Sunday, June 07, 2015

Good Want Love Triangle

Ken Robinson says that if you walk into a room a 5 year olds and ask who can draw, they will all put their hands up. If you ask the same group ten years later, one or two will put their hands up. Part of that comes from education being a filtering process for finding out what we are good at. I am not completely against that. I do think we need to accept reality and part of what we do has to be based on what we are good at and what society wants. We all have different views of what society wants. We know we say we want to eat well, but we still buy pies and chocolates. We say want to save, but we know most people live hand to mouth. The clearest indication of wants is what you get paid. 

People want to watch boxing matches and will spend lots of money on tickets. That bothers some people. They see it as a measure of the things value. It isn't. Price is determined by everyone, value is determined by you. Price has two factors - supply and demand. Sometimes it gets me angry. It all seems like a game where there is no logic. You find out what someone does, and what they get paid, and all you can do is smile. That bit of us that loves justice and fairness starts bristling. Which is why lots of people decide it is much more conducive to happiness to never ask what people are getting paid. If we were boss of the world, things would be different. Dictatorship is great if you are the dictator.

Traditionally I think we try and bundle everything together and find that magic mix of something we are good at AND society wants AND we love. Of course this is awesome if the stars align. If you happen to be Roger Federer for example. The problem with that is we stop drawing. We stop doing the stuff that adds value, i.e. the stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with supply and demand. The stuff that requires longer term thinking. That requires you to put down the pie. That requires you to save so that you can start to let go of the two parts of the Good Want Love triangle.

If the stars align, you can find something that you love that you happen to be good at and gets paid well. An alternative is to build an engine. If you build skills flexible enough to do stuff that gets paid reasonably well, and that you mostly enjoy. Then you need to summon all your willpower and discipline and start to think of your money as an employee. The more and more employees you hire, the less and less you will be controlled by the random set of skills life has endowed you with and the instructions of Supply & Demand. The secret sauce that makes this all work is realising that enough may be less than you think.

The more freedom you have, the more you can get to the good stuff.
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