What are our desires? What on earth does they stand for? Why some of them snowball in to passion or obsession and other dies very next day? Is there logic behind this seemingly random process?
Sometime back I wrote a Blog post about loosing the desires of child hood as we grow up? In that post I provided a cursory view of the problem. Why we hold back our self from doing what we want to do .Be it Starting a Venture or Going to North Pole or Asking the girl out for coffee? Why some time we can do it and sometime we can't?
Ever since that posting I was thinking about it .I used to think that the solution lies inside us. It's a fight within me. It's all about overcoming my fears, insecurities and uncertainties and there is no external dependency. Starting a Venture require a mental require to cross a mental gap which is up to me to do. Outside factors can't help much, at least not in any Positive manner. I need to be a lone warrior in this quest.
I was wrong. I realize it while I was sitting at BarCamp Delhi.
There are external factor. Three of them. Survival and snowballing of any desire depend on these three factors. Can we control them? Yes. I think so. You have done it in past albeit unknowingly.
These three triangulating forces are
a) The Itch b) The Denial c) The MuseThe Itch:
Itch is the desire /wish/ dream it self. Every desire start as an itch. Small but not ignorable. It holds our attention and occupies our mind. We have to do something about it. It offers us an opportunity to do something, something original, something new. It is more like mythical siren's lure.
We go through this daily .we find many temptations inviting us to explore & trying to start that itch. We notice a new café on our way to work and feel like checking out the stuff there. We see "Rang De Basanti " and time feel like fighting out the whole god damn system (although its momentarily) .We read that in Dec 2005 alone 40 Million mobile phones were sold in India and we think can I make some thing that these user will pay for? .We stop at HP Gas Filling station and wonder whether sania is looking at me? J
Some of our Itches are just long standing needs vying for attention. A sort of incremental desire. In tune with the current rhythm of life. You always wanted to check that café but can't squeeze enough time for it. But some time our itch constitute of something, which doesn't fit in out rational scheme of things. We are afraid to explore them. A sort of disruptive desire out of harmony with your current life. This type of itch is hard to kill and we feed them.
How to know which type of desire you are having right now? Well that's very simple just think what is stopping you to explore that option? Is it constraint of time, money, geography or energy level?
Or you are afraid of the idea, does this idea contradict your past, your surroundings, if implemented successfully will you be looked upon as most unlikely person to pull it? You don't doubt the potential of idea but doubt your own capability to do justice to it. Are you afraid of being laughed at if you fail in the pursuit? Can you sleep now?
If it is any of this case than there is a fair chances that this is an idea, which is a disruptive idea. Legend is when Sabeer Bhatia and jack smith came up with the idea of Hotmail. Than both of them were not able to sleep that night. They were afraid. In retrospect it looks funny. Why would they be afraid?
Because the moment you come across something big ,you are pulled in to two opposite directions by the forces of Denial and Muse. It's like a black magic and for sometime nothing makes sense. Still you can't escape because these forces are playing inside you.
"In a way, it's harder to see problems than their solutions.Most people prefer to remain in denial about problems.It's obvious why: problems are irritating. They're problems!Imagine if people in 1700 saw their lives the way we'd see them.It would have been unbearable. This denial is such a powerful force that,Even when presented with possible solutions, people often prefer to believe they wouldn't work."
Paul Graham In "Ideas For Startup"
" If anything can go wrong, it will definitely go wrong " :Murphy's Law
The moment you come up with a world changing, paradigm shifting, curve jumping, and rain making idea. The force of denial begins to show you every reason why this will not work. It seeds you with worry, apprehensions and doubts. You worry about loosing peer acceptance, you worry about home loan EMI, you worry about kids & if you are an American you worry about Health insurance also
We are conditioned that way. I admit you need to do some amount of forward thinking but too much of it kills any zeal you have for moving ahead. What denial actually do is, it make us incapable of trusting our guts. You look ahead when what you need to do is to squint in future. You can't see or predict future by looking ahead. Horizon is the limit. You need to squint and denial makes you incapable to do that. It hibernate your brain with cold logic.
Itch is about warm imagination. Denial is about cold logic.
I can call for souls from the heaven & ghost from hell, So can you.
That is not important, what is important is, Will they come?
William Shakespeare In Hamlet
Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb. You may never reach the summit; for that you will be forgiven. But if you don't make at least one serious attempt to get above the snow line, years later you will find yourself lying on your deathbed, and all you will feel is emptiness.
Hugh Mac load in "How To Be More Creative"
Third factor that do the trick is the force of Muse. The out of the world inspiration. Some sort of goal, some conquest beyond the stated purpose of the endeavor. It could be anything proving your self, making money, revenge, world domination, nirvana, moksha, to be one with the universe or any such thing.
Painter draw portraits of long lost girlfriends, composer create symphony for lost love. Emperor erects Taj Mahal. They were not just painting, composing or building a monument. They were serving a higher purpose.
Near to home NRN created infy not for just creating software and make profit . perhaps his muse was to show that you can create a world class ,profit making commercial enterprise in India by ethos of wealth sharing and respect for individual . he has given a human touch to capitalism "
E Sreedharan did Metro to prove that A Govt Project can be done with highest quality and execution standards . it is not just a mean of transport . it stand for the hidden potential of all those great potential of great minds locked in the govt. machinery . its a muse for them .
I have seen that for much of the time people take seemingly irrational maneuvers because there is muse factor. They are inspired. The whole cartel of seminar and networking meeting industry is catering to those folks who seek company of like-minded, enterprising folks.
It is a type of positive self-feedback. Remember we used to put up all those posters and banner in our rooms during college. We were looking for muse. Strange we don't do it now.
So if you want to wrestle and overthrow the forces of denial then feed the forces of muse. A muse inspires every great idea. None of the great idea, invention, and accomplishment was approved by the peer group. Create your own muse.
Read, meet, discuss, analyze, deduct, conclude and make a jump .
May the force be with you.