Chances are if you’ve heard of Existentialism at all, it was either in a college course or in relation to WW2 France.
While the word existentialism isn’t used as commonly today, many of its concepts have become common knowledge. Here’s a list of the top 5 lessons entrepreneurs can take from existentialism:
1. “WHAT DOESN’T KILL ME MAKES ME STRONGER.”
Everyone from Rhianna to Kelly Clarkson to every great athlete on earth has embraced this motto, but who knew it came from a philosopher in the 1800’s? Friedrich Nietzsche first penned this powerful mantra in his book, Twilight Of The Idols in 1889, and although he didn’t classify himself as an existentialist, many of his teachings are right in line with existentialist philosophy. It’s probably one of the most inspiring lessons existentialism has to offer. I mean, if you can learn to greet every disadvantage and struggle as an opportunity to grow stronger, you’ll not only outlast your competition– you’ll overcome them!
2. YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY FREE.
One of the main tenets of Existentialism is that you are radically free to act independently of determination by outside influences, which basically means that you can’t use your 9 to 5 as an excuse for putting off your dreams. Grant Cardone, a notable entrepreneur and businessman, nails this point in his seminars claiming that “No economy, no matter how bad, can hold down a goal that is followed by enough action.” Successful entrepreneurs have no shortage of obstacles; the difference is they keep going. So stop blaming your kids, your job, or your past, for where you are now. The first step in moving forward is taking responsibility.
3. BE AUTHENTIC.
Re-Evaluate your strategy, are you following or leading? If you’re still looking for the next “What’s app” you’re probably following, and you’re likely missing out on an even bigger potential– you. There is no one else like you in the world, so when you create authentically, you can’t help but end up with something unique. Meditate on your passions, what makes you tick? That’s probably where you’ll find your greatest opportunity.
4. YOU ARE DEFINED BY YOUR ACTIONS OR INACTIONS.
Have you ever found yourself on Auto-pilot? Are all of your decisions conscious? Chances are, like most Americans, you’re on a sort of conveyor belt of convenience, making decisions based on what’s easiest or most popular, but who says that leads to wealth or happiness? The truth is that the most successful people got there by making choices that most of us pass by. Maybe they invested in something that others deemed too risky, or perhaps they developed an emerging market, but whatever they did, it probably wasn’t popular. We are, each of us, created by the very decisions we make, we are nothing besides our actions or inaction. If you want a different life, start making different choices!
5. “LIVE DANGEROUSLY!”
Another great line from Nietzsche! Every successful entrepreneur knows the value of danger, in fact, just being an entrepreneur can often feel like tightrope walking. But the best entrepreneurs learn to channel this fear into constructive action. Many entrepreneurs, such as Richard Branson, even claim to thrive in risky situations. Following your dreams is always uncertain, but for those who’ve made it their life, the only real danger is standing still.
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