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Prisoners of Our Thoughts: Viktor Frankl's Principes for Discovering Meaning in Life & Work [Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Alex Pattakos , Author
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 1 2008
This timely book expands on Viktor Frankl's seminal Man's Search for Meaning, examining the book's concepts in depth and widening the market for them by introducing an entirely new way to look at work and the workplace. Alex Pattakos, a former colleague of Frankl's, brings the search for meaning at work within the grasp of every reader using simple, straightforward language. The author distills Frankl's ideas into seven core principles: Exercise the freedom to choose your attitude; Realize your will to meaning; Detect the meaning of life's moments; Don't work against yourself; Look at yourself from a distance; Shift your focus of attention; and Extend beyond yourself. By demonstrating how Dr. Frankl's key principles can be applied to all kinds of work situations, Prisoners of Our Thoughts opens up new opportunities for finding personal meaning and living an authentic work life.

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Prisoners of Our Thoughts: Viktor Frankl's Principes for Discovering Meaning in Life & Work + Man's Search for Meaning: An Introduction to Logotherapy + Man's Search for Meaning
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From Publishers Weekly

The late Viktor Frankl's hopeful Man's Search for Meaning emerged from his experience in a Nazi concentration camp. With Frankl's blessing, Pattakos, a cofounder of the Innovation Group consultancy and a former professor of public and business administration, applies Frankl's lessons to corporate America's workplaces. Logotherapy, Frankl's therapeutic approach, says we are free to respond to all aspects of our destiny; Pattakos argues that if we all have a will to meaning, then even if we work for unenlightened companies, we can still "connect meaningfully with others" within the workplace. Finding your sense of humor, giving to others and forgiving, and "de-reflecting" (or shifting your focus of attention) are all strategies for connection; one should consider "ten positive things" when losing a job or taking a pay cut. Pattakos ends each chapter with a "Meaning Moment" and a "Meaning Question," which can seem contrived (how exactly is your work like a "mission"?) and a lot of the advice will feel like familiar workplace etiquette that has been rebranded. Still, Pattakos's is a humane approach that allows for purpose in even the most purposeless-seeming environments, which is surely palliative care—if not a cure—for work ruts. The foreword is by The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People author Stephen R. Covey.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"This landmark book underscores how the search for meaning is intimately related to and positively influences health improvement at all levels. Reading "Prisoners of Our Thoughts" is an insightful prescription for promoting health and wellness!"--Kenneth R. Pelletier, PhD, MD, Professor, University of Arizona and University of California, San Francisco Schools of Medicine; Chairman, American Health Association; and author of "The""Best Alternative Medicine." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Applying Viktor Frankl's Principles at Work Dec 6 2008
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
If you have ever taken a self-improvement seminar or read a self-help book, you have probably encountered one or more quotes from Dr. Viktor Frankl's book, Man's Search for Meaning, in which he describes what he learned through being in Nazi concentration camps as a persecuted Jew. The book is the foundation for a school of thought that is a spiritual counterpoint to seeing humans as driven by desire (Freud) and power (Adler). Frankl's examples are compelling because they are born of such intense suffering and achieve beautiful transcendence.

If you reverse the title and subtitle of this book, you get a better sense of the book's contents.

Dr. Pattakos in the book and Dr. Covey in the foreword briefly recount the meetings with Dr. Frankl and his influence on their lives and practices. Dr. Pattakos writes briefly about seven principles he has distilled from Dr. Frankl's work.

These principles are:

1. Freedom to choose our reaction and attitude towards things that affect us (we can see negative things in positive ways as Dr. Frankl did in viewing his time in Nazi concentration camps);

2. We can focus consciously on positive, meaningful values and goals (look to improve, rather than complain);

3. We can find meaning in everything that happens (a setback is an opportunity to learn how to improve);

4. We can learn how to stop our self-sabotage (get out of funks, rather than deepening them);

5. We can see ourselves objectively and with humor (and gain from these perspectives);

6. We can choose our focus when dealing with challenges in ways that will reward us (count your blessings when you have a problem);

7. We can influence the world in positive ways.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Dec 16 2008
A truly insightful and meaningful book. The book is highly therapeutic in all aspects of daily life and work. Your thoughts can either release your potential or block it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing person Nov. 7 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Viktor Frankl is an amazing person - what he did to stay alive and of sound mine is unbelievable. Sure makes you think about how your thoughts can make or break you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Dark but revealing Sept. 19 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Yes, very dark. Not an easy read due to the facts revealed. Yet the meaning is so true to life. Love it!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read! Jan. 24 2005
Prisoners Of Our Thoughts is an engaging, inspirational read. If it does not change your life, read it again. Dr. Pattakos understands the search for spiritual meaning and the corporate world. I heartily recommend this book!
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