Prisoners of Our Thoughts by Alex Pattakos and Elaine Dundon

Learn the seven core principles for discovering meaning in your life and work

Find what matters

Prisoners of Our Thoughts by Alex Pattakos and Elaine DundonPublished by: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 3rd edition
Pages: 288
Price: INR 967
Format: Kindle Edition

Viktor Frankl’s classic Man’s Search for Meaning has inspired, and continues to inspire, people around the world with his fascinating insights into human behaviour under intense duress. As an inmate of one of Hitler’s concentration camps, Frankl experienced the extreme torture of the holocaust firsthand. Being a neurologist and a psychiatrist, he felt inclined to study the behaviour of his fellow inmates suffering with him. In the three years that Frankl spent inside the horrendous camps, he concluded that no matter what challenges you face, you have the ultimate freedom to choose your attitude and your response to what is happening to you.

This, at heart, is the foundation of Prisoners of Our Thoughts.

That Viktor Frankl himself encouraged Dr Pattakos to write this book makes it all the more fascinating. And once you go through it, you realise that the insights this book contains are exactly what the doctor has ordered for humanity, which ails from a serious lack of meaning. But, it’s not the meaning of life that we need to find, say the authors. “It is the search for meaning in your own life that is important. Meaning is different for everyone—there is no one right answer; there is only the answer that is right for you. However, the search for meaning in our own lives often seems like such a large undertaking,” they write.

Do you want to find your own “right answer”? This book tells you how to look for it. The seven core principles that Alex and Elaine introduce in the book contain the essence of Viktor Frankl’s entire teachings and wisdom, with the added bonus of having a contemporary context.

What makes this book immensely readable is that throughout it, the authors use reflections from their own lives as well as examples of real people to drive home the message of each principle. Plus, the many exercises scattered across the book will make it easier for you to bring about the necessary shift as you go about looking for meaning in your own life.

Towards the end of each chapter, you will find a Meaning Moment Exercise followed by a few questions—both designed to bring greater clarity of the meaning principles to your unique life situation. Finally, every chapter has a Meaning Affirmation that will help reinforce the key message of that chapter. To strengthen your understanding, you can keep coming back to the exercise, questions and affirmations much after you’ve finished reading the book.

Read an excerpt of Prisoners of Our Thoughts

Prisoners of Our Thoughts is not a self-help book. Think of it as a friend, philosopher and guide who helps you look beyond the limits of your ordinary, everyday conditioned patterns while gently nudging you towards what really matters to you. To get the most out of this book, don’t approach it casually; read it earnestly. That’s because it carries within it the seeds of authentic transformation.

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Manoj Khatri
Manoj Khatri has spent the last two decades learning, teaching and writing about wellbeing and mindful living. He has contributed over 1500 articles for several newspapers and magazines including The Times of India, The Economic Times, The Statesman, Mid-Day, Bombay Times, Femina, and more. He is a counseling therapist and the author of What a thought!, a critically acclaimed best-selling book on self-transformation. An award-winning editor, Manoj runs Complete Wellbeing and believes that "peace begins with me".


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