Sunday Thought For The Day

by Lance Ekum on · 70 comments

Fisherman at Ulsoor lake
Creative Commons License photo credit: arnaud bertrande

“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” ~ Viktor Frankl

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
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Jarrod - Warrior Development August 9, 2009 at 2:40 am

I was at a trauma presentation at work the other day and the psychologist was telling us about some people she dealt after the terrible bush fires in australia.

Some people were cracking about the inability for them to transport food for their livestock. Then another guy who had his entire house and estate said “Oh you can have my car, we have 2 and don’t need them”.
.-= Jarrod – Warrior Development´s Last Fabulous Post ..Increase Your Capability: Pick Something to Learn This Week =-.


Linda Abbit August 9, 2009 at 2:47 am

Hi Lance,

I must have stayed up extra late, or you published extra early if I’m one of the first to comment — if not the first. It’s amazing since I’m usually one of the last.

I first just took in this beautiful photograph w/o reading the quote, and the words that came to mind were peace and then tranquility. Then I read the quote, which refers to a horrible event in world history. What a strange juxtaposition, at least in my mind.

Frankl’s words are so very true. When I find myself feeling down on occasion, its reassuring to know I have the power within myself to change that and put myself back into a better frame of mind by choosing to do so! I wish more people could recognize and harness that power within themselves — if so, I believe it would make our world more peaceful . . . and tranquil. Looks like we’ve come full circle — yes?

Thanks & good night! 😉 (Guess the time difference worked in my favor this time.)
.-= Linda Abbit´s Last Fabulous Post ..Funny Fridays 7/31/09 — Because It’s Better to Laugh than to Cry! =-.


Daphne @ Joyful Days August 9, 2009 at 3:21 am


I was just trying to find the name of a fish I just bought, so when I saw the photo I thought this post would be about fish! Talk about thought projection…

Scary to consider what would happen if we were in the position of Victor Frankl and his camp mates. I like to think I will stay calm and behave well, yet until I’m put to the test, I don’t know if I will exercise that last freedom well or not. Thanks for making me think today.
.-= Daphne @ Joyful Days´s Last Fabulous Post ..How to Give SMART Encouragement =-.


Ian | Quantum Learning August 9, 2009 at 3:39 am

Beautiful, Lance! Thank you so much for this quote.

Frankl’s words have special meaning for me, having visited Auschwitz several times and worked a little on the huge job of healing the pain that still exists as a result of the holocaust (working with school kids in the city of Auschwitz). The power of the human spirit constantly amazes me – I find it somewhat sad, though, that it often seems to need the most appalling situations for it to shine brightly. I long for the day when it shines everywhere and all the time.
.-= Ian | Quantum Learning´s Last Fabulous Post ..Family values =-.


Tracey August 9, 2009 at 4:06 am

Wow- I was just blown away by this quote. I have been struggling for the past few weeks with a sense of general dissatisfaction with my life.
When I read this, it made me realise that I can choose to hold on to the negative thoughts that I have been having or I can alter my way of thinking and take positive steps forward.
Thank-you for posting such a thought-provoking and beautiful post.


Stephen - Rat Race Trap August 9, 2009 at 5:14 am

Lance this is one of my favorite Victor Frankl quotes along with between the stimulus and response quote. This is something I have been coming to grips with in the last year. I don’t always practice it, but I’m getting much better. Accepting what is and separating ourselves from our thoughts about the situations we find ourselves in is a powerful and peaceful way to live.
.-= Stephen – Rat Race Trap´s Last Fabulous Post ..Paying the Price to Get Out =-.


Jannie Funster August 9, 2009 at 5:21 am

I have read many many book on the Holocaust and those who were close to death themselves yet chose to care for others just blows me away. Kindness in a crust of bread. Kindness everywhere to share, and starting at home is a great place to do so.

And Daphne, how can you name your fish anything but “Lance?”
.-= Jannie Funster´s Last Fabulous Post ..46 Blogging Observations So Far =-.


Julie August 9, 2009 at 5:33 am

Just the other day, I was greatly saddened when reading a comment on a blog post about the meaning of forgiveness. The woman was struggling with the concept, her ego still firmly entrenched despite her attempts to dislodge it. Given the nature of the post, I thought the writer’s reply would help her see those places where her ego was in the driver’s seat but, instead, he empowered it for her. Another commenter on the same post intrigued me, so I followed their link only to find a similar post, in topic, but with a completely different take on it. There was no forgiveness at all in the tale she wove and it was clear she thought otherwise, despite her readers’ reservations expressed in their comments. I was so disheartened that these well-intentioned people couldn’t see they were negating their own positions. And then I realized I was allowing all that negativity to affect my mood, so off I went to discharge all the drama. Lance, in so many ways, big and small, we are offered opportunities to change our thinking. …thousands of times a day, every minute. How we shape our world—our view of the world and its people and events—is dependent upon the type of control we exercise upon our own thoughts, for its our thoughts which precede our behaviors which, in turn, influence the activities of our lives. Frankl’s quote is a powerful illustration that our world, our own personal world that no one else inhabits, is really the only thing we have, and we are the shapers of that world.
.-= Julie´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Honor is All Mine =-.


Stacey Shipman August 9, 2009 at 5:45 am

It’s true we get to choose. I just wish more people knew that and exercised that as an option to life. When “life seems to just dump crap” on you it’s hard to see anything else. And that saddens me. That people have trouble feeling and then healing.
.-= Stacey Shipman´s Last Fabulous Post ..7 Ways to Get Back to Your Senses During Summer =-.


Lance August 9, 2009 at 6:54 am

@Jarrod – In times of great challenge, seeing people rise up and do things that come from the heart, from a point of deep compassion – this can be so powerful. And what a great example of choosing one’s attitude! Thanks so much for sharing this story Jarrod!

