When 20 crazies hang out for a week

One of the founders of the Happy Startup School, Laurence, posted a message of a blank screen a few days ago saying that he had spent a good amount of time staring at it while trying to summarize the past week we got to spend together at Ashram in Chennai. (He eventually did quite well).

A few people have asked me: “How was India?” this week. “Err — good?

Going back home after an incredible experience is always as surreal, and this time was no exception. My fellow Ashramers Richard and Lotta have already shared their stories oh so beautifully and it’s clear that we all feel highly invigourated and inspired by the people we met.

Photo by the lovely Dipti Desai

It’s funny what happens when you ship 20 strangers to the other side of the world for an entire week without an agenda. The quote: “Life is what happens when you are making other plans” seems appropriate for my experience. My most memorable memories happened on a bus, in a swimming pool at midnight, at dawn by the beach and in front of seven papaya juices while listening to some of the greatest and funniest minds I’ve ever met.

I’m humbled by the drive, the determination and the passion I got to see last week. Purpose-driven people are absolutely stunning — their eyes sparkle, their skin glows and there’s just something about them that I want to catch hold of and tuck safely into a little, soft white box for times when I’m in need of some happiness.

So what did we do for seven days?

Apart from the fun and inspirational activities (yes, there was a lot of stuff planned too) we hung out. In different settings; small and large groups, one-on-one and all alone, perhaps enjoying a nice ayurvedic massage or getting some much anticipated sleep.

In today’s world there is rarely time to just hang. Conferences, meetings and meetups have agendas, a clear structure and set goals. We measure, KPIs, ROI, FL, GSV, NOI, PEG — and I just what to shout “WTF?”

There is no meaning without purpose. And there is no purpose without great people. (Even the crazy ones.)

I highly recommend the Happy Startup School’s events to you and will hopefully see you at the next one, if you’ll have me.