Prisoners of Our Thoughts 3rd Edition

Viktor Frankl's Principles for Discovering Meaning in Life and Work

Alex Pattakos (Author) | Elaine Dundon (Author) | Stephen R. Covey (Foreword by)

Publication date: 01/09/2017

Bestseller over 110,000+ copies sold

Prisoners of Our Thoughts
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.

Read more and meet author below

Read An Excerpt

Paperback:
9781626568808

$19.95
(member price: $17.96)
Free shipping on all orders from the BK Publishers store.
Or find a local bookseller with Indiebound.

Other Available Formats and Editions

9781626568815

$19.95
(member price: $13.97)

9781626568822

$19.95
(member price: $13.97)
Bulk Discounts
Rights Information


Featured Books



Invisible Martyrs

“This is an extraordinary book, written by an extraordinary woman. Qazi is a master storyteller, capturing the emotion as well as...

Leadership and Self-Deception

This third edition of an international bestseller—over 2 million copies sold worldwide and translated into 33 languages—details how its powerful insights...

More About This Product

Overview

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.

Back to Top ↑

Meet the Authors & Other Product Contributors


Visit Author Page - Alex Pattakos
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. 

Visit Author Page - Elaine Dundon
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. 

Foreword by Stephen R. Covey
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.

Back to Top ↑

Reviews

By Berrett-Koehler Staff , December 9, 2014
Berrett-Koehler hasn't added any comment
Back to Top ↑

Excerpt

Prisoners of Our Thoughts

1

Life Doesn’t Just Happen to Us

Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked.

In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.1 (V. Frankl)

It seems that I (Alex) have known Viktor Frankl most of my life. It was in the late 1960s when I first became acquainted with his work and read his classic book Man’s Search for Meaning. While on active duty with the U.S. Army, I received formal training at Brooke Army Hospital, now called Brooke Army Medical Center, at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, as a social work/psychology specialist. In addition to the opportunity to work side by side with some of the best mental health professionals in the field, this unique learning experience fueled my passion for studying various schools of thought and practice in psychiatry and psychology. Frankl’s work in particular had great resonance for me at that time, and it eventually became an integral part of both my personal and professional life.

Over the years, I have had many opportunities to apply Frankl’s teachings in my own life and work. In effect, I have field-tested the validity and reliability of his key principles and techniques, often in comparison with competing schools of thought and in situations that tested the limits of my personal resilience. It didn’t take me long to realize the efficacy of his philosophy and approach, and I became a de facto practitioner of Logotherapy long before the idea for this book surfaced in my mind. Many decisive times in my life, including situations that involved work, could easily be described as turbulent and challenging. Such formidable, lifedefining moments, although they often lasted much longer than a moment, required a great deal of soul-searching for answers. I remember how truly out of balance—and yes, even lost—I felt at those critical times. I had learned many years ago from Thomas Moore, psychotherapist and author of the best-selling book Care of the Soul, that our most soulful times are when we are out of balance rather than when we are in balance. It was especially during these meaning-centered moments, when I was out of balance, that I found myself putting Frankl’s philosophy and approach into practice.

I was particularly out of balance in my early twenties, after graduating from college. I was contemplating going to law school after my military service. My father, an engineer, envisioned that someday I would work for him as an attorney specializing in contract law. With his help and at his urging, I took a job with a large engineering and construction firm in New Jersey. However, I did not see myself as a corporate lawyer. Fueled by my active duty with the U.S. Army during the Vietnam era, I was interested in law only as it could be used as an instrument for social policy and social change. This perspective did not bode well for my relationship with my father or my employer.

Although I felt trapped, Frankl’s work reminded me that it was my own responsibility how I chose to react to the situation. I knew I had to maintain a positive, resilient attitude and that this experience—a kind of existential dilemma—was actually giving me an opportunity to clarify and confirm my values around the kind of work I wanted to do and not do. This meant leaving my relatively secure place of employment and, harder still, standing up to and engaging in many heated arguments with my father so that I could declare the path that I wanted to pursue. From this personal and stressful experience, however, I learned that it was worth the risk and effort! How I faced this difficult situation increased my personal resilience for handling other challenges I have encountered throughout my life.

