The Search for Meaning

I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you a story that I had written in a previous blog almost three years ago. My reason for this is that, in spite of the difficulty we have faced with our economy these past ten years, I think we all still have a lot to be thankful for. Frankly, I couldn’t think of a better way to remind ourselves of that fact than to share this story of Victor Frankl once again. I hope you enjoy it.

Throughout the crazy events sometimes surrounding us, it’s often difficult to find meaning – in effect, to make sense of things that are occurring every day. Victor Frankl was a survivor of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Nazi Germany. Many entered Auschwitz; few survived. Victor Frankl in his book entitled Man’s Search for Meaning explained that the key to survival was that people needed to do six things. There may be some guidance here for us, too.

First, he said, “Realize that the game of life has changed.” Isn’t that applicable today with our worldwide economic situation? As Frankl stated, the old game is over, a new game has begun. That’s true for your industry, as well. We’ve got to operate under a new set of assumptions because the old game is over. Be open to change – it’s already coming!

Second, every day, you must find something beautiful. For Victor Frankl, from his cell, he could see a mountain range. For us, maybe it’s a sunset.

Third, every day, you must find something humorous, something funny. For Frankl, it may have been the way one of the guards walked. As you face the stress of working through any situation, find some humor each day. We all need it.

Fourth, every day, you must find something to be grateful for. Instead of focusing on what you’ve lost or what you don’t have, focus on what you do have; something you are grateful for!

Fifth, every day, you must find some way to be useful. For Victor Frankl, it was helping others by listening to them. What will it be for you? How can you be useful to someone else or to your industry today?

Finally, every day, you must find something to help you prepare for the future – a big goal, for example.  We all need a bigger goal beyond this current experience. For Frankl, what kept him going was his goal to write his book: Man’s Search for Meaning.

As Dan Sullivan, founder of The Strategic Coach organization says, “All progress starts by telling the truth.” So, remember, as Victor Frankl stated, realize the game has changed. We’re in a new experience. The sooner we realize this, the sooner we’ll be able to rise above it. Also, don’t forget the other five steps to success:

Every day, find something:

  • Beautiful
  • Humorous
  • To be grateful for
  • Some way to be useful
  • A reason to prepare for the future – A Goal!

Try this today. I think you’ll be glad you did!!!