@Linda Abbit – Hi (good morning!!) Linda. It’s so great having you here! I really was looking for a photo that would somehow portray this idea of choosing our way. So, how you’ve brought this full circle – Linda, I love that thought. Recognizing the power within – and that leading each of us on paths that are very much filled with peace. Such a wonderful thought. And hey, the time zone did work in your favor…Ms. Night Owl!

@Daphne – Ha! And first off, Daphne – enjoy your new pet! And sorry…no fish story here today! I can’t even imagine how difficult those days in the concentration camp must have been. And then, for some to embrace this idea of attitude. If they can do that in the worst of conditions, then what about us, in moments that are much less emotionally, spiritually, and physically challenging? It’s making me think too…and that’s good.

@Ian – Hi Ian, thanks for stopping in today. And thank you for sharing your own personal story of your visits to Auschwitz. What a gift you’ve given in your help in the healing there. And you bring up a great point – often it takes really bad things happening to bring out that true human spirit. Why not let that spirit shine every day? What a great day that would be…

@Tracey – Hi Tracey. And thanks for being here today. I’m so glad to hear this thought helps. In a way, I think it can help us all, no matter where we are on that path of life. Remembering that we can always choose our attitude is so empowering. And so awesome for you to recognize this in your own life…

@Stephen – Yes, I love both this one and the stimulus/response one as well. In a way, I find them to be similar – all about choosing. And that’s such a great thing for us to remember, just how much can never be taken from us. And I know that I don’t always practice it either. I certainly have those “woe is me” moments, and when I do – it’s not something I feel good about. When I choose the attitude that life is what we make it, though, so much more positives in my life…and so good for my soul…

@Jannie – Isn’t that amazing, Jannie? How much some people chose to give of themselves, even in the face of death. Wow. And it all makes our normal daily lives look so easy – why can’t we do this more. And starting at home, what a perfect place to start…and then have it spread from there. It can! And it does! Jannie, thank YOU for being here, and for always always choosing the attitude of life’s abundance!

@Julie – What jumps out at me here, Julie, is this idea of all the many times during even a single day we can be given opportunities to change our thinking. And what will we do in those moments? Will we fall victim to thoughts that might bring us down? Or will we choose our own way? So, so much to think about in this Julie. And I’m pulled in by this thought you’ve shard, and how easily we can be swayed…if we allow ourselves to be. I hope that I’m choosing to listen to my own heart…

@Stacey Shipman – When life just dumps craps on you, it sure can be hard to choose an attitude of abundance. Yet, when we think deeply about the concentration camps in this quote, and how bad that was – the “crap” that we sometimes get in our life really doesn’t look all that bad at all. And to think, people on this death sentence in Auschwitz still kept an attitude that was filled with goodness. Why can’t we in the petty little things in our daily lives? That’s what I find so powerful about this whole quote – our problems are so minor compared to what others have faced, and faced with such dignity and true grace.


The Exception August 9, 2009 at 7:02 am

I read this quote quite differently today. To me it spoke of selflessness and the ability of those who give of themselves to let go and trustin something beyond themselves. We have the power to choose how we perceive the world around us and the individual events. We also have the power to let go and trust – to give, and risk, and love those around us even in the times of great anguish. It is a leap of faith and trust and a willingness to take chances or risk everything… and we can each make that choice daily. This is how the quote above spoke to me this morning.
.-= The Exception´s Last Fabulous Post ..Happy =-.


Yum Yucky August 9, 2009 at 7:10 am

The timing of this is wonderful. I have been working on choosing my attitude in the most difficult of situations, and it’s amazing how much heaviness I do NOT experience as a result. I know that feelings such as sadness, anger, and fear, are all natural, human emotions, but choosing my attitude and choosing not to stay sad, angry, or fearful has done wonders toward leading a happier life. It also makes for improved, peaceful relations with others.
.-= Yum Yucky´s Last Fabulous Post ..Sunday Buffet: I Was Abducted by Farmer Joe =-.


Zeenat {Positive Provocations} August 9, 2009 at 7:25 am

Lance, what a beautiful thought for sunday. Truly heartwarming and inspiring.
I wish we as “humane beings” never forget our rights to freedom of choosing the RIGHT attitude…and a positive one at that. God willing we will all be better souls for that.
.-= Zeenat {Positive Provocations}´s Last Fabulous Post ..Inspirational Quote Of the Week =-.


John August 9, 2009 at 8:37 am

To have everything relinquished from them (even the most basic freedoms we enjoy today) and still be the sole owner of the very core of human being (faith) is one of the most powerful messages I’ve received from this quote. To still have faith in humanity despite all of the hardships (you’d think they would fight each other for every scrap of food they get). It’s inspiring.

Another great thought for the day.
.-= John´s Last Fabulous Post ..Live Life as if You’re on an Adventure =-.


Betsy Wuebker August 9, 2009 at 9:14 am

Hi Lance – Like all the others to whom this quote speaks, I am grateful you selected it today. The reason it is so moving to me is, as John intimated above, the manifestation of beauty that emerged from the most horrific circumstances. This is the strength of the human spirit, and the supremacy of good. The award-winning “Life is Beautiful” movie touches us in a similar way. Thanks, Lance, for another winner.


Laurie August 9, 2009 at 9:23 am

Victor Frankl’s book “A Man’s Search for Meaning” is one of the most powerful reads I have experienced. It is amazing how he won over his abusers in those camps by choosing his attitude. He was an inspiration to me and to those around him during those horrific times. Makes you realize why God doesn’t necessarily pull you from a hellish experience. It might be that he is using your faith to reach others who have none. Choosing our attitude is one of the most powerful things we have. Makes me wonder why so many choose the negative instead of the positive. Granted I choose the negative sometimes too but then I’ll get a little help from a friend to help me re-frame and see something more positive. Thanks friend.


Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord August 9, 2009 at 9:47 am

I love Viktor Frankl’s attitude and energy; people like him astound me. His ability to transcend such bleak circumstances and use the power of the mind to reframe and reconceive what he was part of… My gosh. Such a powerful teacher then, and certainly now. To think that his energy not only existed but still pervades gives me hope that all the darkness in this world can be met with that kind of light.
Happy Sunday, Lance! Thank you for quoting Viktor Frankl today.
.-= Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Kids Who “Get It” =-.


Tim August 9, 2009 at 9:49 am

Wow, Lance, thank you for sharing that quote! I have heard so much about the book that the quote is from but have not read it yet. It (and the ability for all of us to choose our attitude) is something to keep in mind during the ups and downs in a typical day. So true.
.-= Tim´s Last Fabulous Post ..Making Lemonade =-.


Evita August 9, 2009 at 9:55 am

Very powerful Lance!

The photo right away brought such a space of tranquility.
And I love this quote, because it is so awakening. We think that being in prison or in some captivity takes away our freedom. It may take away our liberty, but the freedom to choose how we perceive, act or experience a situation is always ours. No one can ever take that away from us.

And I call those people talked about in it “saints” for to be that humble and act with such kindness and compassion in those circumstances is beyond most of us.

What a beautiful message of hope and empowerment for this Sunday!


Davina August 9, 2009 at 10:21 am

Morning Lance. This photograph is surreal — very calming. And the quote is encouraging. There ARE good people out there but not necessarily with us when we need them. This reminds me that those are the times for us to be those people for ourselves.

I have to admit that it is easier said than done some days. I particularly enjoy seeing everyday acts of kindness when I’m out and about. The other day I watched and listened as a bus driver went out of his way to give a family, who were clearly tourists, a free ride on the bus (just a few blocks). He then took the time to give them directions to their destination. Even just people holding doors for one another, making eye contact, smiling and saying thank you. The simplest connection can mean SO much.
.-= Davina´s Last Fabulous Post ..Morning Muse: Writer’s Block, Pass the Windex =-.


suzen August 9, 2009 at 10:58 am

Wow! First I am totally struck by the photo since it is a carbon copy of what I woke up to this morning up here at the lake. Serene, calm, a bit of misty fog but not so much that you couldn’t tell where you were going. That, alone, felt like a message to me. Like “just paddle, no drama,trauma etc.”

THEN, the quote! It is one of my favorites (as are you!) and a real life example of how to accept, go on, and it is not all about you, your suffering as an individual, but ALL suffering. It is not what happens to us that matters in the least, but rather how we react to it – whatever it is. Isn’t attitude just everything? What a wonderful thought for this – and all days – Lance! Thanks so much for being you!
.-= suzen´s Last Fabulous Post ..Beginning or Ending a Journey? Ahhh, Enya! =-.


Tess The Bold Life August 9, 2009 at 11:11 am

Happy Sunday Lance!

Victor’s book is one of the most powerful books I’ve ever read. Elie Wiesel’s books are amazing examples of survival and the power of love. Elie was one of the people who lost his foundation’s money in the Madoff scheme and he said, “I’ve risen from the ashes before and I’ll do it again.” And the man is in his late 80’s at least. Is that a continuing story of survival or what. No pity pot for him. I don’t even think he knows one exists. An example for all…like Evita says SAINTS!
.-= Tess The Bold Life´s Last Fabulous Post ..Bold and Free Compliments Cheer Up America =-.


Srinivas Rao August 9, 2009 at 11:30 am

Awesome quote Lance. Victor Frankl’s book has been on my list of things to read. Many personal development gurus have referenced the work and attitude of Victor Frankl.
.-= Srinivas Rao´s Last Fabulous Post ..Life is a Miracle =-.


taney August 9, 2009 at 11:33 am

To take away free will of the mind is probably the worst thing I can think of. That’s basically indoctrination! The following quote is how I feel about indoctrination:

“The belief that there is only one truth and that oneself is in possession of it seems to me the deepest root of all evil that is in the world.” – Max Born

Will definitely check out the book that everyone is talking about. Thanks for sharing, Lance!


Caity August 9, 2009 at 12:21 pm

Beautiful quote. It really reminds us that there really are such good things in people.
.-= Caity´s Last Fabulous Post ..Getting used to things. =-.


Avani Mehta August 9, 2009 at 1:01 pm

Lance, I finally got a chance to read Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning this year and it touched me to the core of my heart. The book is sad, inspiring, thought provoking and creating hope all at the same time.

Some of my favorite lines from the book:
It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life – daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.
.-= Avani Mehta´s Last Fabulous Post ..Isn’t The Joy Of Doing Enough? =-.


Caroline August 9, 2009 at 1:21 pm

Lance, this is an incredible quote. It really is all about attitude. We have the ability to choose to be miserable or happy. Some situations are horrible (like a concentration camp) but we can adapt our attitude to make it better. I am learning this lesson.

Thank you for sharing your wisdom…so glad to be back and getting my spiritual fulfillment from your blog!
.-= Caroline´s Last Fabulous Post ..Determination =-.


Lynn August 9, 2009 at 1:25 pm

That memory of Victor Frankl is a wonderful example of the goodness of the human spirit prevailing over evil. A lesson for all of us…
.-= Lynn´s Last Fabulous Post ..Madly running, phenomenon and winner =-.


Jodi at Joy Discovered August 9, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Hi Lance,
What a beautiful quote. I love the picture you chose, too. Attitude is so important. It can change any situation around! Wonderful quote to start our week. Thank you, thank you!
.-= Jodi at Joy Discovered´s Last Fabulous Post ..Announcements =-.


Hilda August 9, 2009 at 1:52 pm

Such a powerful quote Lance. I believe there are few things in life as important as our attitude – it makes a huge difference in how we experience everything in life. And if anyone dares to disagree with me on that, I quote Viktor Frankl 😉 It is really hard to disagree with his point given where he came from! Great choice.
.-= Hilda´s Last Fabulous Post ..Look forward =-.


