19 Nov, 2022

How to Start to Dominate Your Life – Life Lessons from Viktor Frankl


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“Live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!” – Viktor Frankl

Is it possible for a man to dominate life by finding meaning in his life? Can you find your own meaning in life? Can your greatest test become your greatest testimonial, your legacy? What is your mission in life?

We can gather great wisdom from the teachings of Viktor Frankl. Insights that we apply in our own lives can inspire and guide us to be the person we want to become and live the future we want to have.

Viktor Frankl has endured many struggles in his life, but this did not prevent him from leaving a legacy. He was a psychiatrist who became a prisoner of war. He lived in concentration camps while his pregnant wife was killed. Despite all the odds, he still managed to write books that continue to touch the lives of millions of people.

Tune in and learn more about how you can put Viktor Frankl’s teachings into practice. Dominate your life and leave a legacy that can continue to inspire future generations.


⚡️ The four roles we play in life are victim, villain, hero, and guide.

⚡️ We have a choice in how we think and feel.

⚡️ Things that are pleasurable are very addictive.

⚡️ People who do not see a future that inspires them beyond the present, or cannot find meaning in life, seek pleasure.

🔥 To dominate your life, you must know:

·         where you are right now

·         the person you need to be

·         the future you need to create

·         with meaning comes the effort to face challenges

·         what you would leave behind as your legacy

Important stories:

🎯  6:15 Seeing myself as a victim

🎯  7:30 Viktor Frankl in concentration camps

🎯 10:36 Viktor Frankl speaks on lessons learned

🎯 12:01 One of the differences between Sigmund Freud and Viktor Frankl

🎯 12:53 Stoics’ influence on Viktor Frankl

🎯 15:27 Viktor Frankl states what really matters

🎯 19:40 Viktor Frankl talks about suicide

🎯 24:27 My greatest test becomes my greatest testimonial

Send us a message and tell us what is your biggest takeaway about this episode. 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼


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About Pete Cohen: Pete Cohen is one of the world’s leading life coaches and keynote speakers. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world have been motivated and inspired by Pete’s presentations. He has professionally impacted the lives of thousands of people worldwide, including business executives, professional athletes, and everyday people.  Pete focuses on the importance of closing the gap in our lives between where we are and where we want to be, both personally and professionally.

It’s then all about coaching you to remove the obstacles that are in your way and helping you install the habits of success.

Pete is the author of 20 published books, several of which have been best-sellers across the world, including Shut the Duck Up, Habit Busting, Life DIY, and Sort Your Life Out. He has also presented his own show on TV called The Coach and was the resident Life Coach on GMTV for 12 years.

Pete Cohen  0:02

Happy, beautiful, amazing, fantastic day. It is Pete Cohen it is the Future Self Podcast. today's podcast is called How to start to dominate your life life lessons from Viktor Frankl I will see you after the theme tune.


