Tradeoffs in the Magic Formula
Here in Hawaii, we are blessed with what many have deemed “the best weather on earth.” And after living in or visiting almost every state in the union, as well as countries all over the world, I tend to agree with that statement.
After all, there are not many places in the United States where you can wear a pair of shorts while walking amidst the warm December rain … and then surf the warmer waters of the Pacific Ocean later in the day, just before watching the soft glow of the sun as it slips below the horizon… all while enjoying gentle hugs of the tropical trade winds.
Yes… this is paradise.
And for the 8 million visitors who will visit the islands this year, Hawaii, with it’s beautiful sandy beaches, shimmering sunsets, and wonderfully rich culture, is sure to please the most demanding of tourists.
But alas, a tourist is just that: someone on a tour of a place different than his or her home. A tourist is a traveler, a visitor, a vacationer… a guest. And as everyone knows, when we have guests, we must put on our best behavior. We must exhibit those things that will make us proud. And (yes) we mustn’t purposely show those things that might cause a bad memory or two.
Before you go off and think I am leading into a discussion on the lesser side of Hawaii, let me assure you: I love this land, and I have no quarrel with any part of my transitory experience on this beautifully remote family of islands.
However, I am leading to an asterisk that must be annotated next to this wonderful destination.
Yes… we consistently have some of the best WARM weather in the world.
On the other hand, we will never have the recurring beauty of fabulous fall foliage.
We will not likely enjoy the magic of making angels in the snow… or the real fun of creating that lovely little fella with a corncob pipe, a button nose, and two eyes made out of coal.
No sweet snowball fights in January.
No super sledding in February.
And no thunderous storms to alert us that March is coming in like a lamb and leaving like a lion.
No… the weather we have here in Hawaii is special.
But, then again, so is the weather everywhere else… in its own special way.
Likewise, for the most part, you and I are both about as unique as “they” come.
Yet, underneath the setting sun and pale blue sky of the glorious moon, deep down inside, we all want the same things. And for the most part, whether you are an employee, supervisor, manager, shareholder, or outright owner, we all live by the same great Truths in life:
Today, you are alive. Appreciate Life. Live it as if you were going to die someday soon. (Remember: “soon” is a relative term)
Lastly, it seems like so many of us are searching for the “magic formula” for happiness, joy, or how to deal with life.
Perhaps there **IS** a magic formula…
But no one seems to know that formula. After all, bad things seem to happen to good people. And some of the worst people seem to get the best out of life.
But, in reality, underneath it all, the only thing you absolutely KNOW is what goes on in YOUR life.
In the final analysis, and in the overall scheme of things…
~ ~ ~
We all want the same things in life.
We all seek the same sense of self.
We all need the same assurance.
We fish… we find… we feed.
~ ~ ~
And sooner or later, we feed from what we seed; we reap what we sow.
So the magic formula just might be found tomorrow.
But that all depends on what you do today.
As an employee, are you doing more than your fair share? If you are doing more than your fair share, be patient… your time will come. Your path is set.
As a supervisor, manager, or someone else’s boss, are you going the extra mile to invest in your workforce? What are you doing to defeat their misperceptions? What are you doing to prove (yes: PROVE) that you are the real deal (someone who deserves to serve more people, more clients, more customers, and far more lines within the business)?
Underneath the corporate logo, everyone shares the bloodline of the organization. Yet, some people in the organization are parasites, vermin, and poisonous pests that (seem to) get more than their just due. Other employees are true heroes, seen and unseen, vocal and sometimes silent, and they often (seem to) face insurmountable odds.
How can this be?
How can they launch up the corporate ladder… but not them? More importantly, what can the heroes do to defeat the bloodsucking organisms that seem to plague so many organizations?
Underneath this network of stretchy cells we all call skin, regardless of color, credo, or culture, we must somehow come to appreciate that part of our individual self that is far from perfect. We must find a way to accept that part of our self and those people for who they are, where they are, and what they do.
For as much as we dislike the leeches of the world, they each serve a purpose. The real question for you is: Irrespective of THEIR purpose, what is YOUR purpose?
For the most part, your purpose and his/her purpose are mutually exclusive.
Indeed… that person’s purpose may seem wildly out of place, out of character, and even out of this world when compared to your place, your character, and your understanding of the world. In fact, as you well know, we sometimes allow coworkers and supervisors to drive us to the brink of madness with their incomprehensible behavior and decisions (Am I the only sane person here… or… Am I the only INsane person here?).
Undeniably, madness sometimes seems to prevail… and we are often at a total loss when it comes to understanding or making sense of the madness.
In truth, you should be glad that you don’t understand how someone can be that cruel, that mean, that self-serving, or any of those other horribly selfish adjectives.
Be glad because, if you did understand it… then you would likely be capable of the exact same thing. Be glad that you are NOT capable of such horrific things.
But do learn from the experience of seeing such vile behavior.
Understand that, underneath that wretch of a person, there are beautiful characteristics that they have traded off somewhere along the line. Likewise, underneath the awesome beauty of every person, place, or thing, there are also other, attractive costs that each of us must pay.
Like the fall foliage, snow angels, and smiling snowmen that we in Hawaii trade for the trade winds, opportunity costs are evident in every choice we make in life. If we want this, it will probably cost that. If we think we can have this by not doing that, sooner or later, the power of choice will again raise its awesome head.
Want more money? Put in more time, energy, and effort – before, during, and after the task at hand.
Want more snow? Go where there’s less warmth.
Want more great leaders in your organization? Become one.
Start with your self.
Underneath it all…
YOU are the magic formula.
In reality, the best way to predict the future…
… is to create it!
Accept. Adapt. Achieve. ®
What do YOU want to achieve?
This is a simple suggestion on how to The Ideal Life.
Think about the word IDEAL. It is actually a conglomeration of several smaller words, specifically:
~ I ~ ID ~ IDEA ~ DEAL ~ IDEAL ~
In the final analysis, if you can learn to master your Id (as in the ego, id, and superego), you can do some rather amazing things.
© 2011-2021 John H. Clark III
Want more suggestions on “The Ideal” life?
Read “The Ideal: Your Guide to An Ideal Life”
(220 pages, BFG Press, 11/11/11)
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