Carla August 9, 2009 at 2:18 pm

Despite what we read and hear in the news media, this is a great remember there are many generous people in the world. Whenever there is a natural disaster or a horrible event, we hear stories of how people not only gave all they had to help a fellow human being, but in many cases risked their own lives.
.-= Carla´s Last Fabulous Post ..Two Great Green Living Blogs =-.


Lisa's Chaos August 9, 2009 at 3:47 pm

Very nice quote. Sometimes, dealing with nasty people, I can forget how good our souls are.
.-= Lisa’s Chaos´s Last Fabulous Post ..I’m a tree climber =-.


Lance August 9, 2009 at 4:13 pm

@The Exception – Thank you so much for this comment today. It is so powerfully moving – especially this idea of trusting in something beyond themselves. Let go and just trust. Choosing to believe in the good of the world, wow…this is so, so wonderfully said. And this thought is one of true love for our world. Thank you!

@Yum Yucky – I think you’ve really hit upon something, Josie – the idea that by choosing at attitude of goodenss or gratitude in difficult moments really does make them lighter. It doesn’t mean the problem goes away, but it does mean that how we work through is so much more based on something deeper. And to be honest, I can only think of you with goodness coming from within. I know I don’t see you always, but I still just feel you really do project exactly what you’re saying…and that’s pretty wonderful!

@Zeenat – I love how you’ve used the word “humane” here, it’s so fitting when we think of how we treat other people. And that is something that comes from within our soul. I think it’s something we all have at our core, we just don’t always “see” it. Thanks so much for this…

@John – John, this is such wonderful insight here. Despite the hardships (and these were hardships like most have never experienced) and to still have faith in our world and humanity – wow, that is such a powerful thought. And that is really and deeply choosing our attitude, in spite of what even seems possible to think about. Thank YOU for this inspiring addition to this quote…

@Betsy – Beauty in such terrible and unimaginable conditions…it’s so much the human spirit truly at work, and doing good for the sole purpose of good. And that is so much something that comes from a spot deep within the soul. Thank you, Betsy, for taking John’s comment a little deeper – and really examining the beauty of this.

@Laurie – Laurie, I haven’t read this book…and now I’m thinking I should. Frankl was a true example of that inner human spirit shining through, even in the darkest of days. And the hope this gave to others, how deeply important that was even to their survival. Attitude is so, so powerful – whether it’s used negatively or positively. And when we choose positive, what a signal we send to those around us. And that’s what makes it all worth it… Laurie, thank you, so much, for sharing all of this…the whole thing is just so moving.

@Megan – Wow Megan, what just jumps off the page for me when reading your comment is “…gives me hope that all the darkness in this world can be met with that kind of light.”. Just think, if we all chose an attitude similar to what Frankl did in those concentration camps, how different our world would be today. I’m really finding these words to stand out as to what we can all do to make our own worlds a better place, and little by little, making the world better…all through choosing our attitude! Thank YOU!


Lance August 9, 2009 at 4:13 pm

@Tim – Yes, every day brings new circumstances into our life, and moments where we get to choose our attitude. Makes me think…what am I consciously choosing…

@Evita – I had a couple of pictures I was thinking about for this one, and I just kept coming back to this one. I felt that it showed this idea of choosing our own way, and it also was one that showed much peacefulness. And it was a combination that I felt worked really well for this quote. And no one, no one at all, can take away the most basic of our freedoms, out ability to choose our attitude. While hearing of this is such horrific conditions is difficult, it also is such a reminder that WE – each of us – have that same choice – in our daily lives. They are truly saints, doing something I’m not sure that I could do… I can’t even imagine being in this situation, let alone choosing an attitude that transcends human life… Evita, as always, thank you for your beautiful insight.

@Davina – Oh, what a beautiful thought, Davina. Being this for ourselves, when there isn’t someone else there – we CAN all do that. And also, being that for others around us, when there is no one else who is – or can – we CAN do that too. And you’re right, this isn’t necessarily easy. Your story of the bus driver is a wonderful example of what each of us can do, every day, as we choose how to go about living. So wonderful!

@Suzen – Suzen, wow, what a beautiful sight for you to wake up to. And that’s what makes visiting the lake home so, so serene. Enjoy and savor these moments… Wow! And what a wonderful thought on this quote. This idea that it’s not just about us, it’s about all of humanity. Getting to this point in our lives, that is such a place of pure beauty. Suzen, thank you for your very wonderful thoughts, and for your very very gracious compliments. It is go great having you here, thank you for always being “you”…

@Tess – Happy Sunday Tess! And this is the second time I’ve heard that Viktor Frankl’s books are such powerful and meaningful book…I guess it really is time to check them out. And Elie Weisel just sounds like someone with the attitude more of this world needs. Tess, thank you for sharing all of this – so good to hear stories like this, and how uplifting they can be to our own spirit. Saints indeed…

@Srinivas – Frankl’s attitude is one that is powerfully uplifting. And his book is on my reading list too…so many recommendations here today.

@Taney – Thanks so much for stopping by today. And thank you, so much – for sharing this quote. What I draw from this is compassion – or lack of it when we see only one truth. When we believe, instead, that there can be many truths, compassion shines. And that really does fit so well with this Frankl quote, and what we draw about attitude. So, so important. Thank you, again, for sharing this…


Sami - Life, Laughs & Lemmings August 9, 2009 at 4:13 pm

Viktor Frankl was an inspirational man. The fact that he got to a point where he felt he was free even though he was imprisoned is amazing to me. I’d like to think I’d have the same mental capacity and strength to do this but I’m not so sure. It just goes to show the power of the mind and its influence on attitude. Thanks Lance. Great Sunday thought!
.-= Sami – Life, Laughs & Lemmings´s Last Fabulous Post ..Friday Question – Relationships as a Top Priority =-.


