October 15, 2022

Making meaning in an otherwise meaningless environment.


Existentialism works because it stresses that human beings have almost unlimited choice.

And despite being faced with a meaningless and absurd world, the philosophy empowers us to think of the future of business as an open and indeterminate field of untried possibilities.

Despite the pace and rhythm of marketplace event becoming increasingly variable and unpredictable, we have the opportunity to create our own lives and our own conscious sense of responsibility.

That’s how we make meaning in an otherwise meaningless environment. It is achieved rather than prescribed. We become the results of the decisions we make. We don’t find ourselves, we make ourselves.

How does this existential philosophy pertain to the work we do every day? Where does the rubber meet the road?

In my own experience, both as an entrepreneur and employee, two words: Victory log.

This tool is something I’ve used for over fifteen years now, and it’s amazing how well it helps me keep meaning afloat.

Here’s how it works.

Buy a small weekly calendar or start a digital document that you populate with any and all victories, large or small, that you achieve each day.

It’s a real time register of executions toward your dream. A visual record of progress that reminds you of your choices and freedom.

It may sound dopey to you, but in a meaningless and absurd world where we spend eight hours a day sitting at a desk creating and selling things that nobody needs, everybody has to do what they have to do to survive.

The victory log empowers you with the daily successes you create. By surrounding yourself with concrete evidence of execution on a small scale, that inspires you to achieve bigger dreams down the road.

Thinking back to the number of days in my life where going to work felt like pushing a boulder up the hill, the victory log helped to saturate my consciousness with achievement in a way nothing else ever did.

My recommendation is, throw away your to do lists. No more writing wishes for what you wanted to happen at the start of the day, start writing achievements for what you made happen as the day progressed.

With each entry into the victory log, you’ll feel more confident and more momentous and more satisfied. And you’ll productively distract yourself from realizing that being a human being is a futile, purposeless existence in an unfathomable universe.

Remember, we are the results of ourselves. Whatever constraints we feel as we go about our workday, it’s because we’ve internalized them. We carry those constrains around with us.

But once we learn to let go, the unlimited choices that await us and our business are nothing short of bliss.

How will you cope with the unwanted, added existential pressure of your work?