The Logic + Emotion blog had an excellent article, "Five Things I Learned in Five Years", where the writer talked about:
- Mentorship Comes In Many Forms
- Travel Requires Discipline
- The Enterprise Adapts (And That's How It Should Be)
- We Are A Collection of Our Experiences
- You Have To Make Time For Yourself
Well worth reading in detail, especially if you are approaching forty. Of course the article got me thinking about the big takeaways for me from the last five years. My findings:
- Do not deal with organizations that do not put people first. For example, most governments and certain educational institutions, such as municipal public schools, do not focus on serving their real constituency. They focus on re-election, test taking, union voting blocks, etc. This failure occurs for the simple fact that the organizations have misguided priorities. My confidence in the private sector increases every year.
- Work on the large problems, what some would call the"impossible" problems or the "wicked" problems. As a friend at MIT said, "those are the only ones [problems] worth working on". Takes no more effort to solve big problems than small problems. Same 100 hours per week.
- People prefer to learn from each other rather than teachers; teachers should just be moderators that help guide the discussion to the meaningful conclusions. Also effective is to have the students teach the subject. They easily personalize what they teach as an effective pedagogical device. A hat tip to Babson for this lesson.
- Fear shapes our lives (for those that think they have something to lose). Whether it be launching a new business, romance, applying to Harvard, or changing jobs or careers, fear shapes major decisions for many people. Usually recognizing the problem is the hard part, but not in the case of fear. Taking positive action, the solution, is the hard part usually because fears come in groups with multiple hidden fears. The fewer your fears the more successful you likely are in most aspects of life. Note: if you have nothing to lose, you have few fears.
- Enjoy every day! Last month I learned this most important lesson. It was the third time to have a chance to learn this lesson. I have enjoyed many, many days in my life, but now I work to have enjoyment in every day.
In the next five years I would like to learn:
- That capitalism is widely considered to be moral
- That leadership always puts mission ahead of self-interest
- That we no longer need to talk about "social" entrepreneurship
Ever the optimist.
The ever alert Russell Otway posted this article on FB, "7 Life-changing Lessons I've learned living on a Caribbean Island". The article is Huffington Post's most recent take on life lessons.