of you! Be good to each other!

– G – 08/10/2015 – Covington, LA

Reinvention

Welcome to GSLADE.COM and thanks for stopping by. I have had several websites over the years, and each one has seemed to have a different purpose. This one will be a fluid site. By that, I meant that I have no idea what the end game of my site is going to be. I wanted to get the ball rolling and see where it stopped though.

I have been known for posting independent rap songs over the last few years, and I have also written lyrics for other singers. I am shifting my focus to academia, creative writing, music production, and possibly an occasional editorial.

These days I steer clear of heated political debates; I do not follow the news or world events. I watch much less sports than I used to. I spend my time these days reading economics, history, philosophy, psychology, biographies, and religious texts as often as I can. I am now a remote project manager for a technology firm based out of Australia and Las Vegas in the U.S.

I have recently moved from Mississippi to Louisiana to live with Jessica, my first serious relationship, since my second marriage ended in January of 2012.

I have no expectations of large or regular readerships of my blog/journal/posts. If you are indeed reading this, I thank you, and I hope to keep you interested.

Til next time, I will spend some time adjusting the look and feel of the site. Don’t be surprised if you come back to see a completely different look.

Be good to each other, and stay optimistic.

– G – 08/07/2015 – Covington, LA