The Search for MeaningwithAlex Pattakos

Books Mentioned In This Interview

Alex Pattakos, PhD, is author of Prisoners of Our Thoughts: Viktor Frankl’s Principles for Discovering Meaning in Life and Work. He is also co-author, with his wife Elaine Dundon, of The OPA! Way: Finding Joy & Meaning in Everyday Life & Work. He and his wife are co-founders of the Global Meaning Institute. He is a former faculty associate at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Here he describes his relationship with Viktor Frankl, the founder of logotherapy. He suggests that the primary driver of human psychology is neither the will to pleasure nor the will to power, but rather the quest for meaning in life. Such meaning, he claims, can be found everywhere. However, when people do not grasp this meaning, they often become alienated from life itself. He discusses how Viktor Frankl applied these principles as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps. Nelson Mandela offers another similar example. Pattakos also talks about the phenomenon of “paradoxical intention” – how we often find ourselves engaged in behaviors that create the opposite result to that which we intend.

(Recorded on July 7, 2015)

Published on August 24, 2015


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