#92 - Hiccups
Stranded, pros & cons, and enjoy the ride
7:30am on a Friday morning. London City Airport.
I was content. Up at 4:30am, I’d made it with plenty of time.
I ambled over to the gate attendant.
Passport please. She requested.
Ah. I thought. That would have been useful.
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I missed that flight.
It was three weeks ago heading to Berlin. Apparently you need a passport to get into Germany these days. Who knew.
The gate attendant was not impressed. Wait over there. She sighed. She could barely look at me.
Once the flight had boarded she escorted me out of the airport.
I went home, regrouped, booked another flight and headed off again; this time for Stansted.
You might think it a bad day. In years gone by it would have been. I’m sure I would have slipped into a mood.
But for all my flaws, too numerous to cover here, I’ve changed my attitude to life’s hiccups.
Pros & Cons
When I realised I’d forgotten my passport I felt a little lurch- sure.
But that passed and I actually felt excited. What happens now? I wondered.
A quick bit of mental accounting:
1) Cost of a new flight; not ideal, but not life threatening.
2) A missed lunch with friends; I’m sure I’ll be forgiven.
1) A few spare hours to read.
2) Might be able to get a newsletter topic out of this.
Not a bad tradeoff.
The point is that nothing is inherently good or bad. We make that judgement ourselves.
Take me. If I see an event as “bad” that’s a judgement I’ve made. The event in question is just that, an event. It’s me who’s decided it’s bad.
The good news is that means I can decide it’s not bad as well. Or even good. That’s a useful tool.
Enjoy the Ride
The ancient Stoics have a saying:
Amor Fate - A love of fate
To love everything that fate throws at us. Isn’t that a nice way to see the world?
Of course it’s not easy.
We’re not conditioned to love fate. Life in the 21st century is hard. There’s plenty of “bad” to find each day.
But loving fate is rational. It makes sense.
In my short life in startups there have been plenty of hiccups. I can’t say I’ve enjoyed them all. But in hindsight there’s lots to love.
It’s the failures I’ve learnt the most from.
The startup I worked for previously capitulated whilst I was Head of Growth. Safe to say I failed miserably in that role. But the lessons learnt? Priceless. So much to love.
It’s fighting fate that brings suffering; cursing the hand we’ve been dealt.
Life’s a rollercoaster. There’s no predicting what comes next. But you can stop fighting.
You can sit back.
And enjoy the ride.
My Week in Books📚
The Power Law by Sebastian Mallaby
The history of Venture Capital. Much more exciting than it sounds- I promise. Great book. Engaging.
Thank you Matt Stafford for the recommendation. 🙏
Living Untethered by Michael Singer
Excellent. Up there with Awareness by Anthony De Mello. I feel a little more enlightened after reading. TLDR: Surrender.
Thank you Hector Alexander for the recommendation. 🙏
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
An easy-to-read translation. Relevant not just for those waging war but also those doing difficult things. All you need to know: To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence.
Book one of a monthly book club w/ Hector Alexander
A Final Thought 💡
“When life throws you a rainy day, play in the puddles.”
- Winnie the Pooh.