Updated: Apr 16
Many people talk about their fear of having regrets or the disappointment of not having followed through on certain of their values. Others are caught up in the whirlwind of life and don’t think about questioning it until the machine stops and they worry where all the time has gone.
It is our responsibility to take action and reflect on the meaning we want to give to our own existence.
The most difficult thing sometimes is to become aware of this responsibility and freedom of choice in the first place.
We cannot always choose our circumstances but we are still able to decide how we want to give meaning to our lived experience. Mr Viktor Frankl, founder of logotherapy and a survivor of the concentration camps, presents responsibility as the essence of human existence. We all have the choice of what we want to be responsible for, whether it is to society, our own conscience, our beliefs...
Today in our western societies, we can see that the lack of meaning caused by feelings such as uselessness, absurdity or boredom can very quickly lead us to deep-seated ills such as depression, burn-out and many others.
These can arise from a disconnect between the individual's values and his actions. For example, choosing a job that goes against our values or what we want to achieve.
Increasingly, we question a company's values or impact before we consider joining them.
In career coaching, I always work with my clients to understand of their own values and together we study their skills to define how they want to use them as we reflect on what the world needs. Logotherapy also explains that you act for yourself by acting for the outside world.
This does not always imply a radical career change or the involvement of a clearly defined social or environmental cause, but it does bring meaning back into the client's life on their own scale and from their own perspective. As Friedrich Nietzsche pointed out, "he who has a why to live for, can bear almost any how».
I invite you to read Mr Henri Gillet's book, "Pour une entreprise humanisante" for an in-depth analysis of the use of logotherapy in today’s organizations.