Thoughts A Brewin' Newsletter 3
This past week I began reading Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning.” It’s truly a remarkable book about Frankl’s personal experiences and observations as a prisoner and psychiatrist who was subjected to the brutality of the Holocaust. The topic of meaning got me thinking about the current struggles that exist not only within the network marketing world, but also within ourselves. Companies have largely lost their Why or let those without a Why percolate through its ranks, oftentimes for a quick buck. The issue is evident so we best recognize it openly and honestly.
The meaning of life has been and will forever continue to be one of man’s most profound questions. Frankl explores this profound question of human existence through life’s most difficult of circumstances, drawing from his experiences in concentration camps. Life’s ultimate meaning is not determined by these circumstances but is rather a result of our attitude and the choices we make as we encounter them. One of my favorite philosophers, Friedrich Nietzsche, wrote, “He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How.” To take this quote one step further, it’s advisable to at least temporarily put aside the What until a Why is determined as well.
This philosophy encourages us to resist the perpetual desire for more. Easier said than done in a world suffocating you with materialistic desires and an industry oftentimes fixated on big checks and cult of personality. But meaningful work is not solely defined by the pursuit of endless ambition, material wealth, or constant upward mobility. Instead, it's about recognizing that a sense of contentment (not to be confused with complacency) and fulfillment can be achieved by appreciating what we have and embracing the value of sufficiency as we embrace all that comes with the process along the way. By finding contentment in the present moment and recognizing the significance of our Why, we are able to retrieve a deeper understanding that permits the How and What to simply be a part of the ride as opposed to the reason for the ride. The How and What will always change, just as the world changes. But the Why has the ability to remain resolute.
Having a positive impact on others is one of, if not the most, meaningful aspects of life. This is frequently what I hear many executives state when they are in the start-up phase, especially. But for some reason the Why often gets lost in the How and the What as time goes on. Companies get stuck focusing on what others are doing, further clouding the vision of the original Why. The daily stressors appear to slowly chip away at the Why that initiated the journey. It's critical to understand that there is no central Why. It is rather individualistic.
Meaning is often found when we transcend ourselves, by dedicating our efforts to a cause or goal beyond our personal interests. In a professional context, this might involve viewing our work as part of a larger mission, whether it's within our organization or industry. By connecting our efforts to a broader purpose, we can elevate our professional life to a higher level of meaning. What does your company stand for and WHY? What products and/or services are being provided and WHY? If it’s to make money, that’s not inherently evil, but it will result in daily chasing. There’s always those across social media platforms who have an opinion about everything, but sometimes you need to be the change you want to see in the world. Don’t self-censor your WHY. At times, it can be the only thing you have.
Those companies that lose their Why and focus on tangential ends such as increased revenue at all costs, poach the neighbor’s top distributor, or add the next shiny object to its product offerings are planning their own demise. Revenue may flow nicely at the outset, but longevity that comes with purpose is doubtful for their future.
Frankl's wisdom reminds us that meaning isn't just about financial gains or personal achievements; it's about the impact we have on others and the sense of purpose we find in our professional and personal lives. This is something the network marketing industry began with and that I saw as a kid. But the industry has lost its way as it has entered the weeds of competition and self-righteousness. It’s time to get back on track and attack the future with vigor through a lens of genuine purpose. Because, “He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How.”
In Case You Missed It
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