Saturday, October 26, 2013

What if... we did what we wanted?

In my mind, this video gets to the heart of the theme of 90% of the post on this blog. Why can't you do what you are passionate about?  Who has framed the world for you?  Who is pulling your strings?

I would argue that we're becoming a world when nobody can "see around the corner", when the idea of a "normal" life - good education, good job, happy retirement and golf in the Pocono's isn't possible (if it ever was)... nor is  a chicken in every pot and a white picket fence (if it ever was).  Fewer middle-class, more poor, and the wealthy control most of the wealth. 

What if... we decided not to care about that?  What if we decided to say f' it.  Who cares who has what?  What if we only cared about our, and our communities, happiness.  And decided to define happiness, above some minimal threshold,  with no mention, thought, or concern about money.  True success, and happiness, would be when someone woke up every morning and did exactly what they wanted to do.  They fished, they painted, they wrote, they sang, they talked, they taught, they learned, they truly lived.  And if all you have ever wished for is your own private jet, legions of fans, big cars, 6 homes, and money to burn... your strings have been pulled from day one. 

Our challenge is that we've had people like the businessman in this story (from Seth Godin HERE) pitching us these same myths from day one:

An American businessman took a vacation to a small coastal Mexican village on doctor's orders. Unable to sleep after an urgent phone call from the office the first morning, he walked out to the pier to clear his head. A small boat with just one fisherman had docked, and inside the boat were several large yellowfin tuna.
 The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish. "How long did it take you to catch them?" the American asked.
"Only a little while," the Mexican replied in surprisingly good English. "Why don't you stay out longer and catch more fish?" the American then asked. "I have enough to support my family and give a few to friends," the Mexican said as he unloaded them into a basket.
 "But... What do you do with the rest of your time?" The Mexican looked up and smiled. "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Julia, and stroll into the village each evening, where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, senor."
The American laughed and stool tall. "Sir, I'm a Harvard M.B.A. and can help you. You should spend more time fishing, and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. In no time, you could buy several boats with the increased haul. Eventually, you would have a fleet of fishing boats." He continued, "Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the consumers, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution, and move to Mexico City, then to Los Angeles, and eventually New York City, where you could run your expanding enterprise with proper management."
 The Mexican fisherman asked, "But senor, how long will all this take?" To which the American replied, "15-20 years. 25 tops." "But what then, senor?" The American laughed and said, "That's the best part. When the time is right, you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions." "Millions, senor? Then what?"
"Then you would retire and move to a small coastal fishing village, where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, and stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos...

Some related reading:
Sir Ken Robinson
Dave Pollard
Tim Ferriss

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