One may say that instincts are transmitted through the genes, and values are transmitted through traditions, but that meanings, being unique, are a matter of personal discovery.2 (V. Frankl)

I (Elaine) too have faced many situations when I felt out of balance or, in some cases, that I was in balance but the rest of the world was not. One day, years ago, at the age of twelve, when I was babysitting for the woman across the street from our home, she turned to me and said, “That’s quite an ordeal your mother is facing.” The look on my face must have registered confusion, for she responded, “Oh no. You don’t know.” She was correct, I did not know. I did not know that my mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer and the prognosis was not good. Survival was rare back then without the medical treatments and psychological support that we are blessed with today. My parents had decided not to tell any of their children in an effort, I suppose, to protect us from the bad news. In hindsight, I realized that they also may have not known how to react and needed time to deal with their own fears. However, their decision not to discuss the illness simply served to amplify my fear and sense of loneliness, for there was no one to talk to about the situation.

Somehow, we all got through the storm. My mother survived another fourteen years due to her positive attitude, knowing that she needed to stay alive to guide her four children. She practiced Frankl’s principles, most notably those of de-reflection (shifting her focus away from her illness onto things that mattered more—i.e., her children) and of self-detachment (looking at herself from a distance with a sense of perspective, including maintaining her sense of humor). I remember her reading Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning while sick in bed. I recall saying to her one day, with tears in my eyes, “I don’t want you to die.” She held my hand and said, jokingly, “But imagine if no one ever died. Imagine if five-hundred-year-olds, or even thousand-year-olds, were walking around the earth. It would be a very strange world!” In her own kind way, my mother was teaching me about the journey of life. Her courage, love, and wisdom did indeed guide me to put life’s challenges in perspective and to find the meaning in any situation, however tragic.

I am convinced that, in the final analysis, there is no situation that does not contain within it the seed of a meaning.3 (V. Frankl)

Frankl’s thinking has profoundly influenced both of our lives, including our work situations, over the years. This book is a product of our research on Frankl’s teachings, including his personal encouragement, as well as our combined experiences applying these teachings in everyday life and work—for ourselves and with others.

In chapter 2 we explore Viktor Frankl’s life path. A psychiatrist who suffered through imprisonment in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, Frankl found meaning in spite of—and because of—the suffering all around him. His life’s work resulted in the therapeutic approach called Logotherapy, which paved the way for us to know meaning as a foundation of our existence. Frankl was quick to say, however, that traumatic suffering is not a prerequisite for finding meaning in our lives. By this he meant that whenever we suffer—no matter what the severity of our suffering is—we have the ability to find meaning in the situation. We also have the ability to find meaning in the good times. Choosing to find meaning, under any circumstance, is the path to a meaningful life. As a mentor and author, and as the creator of Logotherapy, Frankl had a profound impact on many people during his lifetime. His teachings continue to guide and influence people around the world today.

Although Frankl produced a voluminous body of work, he did not distill his teachings down to a list of seven core principles. We have developed the seven principles that best describe his teachings. Throughout this book, we explore each principle one by one. They include:

PRINCIPLE 1. Exercise the Freedom to Choose Your Attitude (chapter 3)

We are all free to choose our attitude toward everything that happens to us. This concept is best described by Frankl’s famous quotation in his book Man’s Search for Meaning: “Everything can be taken from a man but . . . the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s way.”4

PRINCIPLE 2. Realize Your Will to Meaning (chapter 4)

Logotherapy, according to Frankl, “considers man as a being whose main concern consists of fulfilling a meaning and in actualizing values, rather than in the mere gratification and satisfaction of drives and instincts.”5 Rather than simply completing tasks to receive rewards such as money, influence, status, or prestige, we can realize our will to deeper meaning by making a conscious, authentic commitment to meaningful values and goals.

