Bruce Lee is my preferred Martial Art master and sportsman. You can see here my version of him that I drew.
I especially love that quotation from him:
Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.
Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.
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.
– Victor Frankl
That powerful quotation is from the excellent and life-changing book Man’s search for meaning, by the Jewish psychiatrist Victor Frankl.
That article is to help you, people, I know among my readers there are people who are happy and successful, and others who suffer, have doubts and change jobs all the time, or worse.
I hope that after reading this on my blog you will feel not only recharged, but also will watch life from another perspective.
That book is exceptional, the writer, Victor Frankl, a famous Jewish psychiatrist, invented a doctrine of psychological survival.
And not based on theory. But on real practice. Victor Frankl survived for 3 years 5 Nazi concentration camps, including Aushwitz and Dachau.
He lost his parents, his pregnant wife and his brother in the Holocaust.
Victor Frankl survived one of the most inhuman treatment in human history.
Inside those horrible camps he was not only unbroken but even found a way to psychologically survive to all the horrors he was living.
His way of survival I am going to try to explain it to you briefly here. It is a doctrine that he invented in those death camps, it is called Logotherapy.
1) People must find meaning in their lives.
Searching a purpose and meaning in life is the only way for people to endure hardship and suffering.
Life has meaning under all circumstances, even the harshest ones.
Victor Frankl tells about prisoners who wanted to commit suicide and finally didn’t. How? They simply found a big reason to continue to live. Like a child to take care of in a foreign country or an important work to do.
He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”,Yo
People deepest desire is to find meaning in their lives. If someone can find that meaning in his life he can survive anything. That’s Frankl doctrine.
Even in the worst situation possible, man always has the freedom to choose his attitude towards life.
2) For Victor Frankl there are 3 ways to find meaning in life
Love – caring for someone else.
Work – doing something significant.
Courage during difficult times.
Victor Franklin also explains that each person is unique, and has a unique task to do in that world that no other can fulfill.
If a man can not find meaning in his life he can develop mental problems.
Frankl describes prisoners who died more by lack of hope or lack of reason to live than by lack of food and medicine.
3) Suffering is meaningless, it is how we react to it that is important.
Victor Frankl explains that people are more than the result of their environment.
For him everyone can choose, not matter what circumstances are, what will become of him mentally and also spiritually.
He writes that the kind of person you are is a result of your own decision rather than your situation, and that suffering with courage is a real achievement.
“It is this spiritual freedom—which cannot be taken away—that makes life meaningful and personal.”
Man is that being who invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz; however, he is also that being who entered those gas chambers upright, with the Lord’s Prayer or theShema Yisraelon his lips.
– Victor Frankl
Victor Frankl method helped him to survive hell on Earth. He transmitted it to us so we can live better lives with meaning.
With money it is possible to buy drugs and even steroids in prison. Of course not openly, but for the wealthiest prisoners it is possible. Nevertheless most of the inmates can’t afford it, and not every prison has corrupted staff.
Now that you read my article you know what to do to get in top shape!
Edward Limonov what a life! underground poet in Russia, penniless artist in New York, trendy writer in Paris, politician and prisoner in Russia! Discover the life of this magnificent bastard and writer.
Do you know Edward Limonov? He is a Russian writer, the best I’ve read, the other Russian writers make me want to sleep, too old-fashioned.
I read almost all his books but you do not care and you’re right.I’m going to talk about him instead on my blog that’s more interesting.
Limonov, underground poet in Russia
He was a thug in his teenage years, Limonov grew up in the city of Kharkov his hometown in the former USSR, Russia today.
At that time it was an Empire that scared the world.Limonov wrote about his years of delinquency in “Self-portrait of a bandit in his adolescence”.”A little bastard” tells about his years as a worker in a foundry and his love affairs are always a little gloomy and not sincere.
Limonov, delinquent, underground poet under Brezhnev and dissident, is expelled from his homeland by the authorities, to the despair of his parents whose father was an officer in the Russian army.
Limonov, years of trouble in New York
So here is Edward Limonov in exile in NYC with his wife, an icy Russian beauty, for those who love that kind of women.
His wife does not support poverty, and not her husband either, she even dumps him. And here is our Edward in New York broke, living in a dirty and filthy hotel, drinking cheap wine that burns and eating onky cabbage soup every day, because it is cheap and can be stored without a fridge.
He wrote inspired by his memories and years of struggle in New York “Le poète russe préfère les grands negres” which made him famous and allowed him to get out of his hard life. He also wrote the unforgettable “Journal of a missed ” .
He spits his hatred in often magnificent pages, of the ultra-capitalist Western society that turns people into robots who think only of making money.
Limonov consoles himself with less brilliant amours, tanned and wearing only white clothes, handsome and elegant although completely broke. But always with a knife in his boot, a habit of his years of delinquency in Russia.
He lives his poverty with class and elegance, and gets a tan by lifting weights on the roof of his building, living from meager American allowances and continuing to write.
Limonov trendy writer in Paris
He is refused by all the American publishers but one day luck smiles at him, and Paris takes him by the hand.
Why Paris? Because it is in my hometown that he found a publisher! And here is Edouard Limonov living in Paris, in a room in the Marais.
Quickly he becomes the darling of Parisian intellectuals and is even invited him to TV shows.
Limonov, always provocative, arrives at the TV show, dressed in the uniform of his father as an officer of the Red Army.
The intellectuals adopt it, his books are sold. He becomes overnight a trendy writer in Paris!
Very disciplined, he imposes himself every morning one hours of push ups and dumbbells, before writing every day 7 hours in a row. Then walk around Paris.
Limonov support for Serbia
Edward Limonov could have remained like that, stay in Paris and enjoy his media glory and continue to live from his pen.
Faithful to himself and to his convictions as an adventurer and man of action, he chose in the midst of the war in Yugoslavia, to take sides with the Serbs.
We can even see him on the spot, shooting with the Serbian army with a heavy machine-gun.
Watch it here on Youtube.
The cameras of the French television film it. It will cost him his Parisian career, because the intellectuals there, anti-Serbs, will not forgive him his muscular pro-Serb commitment.
Limonov returns to Russia, political commitment
Edward Limonov, full of contempt for the Parisian nomenklatura, returns to Russia, because as the USSR collapsed, he sees a national destiny there and creates his own national political party.
He will even be arrested by Putin, who does not stand his competition, and thrown in prison for arms trafficking, attempted coup in Khazakstan and sentenced to 14 years in prison.
In prison, despite his age, Edward Limonov continues his daily routine of pushups and even writes some books inside the jail including “My prisons”.
He will come out of prison after 2 years and not after the required 14 years.
In France Edward Limonov well forgotten and whose books were selling 1 euro in the Latin Quarter (yes I bought them there) became popular again thanks to the biography of Emmanuel Carrère “Limonov”.
His new books are even translated into French, and the untraceable old ones are republished.
Edward Limonov, happy, finally took his revenge on the small Parisian world that boycotted him since his support for Serbia.
And I’m happy, I’m proud to have told you about one of my favorite writers.