The last two weeks have been fun, trying to figure out why we move like cars on a highway as if we have destinations to reach, which never seem to arrive. This brings me back to the subject, “What is it all about?”
The question is like an onion, layers of which are constituted by questions like:
- What is the motive of my action?
- Where am I going?
- Is there a sure way to reach the destination?
A bit in the depths today, are we? 😛
A more direct and less abstract question that comes out of this questioning is that am I really on a path that will prevent me from going “Nowhere”. Unless you stop and think about the milestone you just passed, you’ll never know. Consequently, if in fact, the path will lead me to a destination, what is it? For simplicity, let’s just calmly throw quantum of money, fame etc. out of the window of our moving Ferrari. Established as it is, if the goal is material, then the goal is immaterial. At least for me!
We evolve from monkeys, and so a lot of characteristics remain. Copying the crowd is the biggest one. Once you start copying, the animal desire to be atop the copy pack front runs us. Being a proponent of creating leaderboards to make competitiveness come alive myself, the point gets missed by the players. They are put into a contract by a third party that wants them to compete while the reward for their competition is often reaped by others.
- A popular app put on a leaderboard for people who shop more, win more. You tell me who won!
So the mental model is pretty clear. Leaderboards are distractions, but for the linear crowd, they keep the line moving.
Leaderboards create a framework for all of us to use our creative energies in a very defined manner. The inputs are very clearly defined and the outputs help us gauge the index that is there on these inputs.
Leaderboard Winner = x*Effort1 + y*Effort2 + z*Effort3
Everyone’s creativity is optimising for efforts 1,2 and 3. And so the Hot Haste begins as the one who very quickly optimises for these variables wins. Wins faster… Enjoyment thus is sucked out of the effort.
The conclusion is not to not compete, but to add a variable of happiness/enjoyment and Initiative to the leaderboard. Maybe the leaderboard changes and fewer people participate in this one, but this creates a game where the rules are truly yours.
Coming back to our original questions.
The motive is to take initiative and create a difference. Taking initiative is hard. It requires creativity and effort. But as I have realised, it is initiative that takes care of “boredom”, a feeling of rut and nothingness from the otherwise one-track pony race which inevitably everyone sets on.
How does initiative solve this?
Let us define initiative before we get into the depths of it.
Initiative is the power to create; to create means to do something that nobody else has done; it is trying to do things in new ways, and trying to create new things. Initiative is a creative ability …..Man’s Eternal Quest: Paramahansa Yogananda
Doing something that nobody else has done might seems hard, but it is not. It doesn’t mean inventing stuff day in day out. It conveys a way to do things differently than they have been done in the past. A new way to distribute information, a new way to transfer wealth, a new way to make things more accessible. It doesn’t mean creating a new world order. It suggests changing the direction of atoms revolving around the nuclei to make a difference.
Creativity shows individuality. Individuality makes things feel more personal. And as things start feeling personal, you find value in doing them better, making them stand apart, burning like a hot star rather than being a part of the hot haste.
Initiatives that are taken for personal gains and pomp seldom create a difference. However, initiatives that involve giving: courage, happiness, strength, knowledge, music, art, accessibility, love are the ones we see stand out in the business of life.
Initiatives can be extraordinary or normal. Applying creativity to make processes easy in your job rather than following an SOP can be an initiative that can make you feel good. Making improvements on value chains that others have created also calls for an initiative. Size and place don’t matter, I have realised wherever there is creativity, feeling of oneness with work/play multiplies.
It might be the reason why playing sports doesn’t ever get a one-track pony, ever. There are so many ways to make it your own, applying a flavour of yourself in playing shots or trying out new stuff on the field.
Initiatives provide a meaningful goal and a push to switch on the indicator and take a left, breaking the path of anxiety of nothingness and emptiness that has emerged from the Hot Haste mechanic that we have built for us as a part of a high achieving society!
Happy Sunday. Dense reads and thoughts. Would love to hear opinions on this in the comments.
Thanks for visiting
A graduate from BITS Pilani, class of 2019, I am currently working as a Product Manager at Flipkart. I like to write about things that get stuck in my head. By writing I make sure everyone knows what absurd thoughts I have :P Thanks for visiting.