The Noam Elimelech then comes along (Likkutei Shoshanah) and explains what it really means: HaShem wants us to reach a level of self-nullification, bitul, referred to as "What?" (as in the passuk ונחנו מה?) But that level is virtually unattainable, so Chazal come along to give us advice on how to attain this level: If you focus on saying one hundred berachot every day from this level of "What?" (just while you say the berachoth,) then from there one can surely reach the true level of "What?"
So the Noam Elimelech takes the abstract teaching and brings it down as a practical lesson in achieving bitul.