Can freedom beat the journey?

Photo credit: frugalvillage.com 
The other day I was talking to someone about "training our brain for success." As it happens so often, this discussion gravitated towards "enjoying the journey." We then spoke about the journey, the ritual, the experience as being the ultimate goal (instead of the destination). As soon as this topic started - my attention began to fizzle out like a leaky balloon. I was drained out of energy by the time it was over. It was not the first time that this happened. It is not that I don't agree with this concept. I actually love the little nuts and bolts of building an organization, taking risks and putting in extra effort to understand people and so on and so forth. I am just bored to death with people obsessing over this particular perspective.

I have this theory about the journey vs. destination argument - most people are not sincere when they say "enjoy the journey." They only mention it because it is the right thing to say. It is somewhat like the classics. You know the names, you buy the books, but you never quite finish reading them. Still, when you are called upon to talk about your story - you find it fashionable to refer to the idea of enjoying the ride.
Connected reading: You don't know if you want something, until you have it.

The point of “point of no return”

Image courtesy: heritage-history.com
In 49 BC a general sat hesitantly on the banks of Rubicon. A conflict between him and the empire had been brewing for years. He had been ordered by the Consul to disband his army, vacate his post as the governor and report back to Senate. If he followed their orders, he would lose his immunity and would probably be prosecuted for insubordination


Crossing the river would, however, change that. He would be violating an ancient law and committing treason. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind on what would happen if he didn't triumph. He and his army would be executed. Since he had not revealed his intentions in public, he still had the opportunity to turn back and renegotiate his position. A tiny stream of water divided the choices between a potential prosecution and absolutely certain execution

No one deserves anything

"I didn't deserve this after all the hard work I put in!"


Haven't we all said that, some time or the other? (I have!) Here is what I often tell myself when faced with such an extreme scenario - No one deserves anything. 

You just get from one situation to the other. It's been said a zillion times, but I'll still repeat it - Life's not fair. In fact, it was never meant to be fair. The best move forward and the others are eliminated, whatever the conditions may be. That's how evolution works. No one really gets lucky all the time, and no one is unlucky all the time.  If it were to be fair, we wouldn't have been here. We wouldn't have evolved to the species we are today (not saying we're the most intelligent species ever, but its been 50,000 years since we started showing signs of communicating with each other).  

Get noticed first, solve problems later

photo credit: synappz.wordpress.com
It may not seem so, but it is more important to get noticed than to it is have ideas to solve problems Unless you are a world-shifting writer/artist/ scientist... there is very little you can accomplish just by yourself. Almost everything else needs groups of people working together and supporting each other. 

There is a need to excite people around you. Friends, employees, volunteers, customers, sponsors, investors, critics, voters, administrators... you have to get them to listen to you, and you can do that only if you are visible. 


That opens up the possibility of you communicating with people and getting a reaction. Whether they give a positive or negative response is a different matter. Whether you are intrusive or not, also is a different matter. All that comes into play only after you show up on that notification window or email or word of mouth or phone call or poster or announcement or an infomercial or radio ...
What are you going to solve if no one knows you?  Who cares what you have to offer if you "don't exist"? What great things can you accomplish if you can't win  other people's trust?

Things that could have gone wrong ...but didn't

My parents have always told me to take time to be grateful for the good things in life. While I don't see value in counting good things on a daily basis (remember the widely successful 3 good things exercise? Doesn't work for me). With time I have realized that it is okay to take time out to be grateful once in a while (even though we don't admit it, parents are right. Aren't they? :)). If nothing it puts things into a macro perspective and is a welcome change from daily fire-fighting. 

I had listed down "how I fail" in an earlier post. In this post I will try to be candid about things in the last year that could have gone wrong (in the businesses I invest in or help run)... but didn't:

We are because we belong (a key to motivated workplaces?)

All leaders have a common objective in their job description: to keep their teams motivated (and thereby productive). While the methods of achieving that can be varied, management science can trace and empirically identify some successful techniques. A well known but difficult philosophy to implement is to make the workplace more meaningful. If people find their work meaningful, they are likely to be more passionate and productive.

photo credit: ongoingsupport.org.uk

I will try to argue in favour of an often forgotten theory. Whether it is meaning from the outcome of the work (e.g. money) or meaning from a realization of doing something useful (e.g. doctors) or meaning from the ritual of doing something (which can apply to any work) - a common factor to meaningful workplaces is a sense of belonging. A sense of belonging can invoke emotions similar to a sense of community, friendship and even family. While it may seem indirect, it does make Monday mornings less of a drag, and it helps teams go through tough phases with minimal friction. 

6 type of people to avoid when starting something new

Photo credit: smallbiztrends.com
It is natural to want the best, so it is natural to look for the best people. Working with the most "qualified" person works well when the work is well defined and repetitive. It may not however work if you are trying to do something new. Something like - building a new product or trying to break into a new market or even writing a new song. The more unfamiliar a project is, the higher is the risk of working with the wrong person.

In these situations you want to go beyond the paper qualifications. Skills and experience of course matter but what matters even more is the willingness of a person to do whatever it takes. Here are some people you might want to avoid working with:
1. Avoid people who can't come up with new ideas. 

2. Avoid people who seem likely to come back and say "I didn't sign up for this".