Weekend Update

Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it – Mark Twain

I sensed a noticeable change in the weather this weekend for the colder. Either it’s officially fall in San Francisco after an unusually long (even for SF) Indian summer… or I went for a run outside with way too little clothing and am coming down with a cold. Either way, the appropriate response is to stay bundled up with a good book and a warm liquid.

In my case, the good book (perhaps) was finally reading through Perspective on McKinsey and the warm liquid(s) were noodle soup and hot chocolate. One idea from the McKinsey book caught my fancy and it came in the form of a quote from Benjamin Disraeli, the famous prime minister of Great Britain:

The secret of success is constancy of purpose

Now, I have some qualms with the phrasing here. I think it’s preferable to substitute “achievement” for “success” as in, “The secret of achievement is constancy of purpose.” It seems possible for a person to achieve much without ever really being successful if that person achieves in the wrong places or for the wrong causes. But putting that aside, I agree with the idea behind the quote.

And it got me to wondering what my purpose, my motivation is nowadays. I know myself well enough to rule out the traditional objectives of a young male: attractive spouse, nice house, big boat. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not such a saint/ascetic to say that none of those would be a happy outcome, but I don’t think I find the acquisition of these things sufficiently motivational as a purpose.

Drawing less than normal motivation from typical worldly pleasures is perhaps something to feel good about, but also inherently problematic. If a person isn’t motivated by the usual, then the situation calls for (evil scientist laugh) more drastic measures. Hold on… unfortunately it’s late and I need to sleep – let me just skip ahead to my basic conclusions, which are “1) if I had to pin it down, my motivation is probably values-based and 2) I wonder if I should articulate those values in some kind of mission statement (not unlike what Perspective on McKinsey is sort of supposed to represent?)”

More to come. -Space


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