Delight In Purposelessness

It seems we've become consumed with the “Purpose Driven Life.” Everything is about improving our health, our career, our income, our status, our safety, our happiness. The world.

It has filled us, and bubbled over to our kids. Most western kids are driven (literally and figuratively) to a ceaseless kaleidoscope of school, tutoring, sports, music, dance, and other extra-mural achievement. Even at home they're treated like employees and paid for chores.

Anything, and everything, that could conceivably contribute to 'success.' A capitalist, western, vision of success that has everything to do with wealth and status.

Remember when you played without purpose? When you built a fort; jumped on your bike after school and cycled around the neighourhood; just kicked leaves; or lay on the grass looking at shapes in the clouds.

No purpose, no plan, no goal.

Wasn't that delightful?

Yeah. I'm going to do more of that.


End Game

Project 2012: Day 189

There’s an old joke that goes: To seduce a woman, you need to start in the morning when you awake. Make her breakfast in bed, with a cup of tea. Before you leave, feed the dog, sort out the kids, and put the washing on.

At morning tea time, send her a text declaring your undying Love. At lunch, send her flowers at work. Perhaps call her, and find out how her morning has been.

In the afternoon, text her again. Later in the evening take her out to dinner. Of course you’ve arranged the baby sitter, and you take her to her favourite restaurant. Later, walk hand in hand barefoot along the beach.

When you get home, put on romantic music, dim the lights, and light candles. Of course the house is tidy, the kids are safely ensconced in bed, and you’re all alone.

Now, you massage her, listening with soothing words to her cares of the day.

To seduce a man? Arrive naked, with beer. (Beer is optional)

Begin with the End in Mind
Whatever the means, seduction is about an end. And married or not, to seduce someone you need to begin with that end in mind.

So it is with sales, education, building, surgery, or pretty much any human endeavour. Last week we spoke about the first habit of being effective. To be proactive. Don’t respond, but take considered action.

The second arrow in our quiver then, is to be purposeful, to think about the outcome you want to achieve, and the focus all of your communication, tasks and activities toward that end.

Mostly we scupper ourselves, and just go through life responding to our buttons being pushed. Playing the same games over and over with our families and work mates. We rarely think about the outcome we want to achieve. At least not in every meeting or interaction.

This isn’t always the case though. Sometimes we do have an end in mind, but get distracted. I never cease to be amazed at how the dishes (or not doing the dishes) can scupper any manner of ends I have in mind at home.

So it’s pretty clear that we need not only to begin with the end in mind, but communicate that clearly with whomever we’re working. Whether that be our lover, our client, our child, or student.

So to seduce a woman, begin in the morning when you awaken…

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Change the World or Go Home – 0.1 – Purpose

Project 2012: Day 61

There’s only one reason people become entrepreneurs. Why you are perhaps starting your own business…

Oh yes, like all high impact professions (movie stars, sports celebrities, pop stars) there’s the dream of gold. And it’s true that what would’ve been barriers to entry as little as 4 years ago, are all but removed. But there’s still only one reason people start a business…

…to change the world.

Perhaps not resolve world hunger, or change the whole world. But something inside of you has taken a hold, and compels you to strike out on your own and change the world, if even a little.

You’re in good company. And succeed or fail, or fail and fail and fail and fail, and perhaps find a modicum of success, there’s a lot to be said for the courage to make the world a better place.

Which is why your starting point should be your purpose.

And your purpose needs to be more than making money.

Yes, investors will seek both a return on their investment, and perhaps even an exit strategy. And yes, your employees will want remuneration of some sort, whether salary or equity. There will be suppliers to pay, and expenses. Eventually you may go public, and need to provide shareholder value.

But your purpose defines your start-up. It determines who will join you on your quest. It even provides the aspiration for those seed investors.

Think of any of the great companies, and you’ll see the purpose built right into their DNA. Microsoft started with a purpose to “put a computer in every home, and on every desktop.” That’s more than just becoming (once) the richest company in the world. That purpose drove the strategy to focus solely on software, and work through OEM channel partners, rather than build their own hardware and limit their reach. To put their software on every PC meant partnering with all the potential competitors. But it was a strategy that in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and 2000’s won out.

Unlike Apple, who’s purpose was to “democratize technology.” Their purpose too informed their strategy. Technology wasn’t about merely computers, but included music players, phones, and new devices.

So, that brings us to you. What is your singular purpose? What one thing will you do to change the world? What good ideas, features, and even revenue making ventures will you stop, to focus on your purpose?