Three Types of Values That Make Life Meaningful

According to Viktor Frankl, man’s search for and realization of his meaning of life is an embedded motivational tendency. This goes in line with Abraham Maslow’s idea of self-actualization.

Yet Viktor Frankl, the author of the famous Man’s Search for Meaning, goes further and defines three sets of values, which are ways to make one’s life meaningful.

Each individual has and can find his own meaning of life. Through the below values this meaning, sense, and purpose can be manifested.

The first way is what we give to the world. This is is the value of creativity and creative work. The idea of creative work is about what one does above his assigned work duties; what he brings to his work environment as an individual.

The value of creativity is an important and natural one, yet not indispensable. Sometime one single experience, a flash of a moment can make life meaningful. This is the second way – what we take from the world.

Frankl highlights love as the most important of such experiences. Yet someone who has never loved and hasn’t been loved can still make his life meaningful.

And this is when the third type of values comes into play – the values of attitude, i.e. our attitude towards situations or destinies we cannot change. Men exercise these values when they find themselves under circumstances which seem insurmountable.

As soon as we introduce this last category of values to our existence, our lives can no longer be meaningless.

Our lives remain meaningful until the very last breath.

Other posts on Viktor Frank’s Man’s Search for Meaning:

Where Space for Growth Lies
Death Makes Life Meaningful
Heredity And Environment Vs. Will and Action
Knowledge Vs. Wisdom


7 thoughts on “Three Types of Values That Make Life Meaningful

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