PRINCIPLE 3. Detect the Meaning of Life’s Moments (chapter 5)

Meaning reveals itself to us in everyday life and work, in all of life’s moments. The fundamental presumption is that only as individuals can we answer for our own lives, detecting in them each moment’s meaning and weaving our own unique tapestry of existence.

PRINCIPLE 4. Don’t Work Against Yourself (chapter 6)

Sometimes our most fervent desires and intentions are thwarted by our obsession with outcomes.

Frankl calls this form of self-sabotage hyperintention. In some instances, we actually get results exactly opposite to what we intended, which is called paradoxical intention. We can learn to see how we are working against ourselves and focus instead on creating the conditions we want in our lives and work.

PRINCIPLE 5. Look at Yourself from a Distance (chapter 7)

Frankl observed: “Only man owns the capacity to detach himself from himself. To look at himself out of some perspective or distance.”6 This notion of self-detachment can help us lighten up and not sweat the small stuff. This capacity includes the uniquely human trait known as a sense of humor. Frankl noted that “no animal is capable of laughing, least of all laughing at itself or about itself.”7 We can learn to look at ourselves from a distance to gain insight and perspective, including laughing at ourselves!

PRINCIPLE 6. Shift Your Focus of Attention (chapter 8)

When Viktor Frankl was a prisoner in the Nazi concentration camps, in order to cope with stress, suffering, and conflict, he learned to shift his attention away from the painful situation to other, more appealing circumstances. We can learn to shift our focus accordingly when we are coping with difficult situations.

PRINCIPLE 7. Extend Beyond Yourself (chapter 9)

Frankl wrote: “Love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. . . . The salvation of man is through love and in love.”8 Extending beyond ourselves, connecting with and being of service to others, no matter what the situation or scale, is where our deepest meaning can be realized. Self-transcendence, by relating and being directed to something greater than ourselves, provides a pathway to ultimate meaning.

These seven core principles support Frankl’s key message that we always have the ability to respond to anything that comes our way in life by exercising our capacity to find meaning. Life doesn’t just happen to us—we are responsible for our own lives, and it is up to us, like Frankl was able to do even in the Nazi death camps, to actively find meaning in our lives. We cannot be victims, we cannot be passive participants in life and, most of all, we cannot be prisoners of our thoughts!

In chapter 10 (“Meaning at the Core: Life”), chapter 11 (“Meaning at the Core: Work”), and chapter 12 (“Meaning at the Core: Society”), we share how Frankl’s teachings, along with insights from our own research, writing, and experiences, can help us focus upon and find deeper meaning in life, work, and society. Another key message in this book from Frankl’s teachings and our related work is that meaning must be at the foundation or core of one’s life, which includes one’s broadly defined work life. Without an understanding of meaning in our lives and work, we are simply like a boat being tossed around at sea without any true connection to others and without a clear direction or purpose to guide us through life’s odyssey.

There is a crisis of meaning in the world today. Many people have told us that they feel something is missing. They feel overwhelmed, lonely, and unfulfilled. Generally, they feel disconnected and not fully engaged with their lives or work. Depression is on the rise, and many people simply can’t cope with the pace of change brought on by technological, cultural, and social transformations. The relentless pursuit of pleasure and other short-term escapes have only led to even more emptiness. We are told to pursue “happiness,” yet happiness is an illusion for many, as it does not take into consideration the natural flow or rhythms of life—the ups and the downs, the joys and the sorrows, the good times and the not-so-good times.

To pursue “happiness” leaves us even more depressed when the state of our lives doesn’t measure up to our expectations or falls short of the glorified lives we so often see on Facebook and other social media. The pursuit of power and influence is another illusion. Power is about being strong and dominant, having or trying to have control over others or other things. The pursuit of wealth can be viewed as another form of the pursuit of power. Ultimately, the pursuit of power only leads to frustration because one can never truly control other people or events. A wise person knows that one’s only real power lies within and over oneself.

