Monday, January 05, 2009

Existential Crisis

I am back on the road. This is good for me because it usually makes me super busy. Having a hard drive failure only adds to the busyness. I would say I hate technology but that might hurt my livelihood. Perhaps I should say "buy more disk drives so you always have a spare".

There is a very moving song posted on Mark's blog today. Written specifically about Mark for me (and my brothers).

I worry about having a existential crisis with Mark's recent death. I think I was closer to Mark than most people are to their brothers (but that could just be my feeling).

I like what Victor Frankl says in his famous book "Man's Search for Meaning" about purpose. Life has meaning if we lead a purpose driven life. And purpose is derived from values.

As I contemplate, I realize that much of my purpose has to do with my strengths. What I am good at tends to tie to my purpose.

When asked recently why we are on the earth, I flippantly replied "to run businesses - what else?". As I ponder more, I realize, for me, this is a good part of my purpose and how I can have the greatest positive impact in this world.



At 8:27 AM, Blogger Gerhard Peters said...

I too ponder the question "why are we on earth?" or the question philosophers try to answer which is, "What is it all about?"

My answer to both questions is to grow and learn which I believe is the ultimate purpose we are here whether we summit to a higher power or not.

Thanks for your is inspiring to interact with thoughtful individuals like you.

At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Nothing wrong with a little "existential crisis". It's just too bad that, more often than not, we experience it when something terrible or painful happens.

Also, nothing wrong with asking (existential) questions, either. Especially not in our age, when everybody seems to offer answers, without meaningful questions being asked or pondered. I wonder why?

Best Regards,

At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim, please accept my condolences on the loss of your brother Mark. I too have shared a Father passed away when I was 15yrs old. Different grief than a sibling, I can only imagine the feelings you must be experiencing. Grief is like a wave coming into shore from a lake or ocean. There are times when the waves are incredibly rough and hard and neverending, rolling and bashing into the shore ceaselessly, those are the hard days and nights....then there are times when the waves are calm and gentle and full of hope and memories... I wish for you and your Family those gentle waves...they will come...they will come.

At 3:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for another fine post, Jim. I think one thing that Mark's death has done for you is led you to an introspective period. From my perspective, that has led to blog posts that are more likely to ask questions than your previous posts.

In that spirit, I offer you the question my priest suggested as a guide for life: "What has my entire life so far prepared me to do now?"

At 9:08 AM, Blogger Jason M. Beauford said...

I found this quote recently and thought it might give you some insight regarding your question as to "Why are we on earth?".

The purpose of life is a life of purpose. * Robert Byrne

It is for you alone to interpret and fulfill if you are so inclined.

My prayers goes out to you and your family for your Brother Mark.

Kind Regards,

Jason M. Beauford

At 10:12 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I've also had a more spiritual turn since Mark's death. I started reading Richard Bach books again and I'm reading /Eat Pray Love/ now.

Don't forget your purpose in a larger sense: you're here on earth to run businesses, but that has a larger purpose of serving others and creating community.

At 1:30 PM, Blogger Cindy Gordon said...

Mr. Estill,

I so appreciate your thoughts around purpose. Our society leads us to lead very shallow, unfulfilled lives. When we take the time to look within and understand our values, personal mission and vision, a richness flourishes. It is wonderful you see the connection of who you are and what you do. I know this brings great motivation and success to you and your company.

What a gift it would be if your employees could gain the same experience. What would the motivation and engagement level in your organization be if every employee, no matter what level, or what role, was personally connected to their job? How would this impact the financial success of the company? How would this encourage growth? Who wouldn't want to work for Synnex in this type of environment?

Values alignment is an employee benefit that is a one-time investment with a long-term repayment. A definite win-win situation for a strong leader like you.

Cindy Gordon

Culture Shock Coaching.


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