I was in college when a professor of mine recommended I read “Man's Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl. The book is about Frankl's experience as a Jewish psychologist during World War II, being separated from his family, in the concentration camps as a prisoner. Throughout the book he talks about two things when it came to surviving:
1) Luck. – He explains sometimes it's just whether the Nazi's pointed you left or right that day which meant life or death.
2) Purpose. – He explains that the prisoners in the camp who were still fighting all believed there was a greater purpose, or meaning, to life. Whether it was getting back to their work, their family, or just a passion for life and the possibilities of it after the Holocaust. These people stayed connected to their “why”.
Frankl writes that the people who decided to let go of their “why” were almost guaranteed to die in the camps. They stopped eating, they stopped moving, they stopped existing.
I've read this book many times and ask many of my clients to read this book because it's such a good reminder to keep moving forward. To find your purpose and fulfill it.
Before starting my business, I was working two jobs feeling miserable. I was sick with dread every morning that I woke up and dressed for work. My anxiety started coming back in full swing, and each day I practiced breathing exercises to ward off the panic attacks. My mood worsened, and I was miserable to be around.
During all of this, I kept thinking, “I should quit… I should start my own business.” I could not stop thinking these thoughts. But I did nothing… and then I got fired. Thankfully the Universe did for me what I so clearly could not do for myself.
The events that followed continued to push me to finally put some action behind these thoughts I couldn't shake… and then something happened… I started feeling better. My body stopped feeling tightly coiled with anxiety, my mood improved, and I started to reconnect with my purpose again.
I think the Frankl's observation on surviving (part luck, part purpose) 100% applies to business. I have no idea if other business owners will succeed or fail. They can replicate what I did or what other successful business owners have done, but part of business is luck. Being in the right place at the right time and meeting/knowing the right people. The other part of it is staying connected to your purpose or “mission” in starting the business and finding ways to grow while being connected to that “why.”
There is no sure-fire way to guarantee success exists. Anyone that tells you otherwise is probably trying to make a profit off of you. Think about it; if there's a guaranteed way to make 30k in 3 months, wouldn't the news be reporting it? Wouldn't people be quitting their jobs in droves to do what that person is doing?
2 thoughts on “Can’t Stop / Won’t Stop – Finding Your Purpose”
I loved Frankl’s book! The way he creates meaning out of his suffering is incredible. Very much agree- having a purpose is crucial.
Totally agree Claire! Thanks for reading!
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