Lance August 9, 2009 at 4:14 pm

@Caity – Yes, it sure does remind us that good exists, and that our world is filled with many wonderful souls. Thanks for stopping by today Caity…

@Avani – Avani, thank you for stopping by and sharing about this great book. I’ve heard it here so many times today, how powerfully moving this is. And for including this powerful excerpt, thank you once again. It’s in our actions that we make a difference. And that’s not to say that time spent in meditation, in quiet moments, in conversation isn’t good. I believe very much that it is. However, what I’m taking from this is that we have to go beyond that and take action. And in the context of what I know about Viktor Frankl, this is an ultimate sacrifice for some…and still…it is the right action…. How powerful that is…

@Caroline – The choice of our attitude how powerful that can be – for good or for bad. And even though we’ll probably never face anything as horrific as a concentration camp, we still, have that same choice – what attitude we’ll choose. It’s great to have you here today Caroline…

@Lynn – Yes, we can all learn so much…about how beautiful the human spirit can be. And that’s so good for all of us to think about…and then do…

@Jodi – Hi Jodi. This picture just shows so much “peace” for me, and coupled with the idea of choosing our way, this is so moving, this photo. And then when we think about our attitude, and what is it we’re really doing, another great thing for us to think about. Thanks so much for being here today Jodi…

@Hilda – Our attitude is something that can’t be taken from us – it’s something we can always choose. What we choose, good or bad – that is our decision. And in choosing a positive and uplifting attitude, we have the opportunity to profoundly affect another in such positive ways…even in moments of “bad”. And Viktor Frankl is such a true example of just how uplifting and life giving this can be. Thanks so much Hilda, for your thoughts today.

@Carla – Yes, our world is filled with many wonderful and caring people. So, so good for everyone their lives touch. Big events really give the limelight to these wonderful souls. What’s also important to remember is that these people, and others, are likely doing this daily…and that’s because of the attitude they CHOOSE. Thank you, Carla, for all of this you’re saying today…

@Lisa’s Chaos – Lisa, you bring up a good point. When dealing with people who can bring us “down”, it’s moments like this that we sometimes forget about all the wonderful and truly giving people there are in our world. I wonder if, in moments like this, if this is where we’re called to shine our attitude of goodness into the world even more? I think so. Although, I know that for me, this can be a hard thing sometimes…


BunnygotBlog August 9, 2009 at 5:01 pm

It is Sunday evening and I am starting it off with my friend Lance. 🙂
You and I both have a love for quotes .
As I think about Viktor Frankl, my belief that only when you give unconditionally will you feel happiness within. The most rewarding thing in life is when we are able to help others.
.-= BunnygotBlog´s Last Fabulous Post ..I Kicked This Guy In The Bots =-.


Marelisa August 9, 2009 at 5:20 pm

Hi Lance: There are some people who are able to hold a vision of kindness and compassion in their mind even while the outside world reflects the complete opposite back to them. I guess those are the people who are holding up the torch for everyone else.
.-= Marelisa´s Last Fabulous Post ..114 Ways to Celebrate Life: Free Ebook =-.


Natalia Burleson August 9, 2009 at 5:25 pm

Beautiful post and picture! Love the sentiment. Giving freely with no thought of getting back is pure joy and very freeing! Thanks for the reminder! We tend to give what we have an abundance of, but what about the things we don’t have a lot of, our money, our time….hmm you have me thinking!!!
.-= Natalia Burleson´s Last Fabulous Post ..Migraines, progress and white chili!!! =-.


Karl Staib - Work Happy Now August 9, 2009 at 10:00 pm

I’m a big fan of Viktor Frankl. He found a way to choose his happiness when living in such rough conditions.

Only I can choose to to feel a certain way. Or at least be accepting of my feelings and not try to push them away.

Every person needs to appreciate how they can choose to look at circumstances. If we keep looking for the negative of course we will hate the experience. If we find ways to enjoy and use our moments as a way to teach ourselves and others then we’ve gone beyond our emotions. We are no longer bullied by them, but they become our friend, our way to enjoying our experiences.
.-= Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Ultimate Guide to Dealing with Anxiety at Work =-.


Lance August 9, 2009 at 10:17 pm

@Sami – I know, Sami – it’s so amazing to really think about where Viktor Frankl brought himself to, and how free he really was – even though he was imprisioned. And that begs to question, how often do we let our own attitudes imprison us? I’m not sure either, Sami, if I could do what he did. It’s easy to sit here, in the comfort of my own home and think that I could do that…really, though, I just don’t know. Thanks so much, Sami, for everything…

@Bunny – Bunny, it’s so great to have you here tonight! Yes, we both do love quotes, don’t we! And what a great thought. Giving unconditionally – when we can get to this spot in our lives, where we give with no expectation of anything in return…that is such a beautiful place to be at. And Viktor Frankl, in those moments at the concentration camp, lived this principle so deeply. And that’s a lesson for all of us… Thanks much, Bunny.

@Marelisa – Hi Mare. That’s a wonderful way to look at this, seeing these people who deeply live compassion in their lives as those who are lights out into the world. I love this thought Mare, thank you for sharing it.

@Natalia – Hi Natalia. How freeing this indeed is, when we can get to that spot where we give of ourselves without any expectations. So, as I’m reading this – I’m thinking about the thought of abundance, or what we have a lot of. Maybe that’s a love, and we can practice this with our own family. And then, when there are things that are lessa abundant – maybe giving of ourselves is giving more in moments of time, or maybe even just have less judgmental thoughts of others, or being more open to others opinions. Natalia, your thought here really has me thinking too – what are other ways that I can give, that I can improve my own attitude? Awesome, awesome thoughts today, thank you!

