September 9, 2012

Building Lasting Values

Just as true love is based on relaxed comfort, so is true happiness. And just like the society tends to define love through exciting butterflies-in-tummy, fear-of-loss kind of way, we also seem to define true happiness with odd metrics such as money and power.

A drug or a chemical process – such as nicotine, alcohol, love, ecstasy, sex – may induce a feeling of satisfaction and happiness, but the effects are fake and short-lived. Things of lasting value take time and effort to build; there aren’t any shortcuts. If something is too cheap to be true, too easy to achieve or too quick to master – its value probably isn’t too high or lasting.

Time + Effort = Value

A common misconception is that value is “there“, all in one nice big pile, and if you could only get “there” by any means necessary (win the lottery, find the perfect partner/job/city/apartment), you would instantly acquire all that value. Value isn’t “there“, but instead spread out like breadcrumbs on the road. By being on the road, you can collect and accumulate value. It is not useful to just jump “there” – you would bypass all the value which is on the road.

A great product isn’t conceived overnight, it’s built with care and dedication over time. A perfect life partner and relationship isn’t found – its built, grown, developed over time. Happiness isn’t found, its slowly accumulated – and then it lasts.

The road to real value has no shortcuts, yet we spend so much time trying to find the shortcuts and avoiding the hard work that needs to be done that we end up never actually making progress. If we even spent half the time we waste in trying to find shortcuts on actually putting in the effort, we’d be much closer to something of real value.