Happy Beautiful day thank you so much stand by me train in vain by the class. No, this isn't a DJ show. Even though I used to be a DJ, I just want to thank you for standing by me seven years of podcasting. And then yesterday in Great Britain it was 100 100 years ago, but it was the first radio broadcast. I often think to myself who actually had a radio when they decided obviously some people did or the world has moved on. But being able to broadcast a message. Being able to share something, however you choose to share it, I think is one of the most important things that human beings can do. Human beings can do many great things. Human beings have incredible potential. But being a human being isn't always easy. And there are a lot of challenges going on in the world right now. But in terms of the title of this podcast, today, how to start to dominate your life. Life lessons from Viktor Frankl Viktor Frankl is someone I came across many years ago because just so many people talked about him and talked about the book Man's Search for Meaning. So is it possible that men can dominate his life finding meaning in his life? I mean, maybe dominate is too strong a word, but to rule over your life, to dominate to make a decision in terms of who you are what you do. Many people have heard that expression. If you don't know what you stand for, you'll fall for everything. And I want to give a frame around this podcast today. And it's a frame that I've mentioned before. It's something I'm really interested in and it's the story of our life. So I think in the story of your life, there are four different roles that you can play. And you see this in every film that you pretty much watch. You can be a victim. You can be a villain, you can be a hero, or you can be a guide. So in every film, we see the victim. The victim is someone who's unfairly treated unfairly challenged. The villain is someone who makes others feel small, wants to hurt people. The hero is someone who faces the challenge and transforms and the guide is someone who helps the heroes. I mentioned this once again on podcast that in life everyone who listened to the podcast I think if he was a hero, because you don't have to be here you're obviously because he wants something everything that human beings do is is goal orientated. We are wanting creatures, and we're gonna really dive into some of the really important life lessons from Viktor Frankl. I want you to think about every film you've ever watched. What's your favorite film? I mean, personally, I love Lord of the Rings. I've watched it multiple times when I was young. I listen to on the radio, BBC Radio four. I didn't learn to read until I was about 13 years old. I really struggled at school diagnosed with severe dyslexia. I remember being asked to spell the word dyslexia. I just remember being so confused as to how, how do you spell that word? Still can't even spell the word. I can give it a go. I can do it. I can do my best. But I actually remember listening to Lord of the Rings and seeing the characters in my mind because when you listen, you have to use parts of your brain. I think you stopped using when you're when you're watching something you're kind of not being as creative. And I remember remember seeing the Peter Jackson films all those years later and thinking wow, this is so close to what I imagined that I was able to use my mind in incredible ways. And that's definitely something that Viktor Frankl did. So Viktor Frankl was a psychiatrist. He was he was a prisoner of war. He was in three different concentration camps and he's written a book that has touched the hearts and minds of millions of people. Man's Search for Meaning. When I first read the book, I was amazed that someone could endure what he endured. But before we really get stuck into that, just take a moment to think about any film that you've ever watched and identify the victim. Addicted identify the villain. Identify the heroes and identify the guides. I look at you as a hero and I'm your guide. I'm not the Yoda to Luke Skywalker, right now. That's how I look at me in putting this podcast out into the world. I'd like you to consider yourself being the hero. What does a hero do? Well, the hero has meaning. The hero was often a victim in the past, but he's become a hero. The word hero comes from the Greek word heroes which means protector. So heroes protect, but they're not just protecting others. They're also protecting something that they believe to be true, something that is important to them. And I felt like a victim many many times in my life. I remember the Drama Triangle when going to a relationship counseling many years ago with my wife or not my wife, my girlfriend at the time, and the therapist drew on this piece of paper, the Drama Triangle with the victim, the P for persecutor and the Alpha rescuer. And she explained this and I started to see myself as sometimes being the victim of the situation that I was in feeling a victim feeling prosecuted, and then wanting to rescue I could see that pattern showing up in my life. And as I got older, I learned another dynamic which is seeing yourself as the creator of your life, and everything is a challenge and you have the opportunity to coach and be coached. As you change your perspective. You change your mind. It's very easy for us to be the victim in our life, and many people feel like victims, and if you've ever felt like that, you're not alone. But it's ultimately a choice for most people. Most of us are fortunate enough that we're not in a concentration camp because you can imagine if you were in a concentration camp you're being victimized. But what Viktor Frankl became very well known for was the meaning that he found in the experience. So he was taken to a concentration camp with his wife and his wife was pregnant. And when they knew that this was happening, a lot of people were in denial that this was happening. You know, Jewish people were very accepted, very much a part of German society. And then of course this happened and then obviously, you can just imagine, you can't imagine what that must have been like. And he'd been writing this book, and he wanted to finish it, but his wife sewed the manuscript into his jacket so he could continue to write it. The book was called a new and Viktor Frankl had come up with a therapy called logotherapy and really logotherapy in its origin was about the fact the fact that human beings have a choice in how they think. And you can imagine that his greatest test eventually became his greatest testimonial. When he arrived, they took the jacket off him, so he couldn't get the manuscript. His wife was taken somewhere else and his wife was killed, his wife was pregnant. Can you imagine I can actually imagine what that must be like. But if his parents were murdered, killed, but yet someone still finds out. He was suicidal, right? There was a time where he felt like giving up but at some point, he just realized he had a choice. And that's one of the reasons why to this day, we still talk about Viktor Frankl we still remember


Viktor Frankl   7:25

him who he was want. But everybody in the midst of suffering is given a chance is given a chance to bear testimony of the human potential at its best, which is to turn a personal tragedy into a human triumphs.


Pete Cohen  7:44

Amazing write those words, being able to turn a tragedy into a human triumph. And I think everybody has that opportunity to do that. But it's whether we do and I think it's really has to do with how you view yourself. And let's just go back to what I was just saying before, because it's true that in our life, we play the victim. Sometimes we play the villain sometimes we play the hero. Sometimes we play the guide sometimes. But I think now more than ever, we need to make a choice or we get to make a choice. We get to make a choice about who we become. And many people know this is called the Future Self Podcast. And one of the things I'm obsessed about is how do you see the future? How do you see yourself? Can you find something great in the future that you can see that despite the challenges that you face, there is still something to work on.