@Karl – That’s a great way of looking at this Karl. And Viktor Frankl really lived this. What is it we’re really looking for? That’s probably what we’ll find then. Negative finds negative. Positive finds positive. I really believe this, although hadn’t related to that thought and this quote – so thank you for this!


Barbara Swafford August 10, 2009 at 12:19 am

Hi Lance,

I always enjoy coming here on Sunday and seeing what photo you choose and then I slowing scroll down to read the quote.

This one sure is powerful. Our attitude can make all the difference in the world. If we think hope, we find hopeful things. If we give love, we get love. If we forgive, we are forgiven. The decisions we make in our mind can totally change our days and lives.

Thank you for sharing this beautiful quote. And the photo is awesome, as well.

You know, you do have a knack for that – matching photos to your quotes.
.-= Barbara Swafford´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Legal Side Of Blogging =-.


Henie August 10, 2009 at 12:36 am

Hi Lance!

Love visiting here to calm my thoughts and soul! Thank you!

I always have said that “choices always catch up, so choose wisely!”

Even in the most dyer of situations, we have a choice and it’s synaptic!

Love & Hugs always,
.-= Henie´s Last Fabulous Post ..An Evening at Tiffany’s with The Black Card Circle Foundation =-.


LisaNewton August 10, 2009 at 12:59 am

It’s so true. Only we have the power to make ourselves feel good or bad. It’s our gift and our burden. I truly wake up every day with a positive attitude. Thinking positive translates into doing positive. 🙂

Thanks, Lance.
.-= LisaNewton´s Last Fabulous Post ..12 Beautiful Doors of Hollywoodland =-.


Hilary August 10, 2009 at 2:12 am

Hi Lance .. like a number of your readers I got mesmerised by the misty photo and was thinking of the huge expanse of China .. and just letting the boat slowly take me out of the mist into the light: then the quote.

It’s not giving up .. isn’t it – believing there’s hope, believing there’s a way .. if you give up you wither and then it’s so difficult to start again or get life back if it’s given to you. Having faith in yourself.

Personally I do not like reading, seeing or thinking about that sort of terrible event – I just cannot contemplate it .. it would overwhelm me .. but the quotes you see from survivors, from people who’ve risen from the ashes always move me .. dreadful days, which still occur – and as Ian says .. “I long for the day when the sun shines everywhere” .. let the light in, let hope in – & live life.

Thanks .. thought for the day –
Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
.-= Hilary´s Last Fabulous Post ..Have you seen the stones of Mars? =-.


Mindful Mimi August 10, 2009 at 2:33 am

I love this quote. It is the ultimate truth to happiness I think. It’s all about attitude, your thoughts and your reaction to things, situations and people. I think that people who are in dire straits survive not only because of medecine, the end of a war, other people helping them, but also and mainly because their attitude was right. Frankl could not change the situation he was in, but he could change his thoughts and attitude. This is something noone can do for us, noone can take away from us either. That is where the power is!
Thanks Lance.
.-= Mindful Mimi´s Last Fabulous Post ..Sunday laugh =-.


David Cain August 10, 2009 at 6:35 am

Victor Frankl has always been an incredible inspiration to me. Whenever I find myself in an ‘awful’ situation, I remind myself how he maintained the strongest spirit in the worst of worst circumstances. If he could deal with that and not lose his resolves, I can deal with my minor problems any day.
.-= David Cain´s Last Fabulous Post ..Why You Should Keep Your Really Old Schoolwork =-.


Jan Lundy August 10, 2009 at 8:04 am

Years ago, I read Victor Frankl, and doing so shifted something in me. How we make meaning out of suffering. How we remain open to others when our heart wants to cry “Close!” How to extend give of ourselves to others, even when we have so little to give. And, perhaps, more than anything, how to choose our responses to any situation we find ourselves in, even the most dire. Thanks for this timely reminder.

ps. Just read your interview at Evita’s. Wonderful!


Dot August 10, 2009 at 9:07 am

My favorite Frankl quote. The photo is beautiful, too!
.-= Dot´s Last Fabulous Post ..Comment on Loss by Dot =-.


Lance August 10, 2009 at 9:28 am

@Barbara – And Barbara, it’s always great having you here. Choosing a picture has become as important as choosing the quote – together they have so much meaning for me. So, to hear that this is something you enjoy…this is so good to hear. Attitude, there’s so much to that isn’t there. We get what we give – what an uplifting thought today Barbara, thank you!!

@Henie – Hi Henie. Choose wisely…I love that thought! And wise can be many different things, depending upon what the situation is. Thanks so much for this wonderful addition here.

@LisaNewton – And what a great way to start the day off right…with positive thoughts. It’s all part of the choices we make, and you’re making wonderful starts to every day. Sometimes that can be all the difference, just getting off on the right foot…

@Hilary – Hi Hilary. This photo is very connecting for me, pulling me in that direction of peace and tranquility. And when I think of it as related to the quote, I’m reminded of how we can choose our way, no matter where we are in the sea of our life. Faith in ourselves, to make the choices that are “right”. Yes, getting to that spot in our lives is really all about right living, and such a good place to be.

@Mimi – Happiness as related to our attitude…Mimi, I couldn’t agree more, and you’ve said it so well here today. So, our attitude is like medicine for our soul…wow! That’s such an empowering thought right now as I read it. What kind of medicine am I feeding my soul, daily? Wow!!! Mimi, thank you so much for your wisdom here this morning.

@David – And our “awful” situations are nothing compared to what Mr. Frankl endured, are they? Such an important thing to remember – we may think things are bad for us (I know I have) but in reality, what we consider bad really isn’t much at all. And that’s what makes Frankl and others who endured the concentration camps and still chose an attitude of abundance so remarkable. And what gives us all hope in that we can do this same thing in our daily trivial “awful” situations.

