August 2020 - Som Prakash


Monthly Archives: August 2020

What Drives You ? Vision or Pleasure ?

Recently, I was having a chat with a friend about starting a business venture. He mentioned to me that, we should be enjoying our life and live for today and not to think about tomorrow, as you don’t know whether you will be alive tomorrow or not. This got me to think, he has a point. Should we not enjoy our life today. Who has seen the future ?

When the legendary Billionaire entrepreneur and visionary Elon Musk invested all his $180 Million to start Space X, Tesla Motors and The Boring Company, I am sure all his friends and family members and others must be thinking “What an idiot !!”. How does he even think about starting a company for space exploration and space travel without being an astronaut or without any education or experience in space science. How will this new company have the finances and resources to come even closer to the 60 year old public funded juggernaut called NASA, let alone compete with it?…. The same story goes for Tesla. When automobile giants like GM, Toyota, BMW were rolling out not so successful hybrid cars, Elon envisioned all electric car company called Tesla. And no one thought it would be a success.

When Mr Musk risked all his money in starting these companies, without even having the money for his own accommodation, most of us would have thought him as dumb. He could have invested the money in real estate or in stocks of some established companies and see the money grow and enjoy the rest of his life with the return on his investment. Why did he choose to risk it all ? I guess, you would also agree that, he didn’t start these companies with vision to be one of the world’s wealthiest persons, one day. He could have lost his entire investment and had to start something again from scratch. (FYI: He is now the 5th richest person in the world as per Forbes Rich List July 2020).

So, what is that drives these visionaries ? What makes them to sacrifice their present, for an uncertain future? While ordinary people like me and you, always look for a safe and secure future and look forward to our weekend parties and time with our family, what moves people like Musk?

Should you sacrifice your today for tomorrow which may not be certain?- I guess it depends on your dream. Do you have a dream or a vision which is much bigger than your personal enjoyment and satisfaction ? I remember the famous quote by late Indian aerospace scientist and president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam “DREAM is not what you see in sleep, DREAM is something which doesn’t let you sleep”.

When you study successful people from any Sphere of life, may it be entrepreneurs, athletes, scientists, authors, painters, inventors- All of them had a vision. They get possessed with an idea or a dream. They could see the future before it manifested physically. And they have an insatiable desire to accomplish their dreams. Walt Disney saw in his imagination a theme park for family to have fun together, before world could see the Disneyland in 1955.

The human as a species as opposed to other species survived and evolved in the last few million years, not because of of their physical strength but because of their ability to think and adapt. I guess, when we live everyday only for pleasure, without any desire and ambition, we are just like any other animals living for survival (food/safety) and procreation. I, strongly believe that we have been sent to this world, for a purpose. And the purpose is to make this world better, in our small little way or in a big way while we are in this world.

Tony Robbins says we do things to avoid pain or to gain pleasure. So what drives these legends? It’s definitely the pleasure or the happiness. There is a small difference between pleasure and happiness. Pleasure is self-centred and happiness is what you gain when you positively touch multiple lives. When you cook a special dish and enjoy it with your family, you gain the pleasure of having a tasty food together with your family. But when someone like Colonel Sanders takes his chicken recipe to the world and let millions of people around the world taste the crispy fried chicken, he gains the real happiness, and of course you may end up finding a multi-billion dollar company like KFC.

So, is it boring pursuing your dream? Is it quite a monotonous life pursuing your dream when you are so focussed on your dream that you don’t have time to enjoy the present? I would say, it’s completely OPPOSITE. When you have a dream to accomplish, you are full of excitement and enthusiasm. It feels like you are immersed in the dream. You finish your day working on your dream, and while sleeping you think about your dream and you can’t wait to wake up in the morning and start working on your dream. You are just like a kid with a new toy, who gets so possessed with the new toy that even after a whole day’s play with the toy, he gets up excited the next day, to look for the toy the first thing in the morning.

Deep within all of us is a desire to be more successful. And SUCCESS as per Earl Nightingale is the progressive realization of a worthy goal. So, all of us should have big goals and strive everyday to get closer to the goal. And that is where the real happiness lies.