Friday, February 20, 2009

Does Success Retard Itself?

First off, let's get the IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT, aside. I just made good (or at least started to make good) on my last new year's resolution for this year. Yep, the new blog is up and Running - here , so, watch for some exciting stuff there in the coming weeks and months (and don't forget to help me keep myself honest, by posting comments :)

OK, now let's get back to the topic at hand. Why the touch of philosophy on what is seeming like a perfectly logical and analytical blog by an Engineer on things like running and how to improve performance as an athlete? Well, it has to do with one (or both) of the following:

1. An unfortunate side effect of being stuck to the OUTLIERS for about 2 weeks (and before you say "whoa, what a slow reader!", keep in mind, my time gets multiplexed between a lot of things like running, blogging, hiking, ubuntuing, sleeping... and oh, let's not forget, "bit-flipping", that pays for the others!).

2. This video that showed up on CNN a few weeks ago, from a Obama Townhall in Florida, to sell his stimulus package (which, by now, is a law)

The first time I saw that video, I was without doubt amused and amazed. Amused because, I think that had to be one of the gutsiest moves I have seen in a while and amazed because it is not everyday that you get to see a lowly McDonalds worker getting a chance to speak to the most powerful man on the planet (or one of them, at least), 1-on-1. Now, I may not be much of an economist, but, something about that video tells me this country might be heading back in the right direction.

Anyways, getting back to the topic, as much as the video amused and amazed me, it wasn't what got me thinking about "success in life". What did was probably some combination of the aftereffects of that video on Julio's life and all the "reading" I've been doing.

To understand what I am saying, you might want to take a look at some of the latest news coverage on Julio and another similar case of a distressed common American by the name of "Henrietta Hughes". As this article descibes, "... Hughes broke down in front of thousands when she told the president that she and her son have been homeless for more than a year and living in a pickup truck. Obama hugged her after she asked her question and said his staff would help...".

Well, I'll save you the effort and summarize it for you - As it turns out, Mr. Julio now got approached my multiple radio stations, right after his little stunt, for broadcast gigs and a local minor league baseball team has offered Osegueda a job as an announcer for the Class A Fort Myers Miracle, the Twins' affiliate in the Florida State League. Not bad for going from working at Macky D's to landing a broadcaster job, within a matter of days, huh? As for Ms. Hughes, apparently, she was was later offered a home by Chene Thompson, wife of Florida State Representative Nick Thompson, who heard the homeless woman’s pleas. Isn't that amazing? Both super inspiring stories and not to mention, it almost seems like Obama is delivering on his message of change without even trying too hard! Great!

But wait, that's not what this post is about!

Time to regroup... alright... so, the reason for all that build up was to try and put you in the frame of mind I had when I decided to write this post. What all this reading and watching and thinking has got me wondering is... does getting more successful in life make you progressively less likely to attain success?!

Before you say "WHAAA.... ??!!!", let me elaborate...

Let's say you are in a position, similar to one of the folks above (and I for one came kinda close to that, when I landed in a country with a currency rate 40 times that of my home country, to go to Gradschool :-), would you do anything you possibly can to get yourself out of it? For most people, I think the answer is going to be a "HELL YEAH". And, it sounds about right, doesn't it? The amount of fear you experience in life is usually inversely proportional to the amount you have to "loose" (meaning, if you have nothing to loose, you aren't afraid of anything, not even death itself!). Let's say you walked into work tomorrow, and found out that you no longer have your job, would that affect the tone you use when you speak to your boss? Would it relax it at least a tad?

I guess the point I am trying to make (or question I am trying to ask) is... do we start being more and more "fearful" as we start to achieve the initial goals we set for ourselves, thereby limiting the number of new goals we set for ourselves (read, take fewer and fewer risks) and achieve even fewer of those and so on,goes the vicious cycle... catch my drift, here?

And now, to finish up, I will attempt to tie in the "BIG ANNOUNCEMENT" I made at the start of this blog post, into all this discussion!
Am I trying to beat or fight the tendency I just described above, by starting that blog and setting myself up for failure? :)

There, got it out of the system... just in time to hit the sack!

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