Screw That! Do The Opposite!!

Apple it seems, is a bit greedy.  They want you to ditch your old iPhone for a shinier, new version.  They do this by pushing updates that reduce the battery life of older iPhone’s and make them run slower.

The other day I saw a classic Rolls Royce drive past me.

rolls

It was a thing of beauty.  As it drove by everyone was staring at this majestic work of art.

This made me think:

There are very few things which get better with time*.

I find it sad that so few things are built to last.  

In fact nowadays, “planned obsolescence” – where products are designed to break after a period of time – is part of the plan so that people will upgrade or buy more of the same products.

This sort of impatience and nearsightedness doesn’t do anyone any favours and yet it seems to be affecting people’s thinking when it comes to all sorts of things.

People even talk about “flipping businesses”!  As soon as they start a business they’re looking for an “exit” to literally get out.

Screw that!

Do the opposite!

Instead of looking for a way to get out, plant deep roots.

Instead of “flipping a business”, serve your customers for the long-term.

Instead of making sure your product breaks, make something that gets better with time.

If you as a freelancer, an artist, a writer an entrepreneur can lean in when others bow out, then there will always be people out there who would like to be served by you.

*Off the top of my head I can only think of a few things which get better with time; old recipes, certain watches, certain cars, fine wines, art, nature….

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You Are Not A Red Zebra

red zebra

Isn’t it strange how zebra’s stand out so much?

Shouldn’t they have evolved to be a sort of brown colour?  Like the lion, so that they would blend in with their environment and not get eaten?

Interestingly enough when scientists were studying zebra’s, they found it awfully hard to keep track of which zebra was which, so they came up with a solution:

“Why don’t we paint a red spot on the zebra we want to track?!”

Every time the scientists did this, the zebra in question got eaten.

Why?

Because the Zebra with the red-painted spot stood out from the rest of the herd.  It turns out that the herd provide the camouflage for the individual.

But here’s the thing:

You are not a zebra, you don’t move in herds and you don’t need to worry about getting eaten

Can you think of a single person you admire that didn’t stand for something that set them apart from the crowd?

Whether it be Steve Jobs, Mahatma Gandhi or a soldier who fought for their country.  All these people stood for something and most likely would put their life on the line for what they believe in.

At some point it seems, we have to put our foot down, draw the line in the sand and say:

“This is what I believe is right.  This is what I believe in.  This is who I am and what I stand for.”

I don’t fear laying on my death-bed and feeling sad that I didn’t accomplish X,Y or Z.  I am afraid that I will be on my death-bed and look back at my life and realise that I didn’t stand up for what I truly believe in.  That is a life not lived.

Are You “Job-ifying”?

“Job-ifying” is a game that people play.

The game consists of the following:

  • Comparing your clothes to others
  • Comparing who has the biggest car
  • Comparing who has the biggest house
  • Finding out who to please at work to get a “promotion”
  • Gossiping and spreading rumors about people you don’t like
  • Comparing how big your pay check is compared to others

The list is endless.  In short people who “job-ify” are people who think that resources are limited.  They think the end goal is to accumulate as much “stuff” as possible to try to impress people they don’t know..

But what if I told you there’s another way?  What if I told you that there’s a world where resources, happiness and wealth is not limited, but unlimited?  This world exists.  And you could live in it.

The only thing you need to do to live in this world is follow a new set of rules:

  • Be as generous as possible
  • Help others as much as possible
  • Share ideas as much as possible
  • Create as much as possible
  • Make as many meaningful connections as possible
  • Only compare yourself to who you were yesterday
  • Stand up for what’s right
  • Look others in the eye and with all sincerity say “I care”

I know which game I am playing.  Why not join me?

It’s All Good

Learn to say “good”no matter what and I guarantee your life will improve.

Your diet isn’t going as well as you hoped.

Good, it means you can lift heavier weights for longer.

The development of your app is going slower than you thought.

Good, it means you have longer to get it just right.

You failed that exam.

Good, it means you get to learn more.

People disrespect you.

Good, you have the opportunity to improve yourself.

You didn’t get that job.

Good, you get to use that pain as fuel to get an even better job.

You’re a nobody.

Good, being poor and unknown means you have nothing to lose and that makes you dangerous.

You don’t have time.

Good, you’ll have to stop wasting time on things that really don’t matter.

It’s all good.

Keep Writing

Over time I’ve found that writing thoughts down really allows you to flesh things out and follow things through to their logical conclusion.

I suppose this blog itself is a form of catharsis and mental experimentation.  It can sometimes be upsetting looking back at blog posts and realising that certain topics have been touched upon already.  But, I’ve found that sometimes it requires several blog posts to examine a single opinion from several view points and really gain that deep understanding of topics.

Sometimes I feel like an interesting idea is like sitting in a room with several windows.  You can look inside through each window at the same idea.  And even though the idea is the same, the perspective and meaning can be totally different from each viewpoint.

My WordPress account recently auto renewed.  This means that I’ve been blogging now for around two years.  It’s funny looking at my WordPress feed – it seems that most people stop blogging after only a few posts.

I wonder why this is?

It seems to me that most people can’t think for themselves.  They can’t create new ideas and perspectives.  I find this very sad.  How can these people expect to create original work if they have nothing original to say?

What’s more worrying and saddening is my idea that if you have nothing left to say, then it’s likely that you don’t stand for anything.  If you don’t stand for anything then what is the reason for your existence?

To me blogging and sharing ideas isn’t just about getting more followers or likes.  It’s about ideas and existence: the very things which give our lives meaning and purpose.