In chapters 10, 11, and 12, we highlight our work in a new discipline we call MEANINGology®—that is, the study and practice of meaning in life, work, and society. While many people define meaning as “significance” or “something that matters,” we delve deeper, in a Logotherapeutic or existential sense, to consider the metaphysical aspects of the entire study of meaning. We define meaning as “resonance with our true nature or core essence.” When something feels significant or we know that it matters, it is because it resonates with who we truly are. Core essence is what defines us and is at the heart of what makes us unique as human beings. This deeper definition of meaning can apply to our personal and work lives, to organizations, and to societies as a whole. It is also beneficial to look at the converse—identifying what is meaningless to us or what does not resonate with our true nature or core essence. This exercise, among other things, helps us to gain a deeper understanding of the sources of meaning throughout our lives and work.

Another aspect of our MEANINGology work highlighted in chapters 10, 11, and 12 centers on our “formula” for discovering meaning in life and work. While the seven core principles help to focus the learning and discussion of Viktor Frankl’s teachings in Logotherapy and Existential Analysis, we felt that there was need for more clarification and guidance on how to put into action the human quest for meaning both individually and collectively. Through our research and experience, we have discovered three elements for finding deeper meaning that can be viewed as an integration, simplification, and extension of the seven Logotherapeutic principles described in the earlier chapters. These three elements are:

• Connect meaningfully with others (O).

• Engage with deeper purpose (P).

• Embrace life with attitude (A).

These elements spell “OPA!”—an easy-to-remember, simple acronym. This mantra for living and working can provide further insights on one’s path to meaning. We provide more details about the OPA formula and its practical application in chapters 10, 11, and 12.

Finally, in chapter 13 (“Viktor Frankl’s Legacy Continues”), we highlight how Dr. Frankl’s legacy continues to expand around the world as the seeds of his System of Logotherapy and Existential Analysis find new soil in which to be planted, cultivated, and harvested. The information contained in this last chapter serves to illustrate that Frankl’s memory is eternal, that his wisdom is ageless, and that his life’s work continues to influence humanity in significant (i.e., meaningful) ways. But for now, let’s take an initial look at Viktor Frankl’s life, explore more fully the foundations of his meaning-centered approach, and learn how all of us can apply his groundbreaking philosophy in our own lives.

Meaning Reflections

At the end of each chapter, we have added a section in this third edition called Meaning Reflections, which includes a Meaning Moment Exercise, Meaning Questions, and a Meaning Affirmation—all designed to help you incorporate the key lessons of each chapter into your own life and work.


images

Write down the details of a situation, either in your personal or work life, involving another person whom you have viewed as being particularly negative. Now write down the details of the situation from the other person’s point of view. How do these two descriptions differ? Do you view yourself as a victim of circumstances that are outside of your control, or are you in some way responsible for part or all of what happened? What can you learn from this negative situation? What could you have done differently, and what would you do differently if a similar situation were to occur again?

Meaning Questions

• Are you a prisoner of your thoughts?

• Do you hold other people (coworkers, family members, friends) prisoners of your thoughts?

• How can you find more meaning in your life and work?

Meaning Affirmation

I will take an active role in and take responsibility for my life as well as exercise my capacity to find meaning, because I know that life doesn’t just happen to me.

Back to Top ↑

Endorsements

“In this newly revised edition, Alex Pattakos and Elaine Dundon not only honor the legacy of Viktor Frankl but further it by bringing his work to a new generation of readers in search of a more meaningful life. In very practical ways, they show that when we put meaning at the heart of our lives, we're better able to thrive and reach our full potential.”
—Arianna Huffington, founder of Huffington Post and founder and CEO, Thrive Global

“If you intend to read just one self-help book in your life, pick this one. You won't regret it.”
—Alexander Batthyány, PhD, Director, Viktor Frankl Institute Vienna

“Here is a landmark book that, among other things, 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 (hc), Clinical Professor of Medicine and Professor of Public Health, University of Arizona and University of California, San Francisco Schools of Medicine

“Prisoners of Our Thoughts is an important book about creating a meaningful life— a life that matters and makes a difference. Those of us involved in the individual quest for meaning will find valuable information and inspiration in it. Meaning— choosing it, living it, sustaining it— is a significant personal, as well as societal, issue of the twenty-first century.”
— Marita J. Wesely, trends expert and Trends Group Manager, Hallmark Cards, Inc.