Viktor Frankl   8:29

White lesson from both types of camps and the policeman was that under equal circumstances those prisoners have the highest chance of survival. Were oriented toward the future


Pete Cohen  8:43

orientated towards the future. So Viktor Frankl is very well known for many of the things that he said, but that has to be one of them. You want to dominate your life, then have a future that you want to go out and create. But know the person that you need to be in the moments that you're in. That to me is the guide. Now you could have guided right now I'm guiding you through this podcast, but you could be guided by the greatest person on this earth. And I would say that's not you. Honestly, this is just the way I look at it. I'd say the greatest person on this earth is not you. It's the person that you could become that person is greater than you. And when we look at what Man's Search for Meaning is, this is where there was some opposition between Viktor Frankl and Sigmund Freud. How many of you have heard of Sigmund Freud? And there are many ways to improve your life. There's many ways there's many things that you could do as many people you can listen to. But one of the differences between Sigmund Freud is Sigmund Freud thought that man was driven by desire for pleasure. That's what motivated people and what Frankl said is no, no, no man is driven by meaning. And a will to meaning that when someone couldn't find meaning, they were distracted, distracted to pleasure. Now, again, everyone's entitled to their own opinion, but you know what? I think that to be true. Because when you find people that really have a meaning is something that they have to do and often whatever that thing is, it's difficult. It's challenging. They don't get into temptation. And when we look at a greatness of human beings, Frankl was massively influenced by the stoics. And one of the things that stoics also believed that the duty of life is to live virtuously, to live with the Four Virtues of courage. What is courage, courage is your ability to do something that's scary and to manage that fear as you move into something as you transform. It's not explained to justice, you know, standing up for the rights of others, but standing up for your own rights and history is full of people that have done that. That self control and that to me is where there's so much power right? In a world right now that it's trying to take you away from your meaning whatever your meaning is, but finding a meaning that allows you to not get into temptation. It's fascinating. I don't know whether you have an epiphany when you take a moment to think about that. But for two and a half, 1000 years, we have been manipulated. We have been we've allowed ourselves to be manipulated many of us to get into temptation, to sacrifice meaning for pleasure. And with meaning comes effort. But for me, meaning its growth, that's what it is to grow means, well, that's going to be challenging. It means stepping into maybe a place you haven't stepped in before. Lead us not into temptation. I don't know whether the Lord can stop you from picking up the donor. But I know you can. And I know your future self care. So what is the meaning of your life? I mean, it's a big question so I can understand why some people think about that tomorrow. I said to a woman yesterday. What is something you'd like to do that you would you'd want to do? It so much that you would actually pay for the opportunity to do that? To start to think about what would give you a life great meaning? The ice cream It might taste nice, but it's distracting you it's not fulfilling this the same with alcohol. It offers a sense of peace. But it's not it's it numbs, it numbs ourselves. I think the fastest way to transform ourselves. It's just a wake up to the reality of where we are right now. So Victor Frankel's message to me is now as important as it ever, ever has been probably even more so.


Viktor Frankl   11:48

What counts and mentors then, is the attitude to adapt to an unchanging faith, unchanged from a situation may change your attitude, the priority goes to actively changing a situation that causes such high cost. superiority goes to the attitude you likely adopt when you cannot change the situation. I hope you understand what I tried to convey to you


