Leadership Success and the Search for Meaning

Core-ValuesI’ll say it again. Success is NOT a destination. If I had a dollar every time someone calls me and says, “Look, I’ve achieved all my goals, now what?” — I’d be rich. Leadership success is not about achieving your goals, it only appears to be so. We spend so much time and effort to acquire new goals and habits, sometimes we forget the goal isn’t the point.

Meaning and purpose are the point.  Victor Frankl, Austrian psychiatrist, in Man’s Search for Meaning, tells about his fellow prisoners at Auschwitz. According to Frankl, the way a prisoner imagined the future affected his longevity. Those who lived longest were the ones who had meaning and a purpose to live. They refused to give up.

Frankl believed that people are primarily driven by a “striving to find meaning in one’s life,” and that it is this sense of meaning that enables people to overcome painful experiences. Frankl concludes that the meaning of life is found in every moment of living; life never ceases to have meaning, even in suffering and death. His hallmark conclusion was that even in the most absurd, painful, and dehumanized situation, life has potential meaning and that, therefore, even suffering is meaningful.

Weekend Neurosis?

Frankl survived the camps and went on to develop a theory of psychotherapy, called Logotherapy. He coined the term Sunday neurosis. It refers to a form of anxiety resulting from an awareness in some people of the emptiness of their lives once the working week is over. Some complain of a void and a vague discontent. This arises from an existential vacuum, or feeling of meaninglessness, which is a common phenomenon and is characterized by the subjective state of boredom, apathy, and emptiness. One feels cynical, lacks direction, and questions the point of most of life’s activities.

How about any of you readers? Ever felt that way on a weekend? I know I’ve had my share of it. But once I focus on my core purpose and why I’m doing what I do, it gets better. There is renewed energy every time I do.

I’d love to hear your experience; contact me and let’s talk. You can contact me here and on LinkedIn.

This entry was posted in career, coaching, leadership and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

One Comment