So where do YOU get your HIGH from?

Posted: September 30, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Every now and then, we will experience a feeling of HIGH. A point of extreme happiness, deep satisfaction, an urge to celebrate.

And no, I am not referring to the point when you have had one too many at the bar.

I am referring to that feeling of HIGH coming off an achievement, the feeling of success.

So what makes you feel high?

Is it an interesting point in the journey or is it really a destination? If you feel the high in the middle of the journey, chances are that you may falter for the rest of the path, till you reach the destination. Or NOT reach. Because when I say ‘high’, I mean, the zenith, and everything else, being lower comparatively.

 There is often an extreme enjoyment in the journey itself. Many people are in the game, only because they enjoy the journey, and not necessarily focused on the destination at all.

Let’s look at examples.

Entrepreneurs I have met, especially tech entrepreneurs, have fallen in love with the technology that they have created. Some amazing application (well, at least from their point of view), say. And when the early adopters use it, and give them very flattering reviews or responses, their life is already made.

The worst (unfortunately) thing is when they get an award, or get recognised as the most exciting tech app, or something like that.

The high is so strong that everything that follows is lower comparatively.

The reality is that to reach the ultimate success for the venture, there is a long road ahead, after that initial appreciation. Size needs to be built, concept needs to be sold to a larger audience, money has to be earned, etc.

But they somehow keep putting these activities off. Giving themselves some or the other excuse. Like they are fine-tuning some part of the tech, as it will make the app even more powerful. As if it was not sellable in the current form?!

But all this happens because the HIGH has already come and gone!

Another example could be a student who does really well, tops the school say, in the preliminary exams before the Boards. Teachers and Principal all congratulate him. What if his high is already reached, and in the few weeks left for the actual board exams, the student does not put up his best?!

Let me give examples closer to a business.

Let’s take creative teams in agencies. They slog nights, dozens of coffee cups, scores of cigarettes, to then come up with the brilliant idea. Which they go and pitch and the client is floored. Wah-wahs follow. The client can’t stop praising the creative. There are high-fives and what not. And then the client slips in a small message at the end, that “make these small changes and get back”.

And those get forgotten, or ignored, or not worked on with half as much interest… and the next meeting with the client, is a disappointment, perhaps?

Or a sales guy, who works hard on the pitch, gets it all right, goes and pitches, and the client is very happy. Gives him very encouraging words. It is a HIGH for the sales person.

Except that unfortunately, that is NOT the destination. Where’s the Purchase Order? Oops, in all that celebration of the great pitch, it was forgotten that the PO was to be asked for. Or to be pursued later. Because POST HIGH, IT IS ALL LOWER.. !

The point being that, while intermediate achievements need to be celebrated, there has to be a consciousness of a bigger destination ahead. And that we are still a work-in-progress. And hold back the big celebration till the actual destination is reached.

And for which, there has to be clarity of the big destination to begin with.

For the student, it is not the preliminary exams, it is the main board exam!

For the tech entrepreneur, it is not the appreciation from contemporaries or the tech award, but the commercial success of the venture.

For the creative guy, it is not just a great creative pitch, but the winning of the account.

For the sales guy, it is not the appreciation of the great pitch, but the receipt of the PO.

So what journey are you on? What is your HIGH point? Are you clear? Are you working towards it?

As for me, whether it is a client win, or an investor coming on board and giving us value, the HIGH point is when the cheque is in the bank. Everything prior to that, a PO or a contract or a term sheet, are all work-in-progress points!!

  1. For some, getting visibility and appreciations are most valuable…For some the final cheque in the bank is.. It al depends on how the person sees their ultimate goal lies..:)

    Nice one..

  2. IdeaSmith says:

    The thing is, different people peak at different points. Some people start with a fantastic burst of energy, enough to pull along everyone else into the flow. Some people are slower to start but build up momentum mid-way and then carry it through or part-way at least. Each type would appear to have its merits (without the first, there’d be very little exploration or innovation and without the second, we’d never complete anything and ideas would stay just great conversations).

    I think it’s important for each of us to identify where on the spectrum between the two extremes, we are. Not because it can be changed (I don’t think so) but because we can make our individual rhythms work. Early highs do go into immediate lows but typically, need less push to move into the next high. This cycle can be managed so as to try and hit the end point on a high. This thought would sound so much better if I could link the image of sinusoidal curves. 🙂

    • Sanjay Mehta says:

      Makes sense, Ideasmith.
      Especially in events of teamwork and different people needing to contribute, then what you say makes perfect sense.
      From an individual point of view however, if one peaks out too early, and then loses steam (or interest or drive), then there are challenges.

  3. So thus that mean one shouldn’t ever get high ever in the journey? That to me is a bit not-happening. Personally I’d prefer short bursts of high (even though followed by short lows) in my journey to the big HIGH (of the destination).

    But yes, get your point about not being satisfied till the final destination is reached.

    What after the cheque is in your A/c? #justathought

    • Sanjay Mehta says:

      Hardeek – when I meant HIGH, I meant the ultimate big hurrah. Sure, you must enjoy the journey equally. But the point being made was to ensure an eye to the goal, and keep going, with equal fervour and commitment.

      As for the interesting question, “what after the chq in the account?”, you have got me thinking.

      In some ways, the after-point is a lower point compared to the cheque-in-bank point. Then again, it could be the beginning of a new journey..?

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