Pete Cohen  12:14

isn't that amazing that he's talking? I believe he's talking to me. Maybe you believe that he's talking to you. He's he's not here anymore. But his message lives on. And when we talk about finding meaning in your life, then one of the great ways to find meaning if you want to dominate your life is well think about your life being over. If your life was over right now, what would you have left behind? What would be your legacy? I know that if I died today, I believe a lot behind. I know that I have been a light to many other people. I know that I've positively impacted people's lives. I've given people a new perspective. I've given a lot of what I have. But you know what? I feel like I've only just got started and if I died today, would I have any regrets? Yeah, I think I would have regrets. probably hadn't made the most like that I had. And I just feel personally I've only just got started. What about you? What would you like the legacy of your life to be? It's like when I ask the question, what would be the greatest thing you ever do? That forces people to think ahead. What you want the legacy of your life to be not just when he passed away, but what would you like it to? Be long after you've passed away 1000 years after you've passed away? Yeah, we've been given this huge and incredible opportunity and I see people and many of them listen to this podcast, who have turned their greatest tests into their greatest testimonials. Living up to standards, high standards of carving out and creating a better version of themselves. You see, when we hear stories of Frankl what we do is we resonate with the story because it's talking to us. That's why when we watch films, if the person who was a victim who became the hero didn't step up to the challenge, most people would just stop watching right they think, well, what's the point of watching this? What? Let me ask a few questions of you right now. So how's the movie of your life working out for you right now? What roles do you find yourself playing most? You find yourself playing the role of victim when you feel that there's no way out. Because we often sympathize with the victim. We often hate the villain. We often cheer on the hero, and we respect the guide. I think the most important thing is that we look at the lead character which is you who is this person? What's their story? What's that story all about? And if it's not working out for you, then what is this character doing? What do we need to do to make it more meaningful? The major issue for a lot of heroes is they act too often like victims. And if you sort of feel like that you just wouldn't watch if you kept saying the hero literally just kept going back into victim mode and keep doing that and not going anywhere. It's the fact that the victim faces up to a challenge and becomes a hero. And some people feel that they're doomed. And if Viktor Frankl who was a prisoner of war, you can imagine him that whole thing around. He wanted to kill himself, and he did a lot of work with people around suicide.


Viktor Frankl   14:43

I want to state is although suicides may not be undertaken, out of a feeling of meaninglessness they might have opened overcome the impulse to commit to commit suicide might well have been overcome. If those individuals have had a vision of a meaning to their lives.


Pete Cohen  14:59

Don't miss your opportunity to own this rare video classic. It's in


Viktor Frankl   15:03

your hands this responsibility, what you will be it can use and how you will look back and reflect it 10 years from now.


