How much will you pay for it?

We all accept that if we want a car, we will have to pay for it. Same for food, house, clothes, etc. (Well, as a side note I realize that not everybody accepts that, but let's take it as a safe assumption). But then, in more relevant aspects of our lifes and businesses, we seldom think of the price of our wishes.

Let's start with mouthful corporate jargon: "Our main priority is the customer! We want to be a client centric company!" Ok. Fine. I've heard that a million times already. You know what would be helpful? If you tell me what are you willing to pay for it. Tell me that you are willing to become a client centric company at the expense of not having a homogeneous product approach, that you are willing to adapt the product for each customer even though that will increase the overhead to deal with that and make it more difficult to spread out innovations accross the client base. Now I understand. Now I have a criteria. And suddenly bullshit becomes vision. (These two concepts are sooooo close). Tell me you want to be a client centric company, and leave it there, and I won't know what that means. It is the price you are willing to pay to get there what gives a sense of action.

Same thing happens on a personal note. We all know what we want: we want to have good relationships, we want to have financial freedom, we want to have more time for our loved ones. Fine. I've told that to myself a million times too. But I've never thought about what I am willing to pay to get those. I won't get into too much detail here because this excellent post (which inspired this one) covers the whole thing better that I could ever do.

But just to give you something else before I leave for the weekend... talking about what do we want, I will just share the interesting list I read on Winning Without Losing by Martin Bjergegaard and Jordan Milne of the things that make a good life:

  • Having good relationships
  • Feeling good (physically and mentally)
  • Being on top of things
  • Feeling that we are good at something
  • Having financial freedom
  • Contributing to a greater good

This has been an inspiring list for me that I've come back frequently to check whether what I was doing had indeed any correlation with these objectives. Out of that list, research shows that the main factor determining you ultimate happiness is actually the first one (relationships) by far. If you want to maximize happiness, bias toward relationships. But then remember that it will only become tangible if you decide what are you willing to pay for it. Chances are that you will have to pay with some of the others, so choose wisely. Pick one that you don't care about (or you don't care that much) or one that you have a surplus of. For instance, are you already rich? Then do not spend so much time trying to get richer, it's not going to make you marginally happier, and spend some of that time trying to improve your relationships. What did you say? Did you say that you are not rich? I understand you probably say so because you know richer people. Do you think a family living in a favela in Brazil would consider you rich? Would they think that it does not make too much sense to spend so much effort in trying to move from 60.000 eur annual income to 100.000 eur? To 120.000 eur? To 200.000 eur? When to do you become rich, actually? I have a research for that too! 75.000 usd, about 60.000 eur. Not that more money will be useless, it will just be not that much more useful. If you are already there, or above those 60k, then there's no point in pushing so hard for promotion or salary increase, specially if you are doing it at the expense of your relatioships, your well being, or enything else. It just does not make any sense.

Ha! Easier said that done, right? But why?

Enough for a Friday, I think. Try to spend the weekend optimizing something else, and maybe think about social conventions, conditioned perspective and your own fears if you feel like it...