@Jan – Thanks so much for being here today Jan. Your comment is really so moving for me. Especially the thought of closing our heart off to others…and how we can use what Viktor Frankl has discussed to help us really remain open to others. And in doing so, in remaining open to the world around us, no matter what the situation, we give light and hope to others…and what a gift that is! Jan, thanks so much for sharing these wonderful insights. And that you for reading the interview with Evita. She is a very special lady, and someone who connects so deeply with her being. I think you’d really enjoy much of what she writes about.

@Dot – Thanks much Dot. I love this quote too, it really has so much meaning to me right now, and at where I’m at.


Nadia - Happy Lotus August 10, 2009 at 10:43 am

Hi Lance,

I first discovered Frankl when I was a senior in high school and just fell in love with his book “Man’s Search for Meaning”. It is therefore obvious that I love this quote. It is a great reminder that we have the power to choose how we want to experience the world. The world is a reflection of us…it is that simple. 🙂
.-= Nadia – Happy Lotus´s Last Fabulous Post ..Make It Happen – Sunday Song for August 9, 2009 =-.


Robin Easton August 10, 2009 at 11:07 am

Dear Lance, I had not previously read this quote, but had read of the people in the concentration camps who did give in the manner. It touches me to my core, on the deepest level. It offers perspective and reminds me of a time in my life where I was stripped of everything and was finally able to find great peace in realizing that I still had control over how I responded. That peace especially came from realizing that NO ONE could take away my choice to love, and to love even under the most dire circumstances. What was so amazing was that I one day realized that no matter what anyone did, they could NOT stop me from loving, more exactly from being in and ‘with’ a complete state of Grace or Love. That was MY choice. When we can reach this place something happens inside us and we realize that we are completely safe. We ARE Love. We are literally embraced in a sea of love and no matter what happens we are safe and we KNOW this, we FEEL it and are no longer afraid because what sustains us comes from a higher source, a more vast source that is eternal.

I think this was one of your most beauty Sunday posts. You do such a great job here Lance. Simply beautiful expressions. Thank you my dear friend. Much love to you and yours. Robin
.-= Robin Easton´s Last Fabulous Post ..Journey of Soul =-.


Erin Prais-Hintz August 10, 2009 at 12:38 pm

There is never enough hope to go around. And that Victor Frankl quote defines that quite nicely. The attitude that we bring to our daily lives does indeed determine our altitude. It is sometimes all we need to rise above the fear and uncertainty that can bog us down. My college roommate is undergoing yet another surgery for a brain tumor that she has lived with these past five years. So scared, so fearful of all that she may lose. But I told her that it is not what she loses but what she does with what she has that will make the difference. I know that in her past health struggles she has relied on my ‘words of wisdom’ to get her through. I hope I have not let her down. I will ever be hopeful and ever be bringing hope to those that need it most.

Thank you for inspiring words today, Lance!
Enjoy the day!
.-= Erin Prais-Hintz´s Last Fabulous Post ..Sweet Bead is a Sweet Pea Winner! =-.


Audra Krell August 10, 2009 at 3:25 pm

I believe I’m most inspired by people like Victor and Corrie Ten Boom. Not many people have gone through anything worse than they have and yet they choose to be happy, they chose to live different lives. You’ve done the magic again Lance, great selection!
.-= Audra Krell´s Last Fabulous Post ..Vision vs. Expectation =-.


Sagan August 10, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Wow. Just wow.

I often think that we learn SO MUCH about ourselves- who we *really* are- when we’re in situations where our attitudes are really tested, and we learn from our reactions to the situation.
.-= Sagan´s Last Fabulous Post ..9k Race Results =-.


Liara Covert August 10, 2009 at 7:50 pm

Viktor Frankle empowers everyone to realize that nobody outside of you ever controls how you think. This is an empowering revelation for many people. Anyone who has not read his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning” would be greatly enriched by exploring the ideas expressed.
.-= Liara Covert´s Last Fabulous Post ..How does external change empower you? =-.


Lance August 10, 2009 at 9:16 pm

@Nadia – Hi Nadia. This has to be about the fifth recommendation for Frankl’s book (I’ll take that as a sign I should read it!). Realizing just how freeing this can be, when we accept that we have this power to choose our attitude – wow! And I love how you’ve stated that the world is a reflection of us. Nadia, you shine out to the world, and that’s why you see so much goodness in others. You are a wonderful soul, kindred spirit, and great friend…

@Robin Easton – Robin, I really believe this quote is so much about you. It really is, knowing what I know – and where you’ve been in your life. Having that control over your response, something that cannot be taken away. And you shine love in so many wonderful and amazing ways. While I only know you from our interactions not in person – I still believe I have really gotten to know you over this past year. And your soul is beautiful. And if there’s anyone I can think of who’s close to what level of self-realization that Viktor Frankl reached – Robin, that’s you. I mean this very much, you have a soul that just touches upon the goodness of all. And that is so, so good. You are truly a gift to the world. Robin, thank you so much for being “you”, and being a light for so many…

@Erin – Will we rise or fall to the occasion? Through our attitude and caring – that is OUR choice, and something that can’t be taken from us. And when we choose an attitude that is filled with caring – we give hope to others. Maybe one. Maybe many. And it doesn’t matter. What matters is that we’re choosing what is “right” from the depths of our soul. And what a gift you are being to your former college roommate. And that is making a difference. I am sure you have not let her down, I witnessed your shining heart, and that is a gift to everyone whose path it crosses…

@Audra – Viktor Frankl and Corrie Ten Boom have been through more than probably anyone of us will ever experience in a lifetime. And through it all, they shined their love. And the choices they made, this gave so much hope to others…such an amazing gift of love. Audra, thank you for this, and mentioning Corrie also – so, so wonderful to have you here today…

@Sagan – Yes, when our attitudes are tested, in these moments we have a choice…and what will we choose? And it those moments, when we choose – this is our character coming through. And what Frankl did, this is so much character coming from deep within. And Wow!

