The Search for Meaning – What Does That Really Mean?

John Ellsworth of Success Strategies

John Ellsworth

I wanted to take this opportunity to revisit a story that I had written in a previous blog almost three years ago. In spite of the difficulty we have faced with our economy at times during the past ten years, we certainly have a lot to be thankful for. Frankly, I couldn’t think of a better way to remind ourselves of this than to look at the story of Victor Frankl once again. I hope you can relate.

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 sound guidance for us here, too.

First, he said, “Realize that the game of life has changed.” Isn’t that applicable today in all industries? As Frankl stated, the old game is over, a new game has begun. That’s true for you and me, too. We’ve got to operate under a new set of assumptions because the old game is over. Be prepared & remain open to change – it’s coming faster than ever!

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 difficult situation, find some humor each day. Trust me. We all need some.

Fourth, every day, you must find something to be grateful for. Instead of focusing on what we’ve lost or what you don’t have, try to 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 other prisoners in the concentration camp 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 definitely changed. We’re in a new experience. The sooner we realize this, the sooner we’ll be able to reach new objectives. Also, don’t forget the other five steps to success:

Every day, find something:

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





Try this today. It works far better than complaining, especially on items over which we have no control… As Teddy Roosevelt said:

“Complaining about a problem without proposing a solution is called whining!”

Editor’s note: John Ellsworth provides financial and business consulting to dairy farmers and growers. He may be contacted at john@success-strategies.com or 209.988.8960. For information go to www.success-strategies.com

The related YouTube video for this article is below:

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*