Pub. Date:
Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Prisoners of Our Thoughts: Viktor Frankl's Principles at Work

Prisoners of Our Thoughts: Viktor Frankl's Principles at Work

by Alex Pattakos, Stephen R. Covey


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7 Principles for Finding Meaning in Life & Work

World-renowned psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning is one of the most important books of modern times. Frankl’s extraordinary personal story of finding meaning amid the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps has inspired millions. Frankl vividly showed that you always have the ultimate freedom to choose your attitude—you don’t have to be a prisoner of your thoughts.

Dr. Alex Pattakos—who was urged by Frankl to write Prisoners of Our Thoughts—and Elaine Dundon, a personal and organizational innovation thought leader, show how Frankl’s wisdom can help readers find meaning in every moment of their lives. Drawing on the entire body of Frankl’s work, they identify seven “core principles” and demonstrate how they can be applied to everyday life and work.

This revised and expanded third edition features new stories, practical exercises, applications, and insights from the authors’ new work in MEANINGology®. Three new chapters outline how we all can benefit by putting meaning at the core of our lives, work, and society. And a new chapter on Viktor Frankl’s legacy illustrates how his work continues to influence so many around the world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781576752883
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Publication date: 10/10/2004
Pages: 200
Product dimensions: 5.79(w) x 8.81(h) x 0.79(d)

About the Author

Alex Pattakos, PhD, is cofounder of the Global Meaning Institute with offices in the United States, Canada, and Greece. His unique background includes being a mental health administrator, professor of public and business administration, consultant with the White House, and advisor to the commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration. He is also the coauthor with Elaine Dundon of The OPA! Way: Finding Joy & Meaning in Everyday Life & Work. As a leader of the Meaning Movement, he is focused on helping others find meaning in life, work, and society. 

Elaine Dundon, MBA, is the cofounder of the Global Meaning Institute. She is passionate about helping people find meaning in their personal and work lives, as well as helping organizations create meaning-centered workplaces to deliver products and services that truly make a meaningful difference. She began her career in brand management at Procter & Gamble. A thought leader in the field of personal and organizational innovation, she authored the best-selling book The Seeds of Innovation and created the groundbreaking course on innovation management at the University of Toronto. Her work evolved to the “human side of innovation,” incorporating meaning, leadership, philosophy, and metaphysics to help people and organizations reach their full potential. 

Stephen R. Covey was the author of several books, including the iconic bestseller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. He passed away in 2012.

Table of Contents

1Life Doesn't Just Happen to Us1
2Viktor Frankl's Lifework and Legacy13
3Labyrinths of Meaning25
4Exercise the Freedom to Choose Your Attitude39
5Realize Your Will to Meaning57
6Detect the Meaning of Life's Moments79
7Don't Work Against Yourself99
8Look at Yourself from a Distance117
9Shift Your Focus of Attention129
10Extend Beyond Yourself143
11Living and Working with Meaning155
About the Author185

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Prisoners of Our Thoughts: Viktor Frankl's Principles at Work 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Author Alex Pattakos draws on his own experiences, TV sitcoms and, primarily, ¿Man's Search for Meaning¿ by Viktor Frankl to convey the idea that it is up to you to find meaning in your life and work. Pattakos includes exercises from his own coaching practice and some other widely used techniques (such as writing your own obituary) to help readers focus on the most meaningful elements of their lives. His book brings Frankl's ideas to bear at the office, through such concepts as imbue your work with meaning, chose your own attitude and reach beyond yourself. While this may remind you of supportive guidance you have heard before (perhaps better stated), we find that it may provide tools for seeking purpose in your daily life. Pattakos' book is useful, supportive and readable. If nothing else, it might encourage those who are unfamiliar with Viktor Frankl to read his work. He is the philosophical parent of this and many other such books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Reading Prisoners of Our Thoughts offers the reader the opportunity to illuminate and explore the meaning of 'work' and 'career'as if in a coaching session with Viktor Frankl and Alex Pattakos serving as facilitators. Throughout the book my conscience was gently and insistently reminded that my 'suffering' belongs to me, a product of my choices. The book's power comes from the transformational message of the author Pattakos and his mentor, Viktor Frankl: Even in seemingly inconsequential work-a-day difficulties lie meaning cues that can illuminate the authentic direction of our lives & career path. Ultimately, Prisoners of Our Thoughts brought me face to face with my own inner 'concentration camp' allowing me to frame and begin to explore the questions, what is the sacred path of my career,how am I creating my own 'prison'. The book's exercises provide excellent tools to determine a strategy to plan my 'escape'to a more meaningful career. This is an excellent book at both the personal and professional levels.
Guest More than 1 year ago
All too often, books on finding meaning in life and at work are made complicated by an author's belief that the more complicated the presentation, the more meaningful the author's underlying message must be. Dr. Pattakos avoids that common mistake. 'Prisoners of Our Thoughts' is written in a clear and accessible style. As a result, Viktor Frankl's core principles come alive for anyone seeking the deeper meaning of their own life and work. I highly recommend this well written book.