On Inspiration and Entrepreneurship

This post is inspired from ‘The Social Network’. Before you read on, if there is a thought lurking somewhere in your mind that here’s another article singing a song of facebook, joining in hundreds of people doing the same thing all over the world, well then no, not really.

Today I want to think about what really strikes people. There is always something about inspiring people. Is it their rebelliousness? Is it standing out? Any passionate work of mind and spirit encourages copy cats, why?

If it was simply success that induced admirers, then we all would want to be ideal. Because then we would have to conform to metrics set in place by others.

It is not money or marks but its Respect, Envy and Revolution that drive the world.

Because it is not numbers, it is not rules and mundane awards that drive the world. It is not the conventions, standards, it is not even the unconventional, the rule breakers who drive the world. Not rule breaking for the sake of it.

It is originality that drives the world. Passion, love drive the world.

Real success not only generates respect, crazy unjustified downright blind following, admiration, sycophancy. It also generates mockery. People either hate you or love you, they go crazy in your passion and energy in either a good way or bad, but they go crazy because its all about passion.

And why do some things drive people crazy. Because at the end of the day everybody wants to fall in love with somebody or something, wants hope and a reason, to wake up to a purpose. Because it is not enough to breathe and eat and think. Life is not that, life is passion, it is love and dedication.

Why does anybody want a purpose to wake up to? Why do you want hope and a reason? Because possibly that is the only way of finding your centre and your confidence.

General Douglas MacArthur once walked through gun fire right on the battle field. As he embarked a second time to repeat the same feat, he asked a petrified soldier to accompany him. On being questioned as to how he could walk through gunshots with so much confidence, he laughed saying,” I will not be killed by these gun shots. I still have my purpose to fulfil.” The young soldier immediately replied, “Sir I have no such purpose in life to live up to.”

Confidence and conviction. Because sometimes you just know that you are right, because there’s no reason, because you know the universe will conspire not against you but for you.

It is all about living to the fullest. It is about being 100% of one thing, putting everything at stake, dreaming.

Entrepreneurship is not a modern day business concept, it’s a way of life, it’s a way of living that you choose in which you choose yourself over everybody else. You recognize your own individuality in the highest possible form (you give your own individuality the highest possible recognition), to give the best and the most of everything you have to one thing. And therefore even a seemingly non entrepreneurial activity can be entrepreneurial and sometimes starting your own enterprise can also not be entrepreneurial.

In the movie, Sean Parker said, “the record companies beat me but only in court”. He represented something that had defied all regulations but he represented something real. He was perhaps a non conformer.

There is no reason for you to think that this is radical.

And possibly the most critical point is to realize also that non conformity is not the way or a solution. This is not a call to drop everything you are doing, or surrender yourself to the unknown or disobey all the rules for the sake of it. But it’s a call to ask you to wake up, to live more, to be 100% more in everything you do.

If you want to be a non conformer, then be one but with full integrity. You want to break rules, break them but break them well. You want to destroy, do so but destroy well.

So what should you do? Ultimately what matters and what doesn’t? Do marks matter? Does popularity matter, do friends matter? Or don’t matter?

Should you drop out and wait for that spark or brilliant idea to come along? Not really. Be happy, do the things you like. Make sure you have no regrets and that you are happy with everything going on in your life. That’s all.

Learn to applaud the winners but do not forget the losers. Because there will be many losers who will be as good or even better than the winner and so learn to appreciate them. Remember ultimately that winning is fun but its not always beautiful and infact more often way more ugly before it becomes close to becoming anything beautiful. Accept the fact that people will work harder to loot, steal your ideas, work and achievements prior to and rather than acknowledging or appreciating you. That this is the ugly fact life.

Life is way more beautiful and way uglier than you can imagine, and you in all probability have no idea of the degree of its beauty or ugliness. That the most important thing is to keep an open mind, to be humble and never ride too high or too low. That there is scope to be happy and sad in almost any situation. And you have control of your life in ways you have not realized and you do not have control of your life in ways you might be tricked into believing.

That everything is confusing and because of that everything is also very clear. It is very complex and hence very simple.

Intense

Winston Churchill once said, ” From intense complexities emerge intense simplicities.” The veracity of that is realized when life thrusts you into a quandary. A quandary of sorts. When the mind cannot any longer comprehend one’s situation or how one got there. When all reasoning and implications are either insufficient or turned on their head.

Then the mind stops thinking.

It is only when you face heat that your mind distills. It is only then that you realize how unimportant judgments and classifications can be. That the illusion of control over your life is just that, an illusion.

It is only then that objectivity rises. The acceptance and the realization of what is and not just what one wants it to be.

In that bottom emptiness when you cannot bottom out further, only then can you resolve yourself. Then you are bare. In that difficult moment the elements that made you stand out. Your dependence, your nature. And even though you are an individual, suddenly your individuality is resolved. The smallest of elements that were not even considered to be participants in making you come out. Only then can you see your beliefs.

Every event in your life that presents you with an opportunity to bottom out, the pressure, the risk, the extreme, there is the risk that you will break down or enter a higher orbit. But more importantly that is also the only opportunity when you will have to resort to objectivity. And due to that compulsion objective you do become.

If you enter that higher orbit, from then on the taste of that exaltation pulls you further and further more to enter higher orbits. All your actions, your mind’s decisions drag you, pull you, attract you towards entering that higher orbit.

And if one does it for long enough, it gradually become’s one’s nature. The natural becomes indistinguishable from the forced. The world and even oneself begins to believe that this is me, that I am this.

Such are the heroes of the world, admired for their nature, for their detachment and lack of dependence.

But if you do not enter that higher orbit, you breakdown. All beliefs are discarded even if just temporarily. There is no attraction, no pull, no push, just you and the present. You and the now. Then the mind is jabbering, frantically trying to find a set of beliefs, a source to cling on to but you do not want (even if just for a while) to be pulled back into anything. Because you are tired of believing, tired of judgment, tired of your own attractions.
It is only in that complex descent that you have the chance to redefine your metrics, your beliefs.

And you have to believe in something because existence demands that. Presence of hope is life and its absence is death.

Once again you enter the cycle hoping that you may not break again, hoping that you will enter the higher orbit.

In those moments of redefinition one can be a curious mix of vulnerability and strength. Strength against the old and vulnerable to the new.But it is that vulnerable side which decides your course from then on. What you give into in that vulnerability is what your future will be.

And then someday in the future when you do look back, you are but a product of the metrics and definitions you chose for yourself that day. You may consider yourself to be wrong or you may consider yourself to be right but all you will be is not something right or wrong, but simply a product of your choices, definitions and metrics.