1. Give them exactly what they wanted. Perhaps out of your price point, but when money is no object. 2. Give them close to what they wanted. But this time within your price point. 3. Give them what they think they need. 4. Give them what they actually need. This is fraught with peril since you may be pointing out foibles. 5. Give them something completely random. This can be cute, unless its a live animal which you should completely reconsider. 6. Give them something that aligns with their thematic lifestyle. Perhaps running gear or cooking supplies. 7. Give them something to push them into a thematic lifestyle they should adopt. I keep getting cookbooks. 8 Give to some charity that can lift people out of poverty. Providing a well for a village goes a long way to reduce disease. And whatever you do, enjoy the time together since its really just the thought. Right? #motivation#personaldevelopment#business#charity#management
The question then becomes what is the connection between how a corporation runs and how an individual can run their own life. Corporations have always used objectives such as profits, return on investment and dividends paid amongst other criteria. Can this somehow predicate the happiness of the Corporation or do we have a similar kind of dichotomy between man and business?
Does the satisfaction of these corporate criteria also refer only to contentment? The satisfaction of these various corporate objectives does lead to the payment of dividends, wages and bonuses, which can lead to the contentment of individuals. If indeed the Corporation’s soul is made up of the individuals that run the organization, then we could have an argument that a similar dichotomy exists between contentment and true happiness within a corporation. This would suggest that a corporation having the values of the individual would also seek to maximize its happiness by leading a highly moral life.
If a corporation could somehow be happy in the satisfaction of its mission and vision statement, then it stands to reason that a similar achievement of a personal mission and vision statement would lead to the happiness of an individual. However, there’s a further questions of whether or not happiness of the individual is somehow separate apart from the individuation or actualization of the individual.
It would seem that an individual would want to become fully actualized through the accumulation of skills and wisdom and perhaps wealth. If it individual wishes to become actualized through work, this is somehow consistent with leading a highly moral life. One should be able to lead a highly moral life and still become actualized. Actualization may have to do more with the contentment of the individual and the resolution of various desires of that particular individual
Examine an analogy between the standard corporation and the nature of men and women. The soulless corporation depends upon the values of those that run the organization to determine its own values. One would think that the values of individuals align with the Corporation’s. Perhaps the true happiness of an individual may be analogous to the happiness of the organization.
The happiness of an individual can be divided into two main criteria. The first requires finding happiness in the satisfaction of the various desires that individuals have. An individual could be happy either based on the satisfaction of these desires or the elimination of these desires. However happiness could be far more complicated. The resolution of various desires would be more clearly defined as contentment. Happiness of the individual would then be dependent upon the moral values of that individual and leading a highly moral life. This may be a bit too simplistic since leading a highly moral life is insufficient. Having good fortune is also relatively important. Sickness and poverty are severe overlying factors that can prevent or mitigate against leading a moral life and true happiness.
So we need to lay out some specific goals to keep centered.
Trying to figure out life’s purpose in the midst of a pandemic can be disheartening. One wonders if a business approach might help show you how to systematically find this out on your own.
Why a Business Model?
One might think that using a business model to one’s own life simply allows the problem to take control over a larger portion of your existence. But what if there were a way to try and apply what you have already learned to living a better life? Most people are involved in business in some fashion or another in order to earn income. Would applying those business skills somehow be of help to strategically lay out your own life to achieve your own personal vision and mission statement? Doing what you know and do best applies to most things. Certainly this would also apply to life, and using those honed business skills would make your life one of the top organizations for years to come.
I am going to focus on this for a while and let you know what we can find.
Dante Inferno describes nine levels of hell. Moving reveals a tenth.
The concept seemed simple enough. Our adult children bought a house in Victoria. My wife and I hope to move in with them eventually and share costs. What better way to create a type of beachhead than to ship some of our excess furniture. And what better way for a daughter-in-law to benefit from the helpful advice of an in-house mother-in-law?