“This book is a gem. It is an iconoclastic book, which is set to become iconic.
With it, Alex and Elaine have altered the Logotherapeutic landscape. They bring therapy from the clinic into the corporate world. They show how work can be a source of meaning by applying the revolutionary ideas and insights of our mentor Dr. Viktor Frankl. The authors succeed in demonstrating the link between Logotherapy and labour but more— they do it with bravado and brilliance. I recommend this book with relish.”
— Stephen J. Costello, PhD, Founder and Director, Viktor Frankl Institute of Ireland

“In the permanent white water of our lives everywhere and especially at work, the meaning of what we do and of who we are is continually in danger of negation. The creation of meaning cannot be a once-and-for-all, set-it-and-forget-it affair, but rather needs to become our most basic ongoing achievement. This book is virtually unique in providing us with both a philosophy and a set of methods for keeping the meaning of our lives and our work vibrantly alive, relevant, and nourishing.”
— Peter B. Vaill, PhD, Professor of Management, Antioch University, and Author of Managing as a Performing Art

“Magical. . . . If you read this book patiently and honestly, it may begin to change your attitude and thought process. Deeply and impressively subversive in more ways than one, this book invites us directly in the search for meaning of our work and life.”
— Ping Fu, Author, Bend, Not Break: A Life in Two Worlds, Founder and Former CEO, Geomagic, Inc.

“Not averse to giving ‘recipes,' Pattakos makes them transparent and convincing enough, and he amply supports them by personal observations and experiences, by testimonies and quotations, by anecdotes and proven wisdom, adding more than a sprinkle of wit and common sense. And he does it all in an immensely readable style.”
— Franz J. Vesely, PhD, Viktor Frankl Institute, Vienna, Austria

“Logotherapy was tested in Nazi concentration camps, so it speaks uniquely of meaning in extremes of unavoidable suffering. But Frankl also encouraged the discovery of meaning in our everyday workplaces, and Pattakos offers both a why and a how.”
— Haddon Klingberg Jr., PhD, Author of When Life Calls Out to Us: The Love and Lifework of Viktor and Elly Frankl

“If you want to bring life to your personal and/or organizational values read Prisoners of Our Thoughts. It is particularly helpful if you are committed to living an authentic (values-driven) life. This is a book you will want all your associates and family members to read again and again.”
— Ann Rhoades, President, People Ink, and Former Executive Vice President, People, JetBlue Airways

“The transcendent spirit of Viktor Frankl vindicated human resilience. Alex
Pattakos nimbly brings essential new life to that spirit. Reading this book is a choice— a choice to add deeper meaning to your life.”
— Jeffrey K. Zeig, PhD, Founder and Director, The Milton H. Erickson Foundation

“Living and working in such changing times takes courage. This book helps us connect with ourselves and meaning in order to be happier, develop resilience in life and work, and co-create a better future. In a time when there is so much unpredictability, Prisoners of Our Thoughts is a must-read to serve as a prescription for personal and business leadership.”
— Lisa Schilling, RN, MPH, Vice President, Healthcare Performance Improvement, Kaiser Permanente

“It is very rare to encounter a book that is simultaneously profound and approachable, one that addresses the essential crux of the human dilemma in a manner that is inviting and even heartfelt. Prisoners of Our Thoughts is just such a book. I highly recommend it.”
— Jeffrey Mishlove, PhD, Dean of Transformational Psychology, University of Philosophical Research, and Author of The Roots of Consciousness

