Crisis or revolution?
Every revolution was experienced as a crisis in the time it took place.
I am not an entrepreneur; I am a diver. We are lucky to be living in a moment in time that will shake up the world as we know it for good. I believe the fundamental thing isn’t what we are during this period in time, but the way we live it and what we participate in. The key is not to be an entrepreneur, public servant or wage earner. The remarkable thing is to integrate in the processes defining this extraordinary moment in history. Every revolution was experienced as a crisis in the time it took place. They are usually called crises by those contemporary to the historical period and revolution by those who survive it, or study it years later. This is our case, because we are living through intertwined revolutions and an extraordinary typology crossover.
What’s happening now is like giving birth. It’s critical and painful, yet over time we’ll see that it was nothing but a revolution, just like the industrial revolution or the invention of the printing press were in their times. In the past four or five decades, while many coexist with their crisis, others like us enjoy our revolution. To stop living in crisis and instead live the revolution, I have incorporated four traits into my life: uncertainty, vitality, instability and deconstruction.
Uncertainty is all that is needed to stay alive. For years I haven’t known what awaits me in my office, what new risks I will take on, or what people I will meet. For years, perhaps for my entire life, I have been seeking a definitive place. I dream that place does not exist, so I can continue to look for it all of my days. Being unaware of all that awaits us forces us to stay alert, to keep learning, and to be human beings in constant “beta”. My projects can’t be anything else; they reach their fullness in the constant redirection of their lines of creation.
Retirement as an anesthetic concept. I feel for all those wanting to retire. I feel sorry for those people thinking the fate of everything is to arrive to a safe port, and in doing so, have everything guaranteed until your last breath. Considering the future is guaranteed by any stretch of the imagination is a mistake. Believing that retirement plans, pensions, or similar other gravy trains will finance our final stage is, at the very least, doubtful. We should accept the fact that our income in maturity won’t be the same as in other life stages. I hope to have the strength to continue doing what I like for the rest of my life. The moment it is not physically possible, it will be mentally. The desire to retire is pre-retirement in itself. I get distressed at the thought of not being able to run one day. However, I think if I am ever unable to run, I will close my eyes, turn on my iPod, find a windy place, and dream of it.
The deconstruction of processes is already part of our management and production model. If just a few decades ago the management plan of a company was just to be sure every day about what each person had to do, this has changed radically today. In construction, the agricultural sector, the stock markets, and the market in general in many places, the key to success was in all the members of a structure being sure of what they had to do from the moment they woke up every morning. Breaking these chains meant causing harm to the process which in turn brought about dire consequences. Let’s imagine a country where all the members of a farm have a clear idea of their functions, tasks and activities for every day of the week and for every hour of every day. Things never changed and it remained that way for centuries. These days, nothing is like that and processes no longer belong to protocols, but instead to analysis of need, risk, and action. This process of deconstruction has brought powerful industries to reinvent themselves.
The instability of being unable to stand an itinerary. When I first became a stock market broker, and my work was to go up in the pay scale, climb the ladder, everything looked right and solid. From time to time there was a promotion, an improvement, a new office. It was tremendously calming to know where I was going, what my destination was, and where my new goal was fixed. Everything was written, like in a book of life to be fulfilled. The evidence of stability started to give me anxiety to the point I decided to quit. I cannot stand living in that paralyzing, cowardly stability that prevents you from thinking big. I quit the job and I started a new business.
For years I have interpreted my life as a constant search (the desire to innovate) for challenges, experiences and dreams. I always do it with the hope of, if this is an exceptional moment in history, not missing out on the opportunity to live it. The characteristics of my journey are uncertainty, vitality, deconstruction and instability. What about yours?
Originally published at marcvidal.net on August 5, 2013.