@Liara – Yes, Viktor Frankl is a shining example of showing just how empowering “choice” really is. And his book – a book I really have to read. Liara, thank you for these deeply moving thoughts…


Keith August 10, 2009 at 9:21 pm

Hi Lance,

A very powerful quote from Viktor Frankl. What the human spirit can endure and still be capable of that kind of love and compassion for others is staggering. It is my hope that I can live my life in such a way, now, every day, and without having to endure such horrors. Then maybe if such a horrible thing ever befalls me, I will be to others as those who gave away their last scrap of bread.

Thank you, Lance, for another post that stirs the heart and makes my mind MOVE.
.-= Keith´s Last Fabulous Post ..Stay The Course! =-.


FatFighterTV August 10, 2009 at 10:56 pm

Oh Lance, why do you always have to make me think like this?
.-= FatFighterTV´s Last Fabulous Post ..Fitness Magazine prize pack giveaway =-.


melly August 11, 2009 at 1:51 am

I always feel so inspired by people who have overcome great odds. I look at them and feel nothing but overwhelming hope. You know the kind that bubbles up in your gut & you think all things are possible. That kind!

I mean if someone can find joy in the darkest of times…how much more so when things are relatively trouble free?

We are much more brave & courageous than we give ourselves credit for.

Thank you Lance, for each sunday, given me something to ponder. 🙂
.-= melly´s Last Fabulous Post ..A day for sharing & passing it on =-.


J.D. Meier August 11, 2009 at 3:20 am

Beautiful, powerful quote.

Choosing your attitude is one of the most important freedoms. It’s one big giant filter for your world and how you respond. Randy Pausch really reminded me of this when he said to choose whether you’re an Eyore or Tigger. I choose a Tigger state of mind.
.-= J.D. Meier´s Last Fabulous Post ..How To Have a Strong Week =-.


Mark August 11, 2009 at 9:52 am

To give your last crumb of bread, to give your last sip of water … these are people who know unconditional love and understand that we are all one. Great quote, thanks for sharing.
.-= Mark´s Last Fabulous Post ..Speak With Your Authentic Voice =-.


Amy Jewell/ Cirklagirl August 11, 2009 at 11:28 pm

Have you read Victor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning? It is amazing. That was one book that really stuck with me. He is very humble of his experiences and has gone through so much and yet his gift to the world is immeasurable. Maybe even 1% of humanity be given the compassion and courage that he had.
.-= Amy Jewell/ Cirklagirl´s Last Fabulous Post ..Remedies to Tackle Stress in Your Life =-.


Lance August 12, 2009 at 4:46 am

@Keith – Viktor Frankl is a true example of really what IS possible. And yes, I hope that I can live up to some semblance of this true character in my own life…a life that is so much not fraught with the circumstances that Frank faced….

@FatFighterTV – Ha! Great to see you here Sahar, and welcome back…

@Melly – I agree! There is so much hope in reading the words of Frankl here. What he did is so beyond what most of us can even think of having to endure. And through it all, he found some peace through being an uplifting presence for those around him…how wonderful! Thanks for being here Melly…

@J.D. Meier – Yes, Randy Pausch is another shining example of having an uplifting attitude, even in knowing his time on earth was nearing the end. Powerful. So, here’s to letting the Tigger in all of us out a bit more…

@Mark – “…understand that we are all one.” Mark, that is so true – and also such a hard place to really get to. It’s one thing to do this for family, and another altogether to give so much of yourself to the stranger next to you. So much to think about, just in that thought alone, thanks.

@Amy Jewell – I haven’t read his book, although so many people have mentioned it here – I’m thinking it has to be required reading for me! Not many people can do what this man did – how he was able to transcend to a higher place within himself…so,, so inspiring. Thanks Amy…


janice August 12, 2009 at 10:20 am

Frankl’s story has always been a symbol to me of inner peace, personal choice and freedom. No matter what life hands us, it’s up to us to choose how we try to deal with it. We might not always have the strength, wisdom or courage to make good choices, but we can be at peace if we know we’re doing the best we can with what we’ve got.

Another good one, Lance – thank you!
.-= janice´s Last Fabulous Post ..Attacking Anchors in the Attic =-.


Jennifer August 12, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Now that was moving! We can certainly think about how pitiful we are or we can choose a better way. It’s all about choice and it always will be. It’s such a tough lesson to learn, but one that’s definitely worth learning. I can only imagine what a blessing these people must have been to those around them in the camps. And to think the ones most blessed were the ones giving! What a lesson!

Thank you Lance. Sometimes we just need to be reminded. And when we think about what these people went through what have WE got to complain about??? Puts things into perspective fast!
.-= Jennifer´s Last Fabulous Post ..Success or Failure? =-.


Lance August 28, 2009 at 9:55 pm

@Janice – That’s a great point, Janice. We do what we can. And whatever choices we’ve made in the past, they do not have to dictate what we make now and moving forward. So good to remember…

@Jennifer – So true, that the ones making this choice to give, they got so much in return. And that’s such an important lesson for all of us, just how much we get by giving deeply and with meaning. We are so blessed, aren’t we, Jennifer? Our lives are so good, compared to so many others, or so many others who have went before us…Perspective…


Ten Boom April 20, 2011 at 9:59 pm

I Agree with your post Lance. Absolutely amazing, it reminds me about my experience before. The photo is so nice too.. I’m looking forward for your next post. Ten Boom


Lance April 21, 2011 at 7:42 am

Hi Ten Boom,
Thanks for visiting.

No matter what our situation (as “good” or “bad” as it may be), we can always choose our attitude. This is something I hold close to me, and words from Mr. Frankl that really reach to my core. So, having you here to share in this is a gift. Thank you.


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