LESSONS from FAILURE. smooth 98.1
Welcome to LESSONS from FAILURE on SMOOTH 98.1. My advice today is very simple. I am encouraging people everywhere to seek a life beyond profit-maximizing no matter what they are doing or trying to do. It is not human to pursue profit alone. The idea of work must be defined by the pursuit of value by maintaining a single minded focus to use service to solve demonstrable human problems in a way that guarantee healing, comfort and progress for society. That’s my lesson from failure today. Yesterday on the show, I mentioned that Bill Gates did not set out to be the richest man in the world. I mean, calling Gates’ motivation for pursuing the Microsoft dream to the stand would be a testy undertaking. Was he driven by the financial prospects? Actually some have asserted this much. Was his motive purely altruistic, given his current philanthropic drive? Personally I think not.
But one thing’s for sure, Gates had a vision for something wild; wild enough to drive him out of one of the of the world’s most prestigious educational institutions. Gates discovered a new and exciting way computers could better serve mankind. No doubt, he must have had inklings about the financial implications if he succeeded. But profit being his primary motivation? I very much doubt. The story of Microsoft is a story of passion, vision and the ‘mindless’ sacrifice of the security Harvard promised. Bill Gates has again become the richest man in the world despite the fact that he has given money away more than anybody on earth has. Bill Gates has now clearly underscored the truth that it is better to give than to receive. It’s obviously beyond logic and sense. Profit is a cost to Bill Gates. Profit is nothing but a very important means to a more meaningful end. That is why Microsoft’s mission has been to continually advance and improve software technology, and to make it easier, more cost effective and more enjoyable for people to use computers. And billions of dollars have come in from that noble commitment. You can then understand why Bill Gates is giving so much to the welfare of humanity all over the world. He’s able to do so because deep within, from the very beginning, he had no other plan for all that money. And one man’s vision, larger than his appetite and quest for gain, has contributed critically to the individual and collective advancement of humanity. Bill Gates’ ground breaking invention has generated tremendous profit for Microsoft and for himself, and Gates has continued to spend almost as fast as he has earned. And the direction of his spending lends credence to the state of mind and motivations of an inventor.
In January 2000, Bill and his wife Melinda invested $126million into setting up The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. Currently the Foundation has Asset Trust Endowment of $36.4 billion and made a total grant payment of $26.1 billion since inception making them the highest givers to any cause. Now that’s a way to live isn’t it? I mean, that’s a way to truly live.
Maybe I’ve not studied enough, but in all my studies of great inventors and inventions, not once did I find a man or a group, who set out to make a profit. Rather I found men, women and groups driven by the possibility of the experience of a good and great idea; men, women and groups, with wide-eyed solutions to critical problems. The equations is this: Passion first! The kind of idea that creates advancement for society next, and then the business model, then profit. The final level is to invest a critical part of the profit of the welfare and advancement of humanity. It’s a duty. That’s God’s idea for success and prosperity. The world is upside down because this great intent of the creator is abused and lost on our psyche. It’s passion first, and then profit – the sequence remains the same. I want to define Passion, in this context, as being mission oriented. It is characterized by that critical concern which occupies the mind with a goal to add value to certain aspects of human life that can be improved upon or altered drastically for the collective good of all. This passion forces research, and in most cases, unlocks creative forces which are channeled towards an identified need. In some cases, this passion accompanies a brilliant spark, a bright idea with incredible import on human lives. This burning idea gives the individual no rest until it is explored and fructified.
See, “What peculiar thing do you wish you could do, given the right resources, to make life better for people? What product would you create? what service would you render? What problem would you solve if money was not an issue?” See, whether you are in business or working as an employee, in the next 20years, greed will be out of fashion. The new selfishness will be to do good even for self-serving purposes. In the next 20years, the key to top performance, success, meaning and fulfillment will be the capacity to sustain a life as a passionate adventurer, eager to try something different, caring less about money, perks, position, fame or glory, and able to solve problems either for your organization as an entrepreneur or for the one you work for as an employee; and to be able to solve it in a way society can be grateful for with pure and unadulterated passion. In the next 20years, value creation will be impossible without an undistracted creativity that directs its energies solely on its object of passion. Yes, Passion…not profit! Today the passionate inventor takes all. There’s no more space for the owners of money, but increasing space exist for the creators of money. I hope you know the difference.