Pete Cohen  15:11

Isn't that amazing? And obviously for myself who every single day is interested, not even interested fascinated by my future self. I was never driven to a future self. I was always driven away from a past self. I didn't actually know where the hell I was going. I was producing lots of lots of results, but I wasn't happy. I really wasn't happy. I wasn't fulfilled because I was looking externally. For validation. I was looking for something outside of myself to validate me, as well as I've gotten older, as many of us have, we've gotten wiser. And with that wisdom, we have the opportunity to find meaning, what is the meaning of life? You know what I think it's the meaning that you give it right now in your life. Are you ready to step up? Are you ready to find meaning to do things that are difficult and challenging? Are you ready to get better or do you constantly want to start giving into temptation? As I look at my phone right now, and we look at all of the things that's tempt us right now. stop us from moving away to seek pleasure to seek to seek stimulation. That has to be the biggest addiction in the world, just right now. Just imagine how many people have got their heads down and they're looking at their phone doing it right now? Because it's a it's a tool. But how we use it, or is it using us? Are we being used or are we using this thing of life? was the man who said Don't ask what America can do for you ask what you can do for America. I think Frankel's message is now more important than ever, over the last few weeks, there's been some real racial tensions, anti semitism coming to the fore again, and I'm sure people have got good reason to think what they think. But ultimately, at what point are we going to agree to a future that we want to create? Because if we don't agree to a future that we're gonna create, we're gonna go round and round and round and round and round. In circles. I want to go around in a circle, and we keep moving forwards because that is what life is. It's not Life is movement, life is forward. It's moving. You can't stop life, but it is a good idea on what sometimes to stop and look at your life and think what part Am I actually playing in all of this? And to really think about where do I want to go from this? What's my next move? As Viktor Frankl said the last of human freedoms is to is to basically choose. What I love about Frankel is he found himself in this situation. And his whole thing was about logotherapy logotherapy was really about your ability to choose how you think and feel. And his greatest test obviously it became his greatest testimonial. Now you could understand when someone was in a concentration camp, it would be very easy to give up. And he thought that the people that did give up many of them, they just lost hope. And they became just sitting, sitting ducks to choose one's attitude in any given situation, to choose one's own way. So what does life expect from you? Do you believe that life is questioning you? You feel that life is there that there's certain tasks that you need to fulfill, believe that everyone has a specific vocational mission that can't be replaced? I mean, all you can do because there is only one of you. What is your mission in life? I would love to know that's what the future so podcast is all about. It's about what is the what is it you want to do? What's the future that you want to create? And I feel that obviously, I've never been in a concentration camp, but I know people that have, I've had my greatest test recently, which has become my greatest testimonial when my wife was re diagnosed with a very aggressive brain tumor and was dying right in front of me. I couldn't find meaning in that right at the beginning. But I found meaning and then I realized I've been through this before, so I kind of know how to deal with this. Even though I didn't feel ready. I didn't feel prepared. A lot of trauma came up, which I didn't even know that was there that happened from 12 years ago. But here's pico instruments. Pete Cohen has been talking about future self has been putting out this podcast. Now. Can you see a future beyond where he isn't the future I could see the beginning was with my wife not being here preparing for the fact preparing for the worst, but at some point because of a few people around me, who guide me. And I spoke to one of them the other day, Dr. retasking. I just sent him and with Hannah, my wife, I said Dr. Bob, I just want to thank you because you guided me through something that was so difficult. I thought the world was ending and was ending. But you know what I'm telling you this story and you might have heard the story before because we were guided by some doctors, some doctors who treated my wife and these doctors are people who are prepared to play at the edges. They found meaning in their life, meaning which isn't easy, and that's something which most people wouldn't do. So these doctors have put two viruses into my wife's brain. Now treating cancer with viruses isn't a new thing. It's something that it's done in some parts of the world think it's done in Japan a fair bit but putting a virus directly into the brain. Most people wouldn't do that. But what lengths will you go to fulfill your mission? To have a sense of this could work if it works, then it's give it a go. And I my wife to have the courage to do that. But Dr. Betty doesn't take it Israel who is leading this group, both of his parents survived the concentration camps. And when we went to Dusseldorf where my wife was treated just half a mile away. There's a Jewish Memorial. And I think it's that 5008 people were taken from this area and only 28 returned. And it's my duty, I believe, to honor the lives of people who gave me life to find meaning in this experience. Both my parents aren't here anymore. Give people a view of a future that they want to go out and create. Because I think the world is moving forwards. We're going to see two types of people more than ever. It'll become so obvious. I think we will just have people who just complete pleasure seekers. And there's nothing I don't think there's anything wrong with seeking pleasure. Just be mindful of pleasure, because the things that are pleasurable in most cases are very addictive, to be able to abstain to have courage to invest in a future that perhaps you don't know it as well as you could know it. The challenge well it's almost set in complete opposition for finding meaning in your life, because everyone wants your attention. Not everybody but a lot of people want your attention to fulfill their meaning. But what's yours? And just, once again, just take a moment and listen to what Viktor Frankl said, right here. Believe me one


Viktor Frankl   20:35

life lesson to learn from both types of camps. And the placement was that under equal circumstances, those prisoners have the highest chance of survival. We're all in the future. So we're


Pete Cohen  20:50

all orientated to the future. All of us and this is something else that Frankl talked about is the peculiarity of men that everything we do is orientated to the future. And for years, people thought what drives behavior is our past and seeking pleasure and avoiding our past. And I think there's truth in that. We also think what's as true as we are driven by a future because people don't see a future that is inspiring to them beyond what they can take out today. So seeking pleasure for today, for a future they don't really know. But the future is coming. And that future, I think, if you have a future that is beyond this week, or this month, you see something beyond where you are, and that's not a default future. It's not a future that you don't want to have, which I actually think people do that they do have a future which is beyond a few days, weeks and months and it scares them because they see themselves in having a conditional life being not the way they want it to be. The weird thing is that they actually behave in a way that is going to make that come true. And there is science around this as well. How we think affects how we feel and how we feel affects how we act. I'm just ready, like never before to help people. Find the meaning of their life and then support them with a band of brothers and sisters, who say you know what, I've got your back. That's what we're seeing now, in the superhero films superheroes coming together. Heroes. So what is your biggest takeaway? From this podcast seven years old? 100 years on from the first podcast I love podcasting. It's my own radio show. And you just got started. Thank you, Viktor Frankl for being such a beautiful, amazing human being and what an honor to be able to share some of your story. I believe in what you said, and I'd love to have seen you and Sigmund Freud in the same room. For it said the desire for pleasure is what motivates human beings. FRANKEL said what motivates human beings is meaning if you can't find meaning, you get distracted by pleasure. who's right who's wrong? Or you know what you can decide? It really is up to you. Thank you so much for listening. We will see you next time.


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