My plan involved renting a truck and hiring others to load it. This seemed cost effective except for the three days of travel, hotels, gas, and food. Crossing over the Rockies during the fall and early winter in an unknown truck seemed imprudent. Dropping the truck and flying back home seemed really imprudent. At least the level of in-flight service for the plane and three days alone in a truck would likely be comparable.
The next best option involved those transportable containers. So, I opened a container company account. Drop off, load up, and take away. What could be easier? I rented a couple of containers for 30 days. More than enough time. But as Stephen Hawking clearly proved, time speeds up when you enter the space-time continuum of a potential additional rental fee.
The company quickly delivered two containers. They seemed deceptively small, but the advertised videos showed how much stuff you could pull out of one of these things. Sort of like a clown car.
Next day, a couple of burly gentlemen picked up, packed up and bundled up all of the furniture. I did wonder what clowns say to one another as they pack themselves into that car. I assume there is quite a bit of discussion of what everyone ate beforehand. The container company picks up the containers and they merrily make their way to the coast. Twenty-seven days remain on the rental.
Two weeks later the containers land in Victoria. The unpacking crew call to confirm when they intend to pick up the containers. The container company, a close relative, but still separate, also calls to confirm when I intend ‘to access the containers’. I try to clarify that yes, they will be accessed, just not by me. This becomes the first sign that there is a separation between the plan and the implementation.
The container company calls our son, and tells him that the unloading company had been ‘delisted’. And we would have to cancel. We enter the first level of hell. Thirteen days left on the rental.
Renting containers resembles buying flight cancellation insurance on-line. Both take perhaps five minutes and are deceptively easy to use. Heaven help you when you have to make a claim under the insurance. The two times I made insurance claims it took three months and several days of mailing in paper forms. You note the word mailing and paper. Even faxing did not appear as an option. The 1970’s retain a firm hold on filing for insurance claims.
I navigate the tortured confines of the container customer on-line system, cancel the job, and obtain a ‘store credit’. I receive a “VIP” credit number, separate from my contract number, separate from my container contract number. Numbers abound. Next hell level. Twelve days on the rental.
Two days later, I am BBQing and the phone rings while the pork cutlet catches fire. I let it burn for a bit since my father-in-law prefers it that way. The mover asks why I cancelled and I explain how he became delisted. The pork continues to burn away merrily. The mover will try to gain access to the containers still. The burning pork personifies my patience with this situation. Hell level uncertain.
The next day the container company denies the mover access once again. The mover gives me the name of the warehouse manager. I leave a few messages, but never here back from him. Abandon all hope ye who enter here. Ten days remain.
I futilely try to use their website to arrange delivery and unloading of the containers. I get helpful return emails about using the website and using the credit. I send slightly perturbed but mostly desperate emails to the container company and to the moving company. I try to arrange delivery that week, the week following, and the week following that. I leap a few months into the future. No availability. I jump-frog several levels of hell. Eight days left on the rental.
I seek out a real person at the moving company but listening to the array of options can wear you down. When I do find one she nicely explains to me that someone in a Ford 250 flatbed picked up the containers. My son confirms that no containers arrived. Thoughts of insurance proofs of loss dance through my head.
The company realizes their mistake. The warehouse does still have the containers, but the moving company does not move them, only loads and unloads them. She apologizes, and sends me over to the manager. I hear the same recording of options. A male answers, and I explain my sordid tale once again. This time he apologizes and says that they dropped the ball. I hear music this time, but it sounds more like the Twilight Zone theme.
He makes a note to file and gives me the name of another person that holds the containers. Although being held hostage also fits. This time a woman answers. She can help get the containers to the house. At a nominal cost. I am getting closer. I seized upon the following day opening. Six days remain.
Later that night, a Vancouver woman calls, apologizes more, and says the delivery will be free. I thank her profusely and make light of the number of emails, number of people called, and the number of levels of hell I travelled while listening to the various twilight zone holding messages.
Later that same night, the container company calls, and asks why I had not returned the equipment at noon. I simply ask what equipment. Perhaps she did not realize that she was holding my containers hostage and she could have extracted whatever concessions she wanted. She apologizes and corrects the file.
