In 1945, during a 9-day span, Viktor Frankl started and completed, his most famous book, Man’s Search For Meaning.
Read this book, it will change your life.
It’s about Viktor Frankl’s experience as a prisoner in the Nazi concentration camps during World War II. It’s incredible. If a MUST read was ever, a MUST, this is the book. But this blog post is not about the book.
This blog post is about the preface he wrote to his book in the 1992 Edition.
After selling 3 million copes, Frankl was receiving worldwide publicity, and reporters asked him of his success. He replied with, “My intention was to keep the book as written anonymously.”
To Frankl, he just wanted people understand meaning and purpose can be found, in any situation in life. ANY SITUATION. Frankl experienced one of the most horrific and trying circumstances any human being can imagine. Notwithstanding, he was able to find meaning and purpose, through this in his life. He felt this extreme of a memoir, could serve as an impact for others to learn from his story. Therefore, he asserted that he felt responsible to write what would be a 9-day masterpiece, about 1095-day monster.
This was his “WHY,” his “FUEL,” or his “MEANING,” for the book.
Frankl explains his mindset of writing the book, along with his perspective of success, beautifully to his students:
“Don’t aim at success – the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness cannot be pursued. It must ensue. And it only does so as an unintended side-effect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than one’s self or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than one’s self. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success. You have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long run—in the long run, I say!–success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think of it.”
Dedication to a cause greater than one’s self, trumps all. Step outside yourself, think and act bigger than just yourself when pursuing your goals, and dreams. Incorporate a plan that’s going to serve, or enrich others. When you let go of your own self-centeredness, and don’t think about what gain you can get out of something, that’s when the magic starts happening.
It’s counter-intuitive. Don’t try so hard. Slow down, breath and think about what’s important. You’ll find that you never had to chase success to begin with.
Success, as Viktor Frankl brilliantly puts it, “Must ensue.”