“A must-read for all those who want to lead successful lives. . . . The book has universal appeal and would help people working in any part of the world, and at any type of job. Dr. Pattakos's concepts resonate well with me— a Sikh by religion. I believe that world peace would be greatly helped by having more and more people happy with their lives, as Prisoners of Our Thoughts could help them be.”
— Karuna Singh, Program Manager, Office of Public Affairs, U.S. Consulate General, Kolkata, India

“Prisoners of Our Thoughts is an enormously inspiring eye and heart opener, enlarging the scope of our life and work in a wonderful way. It's a book full of wisdom, a road sign to the meaning and riches of life.”
— Dr. Heinrich Anker, Cofounder, Management Centre Zug (Switzerland), and President, Swiss Society of Logotherapy and Existential Analysis

“CEOs, as well as the average worker, can be both informed and inspired by
Pattakos's book.”
— Paul T. P. Wong, PhD, President, International Network on Personal Meaning, and Coeditor, The Human Quest for Meaning: A Handbook of Psychological Research and Clinical Applications

“It has been a long wait— a very long wait! But Frankl's principles and methods have at last been set free to be used and enjoyed and practiced in the work situation.”
— Dr. Patti Havenga Coetzer, Founder, Viktor Frankl Foundation of South Africa

“Masterpiece. Challenging. Insightful. Motivational. Inspirational. Magnificent. Prisoners of Our Thoughts branches all of these into one central theme: staying true to you, the real you. This book is a must-read for all educators, parents, and students. It provides such a clear view of the importance of character and how love ties it all together. A must-read.”
— Dr. Mark Isley, Principal, Shelby County Alternative School, Alabama

“Those who seek meaning in their work and life will find much of value in this practical application of the wisdom of Dr. Frankl, so deeply experienced and artfully presented.”
— Dee Hock, Founder and CEO Emeritus, VISA

“Don't let life just happen to you! Let Dr. Pattakos show you how to apply Viktor Frankl's core principles to make your work and life more meaningful. Anyone from mail deliverer to CEO can embark on a path of self-discovery that will lead to better results and relationships with others.”
— Jean E. Spence, Executive Vice President, Global Technology and Quality, Kraft Foods

“I fully recommend reading this great work and applying its wisdom. Please don't wait to open your ‘lockbox' of talents and tasks that life has set aside for you. Seek what is yours on behalf of all mankind.”
— Robert R. Thompson, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army

“Use Prisoners of Our Thoughts as a textbook, order it for all your employees, and buy a copy for yourself.”
— Erik Bergrud, Associate Vice President for Alumni, Constituent and Employer Relations, Park University, and Past President, American Society for Public Administration

“Dr. Pattakos provides a commonsense model to resolve the existential anxiety created by the gap between our thoughts and reality and to tremendously enrich our lives. Read Prisoners of Our Thoughts and be prepared to look in the mirror and see the person responsible for your dissatisfaction and unhappiness!”
— Vann E. Schaffner, MD, Spokane, Washington

“Every thinking person can benefit from the work of Alex Pattakos. As we wind our way through life's challenges, understanding life's choices and outcomes is foremost. This work adds a great deal of value to this most important of life's searches.”
— Robert Agranoff, PhD, Professor Emeritus, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, Bloomington

“Prisoners of Our Thoughts is a must-read. Not only is it written in very direct, clear language to assert the case for each of us to follow the meaning in our lives, but it hits an intuitive nerve as Dr. Pattakos explains Viktor Frankl's sources for authentic meaning in one's life. This has been a major influence in creating a more rewarding life for me and countless others.”
— Michael E. Skaggs, Executive Director, Nevada Commission on Economic Development

“Alex Pattakos does a wonderful job of translating Frankl's work into actions for living. He delivers an especially powerful message for individuals striving to grow both professionally and personally. I can think of no other book that better prepares leaders for facing tough challenges. This is a must-read for leaders!”
— Dr. Mitch Owen, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, North Carolina State University


Back to Top ↑