The next day the containers arrive. The steep driveway compels the driver to leave the containers on the street. However, one box remains bolted down. Apparently, they deliver free of charge, but if you want access, well that is another cost. Clever. Very Clever.
Another trip to have the container company remove the bolts. For free. And the real fateful day arrives. Many levels of hell traversed. Five days remain.
The movers arrive the following day and distribute the furniture throughout the house. Now, we just need to get the containers off the street before the persnickety neighbourhood association catches sight of them. Limbo welcomes us. Four days.
The next morning the company picks up the containers with three days left over and only six months taken off my lifespan.
Later on, I look around nervously around our house and decide what to do with the rest of our belongings. I open another corporate account. Kijiji. Look for the springtime ad.
I had a good chance to see what retirement might look like when we were sequestered for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Covid-19 requires serious action. But, admittedly, there are the occasional lighter aspects.
After a British Columbia board meeting, my wife and I decided to fly over to Phoenix to see some friends just for a few days. Of course, after we arrived then the talk about shutting the border came up, so he headed home. I’ve always used the hand sanitizers at airports, but now they seem to be set at jumbo ejection discharge. I struggled to wipe it all over my hands. With all the foam still covering my palms and back of my hands, I felt I couldn’t walk away from the hand station since I am sure everyone would be askance as to whether foaming at the cuticles was a new symptom. I resorted to cleaning up to my elbows.
“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” – Mark Twain
If you just recently came back from your vacation, you likely addressed the greatest of all existential questions. When can I retire?
Not that we all hate work, but some of us long for something more. Or perhaps just something different.
But what does retirement mean? Is this simply stopping work? Most of us stop work while we sleep. Some of us may dream of work, but that requires greater psychotherapy than what we have time for right now.
Retirement becomes a transition from one phase to another phase of life. Some consider retirement a transition into leisure, which requires its own definition.
Robert Stebbins, a sociologist, wrote a number of books including The Idea of Leisure, First Principles. He describes leisure as an uncoerced, contextually framed activity engaged in during free time, which people want to do and, using their abilities and resources, actually do in either a satisfying or a fulfilling way. Although this seems to suck all of the fun out of it, He suggests taking four different ways to achieve this type of leisure.
Firstly, a person requires a good balance of activities. Constant leisure may be a difficult thing to achieve. One must include any number of things one does not want to do. Call them duties.
Secondly, leisure also requires positive continuous improvement. Sitting on a beach with an unending supply of tiny umbrella drinks sounds pleasant, and it likely could be for the first hour. Or two. But he suggests continuously improving oneself, even though this sounds exhausting
Thirdly and fourthly, he suggests positive relationships and positive interaction with the community. We are better overall interacting with the rest of society. After all, we are all in this together, and no one is getting out of here alive anyway.
Retirement then involves leisure hopefully, but it involves much more.
Never let a good crisis go to waste. —Winston Churchill
Churchill recognized the basis of good change management. If you needed to get something done but couldn’t under normal circumstances, then a good old-fashioned crisis usually allows you to get the changes you want.
Following a new path requires some serious change management thinking. Setting some small achievable goals, getting some quick wins, obtaining buy in from the top amongst others. Getting buy in usually means your significant other. But having a bit of urgency always helps the change management process.
Nearing, or entering retirement the sense of urgency should become more apparent. The ride of your life is starting to enter the end game, so it’s time to up your game for what is ahead. This is not the end of times, but you can start to see it from here.
That seems a bit morbid, but the time to change what your future might look like begins now. Now is the time to seize what the future can actually look like.
10. Envision the future since shit happens when you are busy making other plans. Trying to maximize your happiness/contentment/bliss (HCB) requires planning. Although enlightenment requires serendipity, all other forms of actualization can require a bit of planning. You should not expect that going off to the deck with a cup of coffee and the morning paper is going to maximize your HCB. Maximizing your mini umbrella collection will not cut it after a while.
9. This would also be a great time to follow your bliss. Joseph Campbell advocated this for leading a meaningful life. Most people do not appear to be in a blissful state while working, so we can safely assume that this bliss might be found elsewhere.