I wanted the girl

I wanted the girl
She was a bird
She would have no perch
For more than a third

I wanted the bird
‘Go with her where she went
To perch anywhere
There to make our nest

I wanted the girl
Smart lioness princess
Let me be your den
And make your soul my rest

I wanted the bird
With me for all our years
Her only perch
Where she made her best

I wanted the girl
She would not rest
She had not let herself
Make our I’s disappear

I wanted the bird
She has the eagles’ crest
‘Made us a pair
And? We’re just friends

Life goes more than breasts
We are creatures of the air
Ethereal
I wanted the girl

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A ​Hierarchy of Happiness

‘Was chatting with a friend about happiness some time ago. So I thought to reflect on why we get happy, and why our happiness might persist. This piece tries to addresses the first question directly.  

I identify four kinds of happiness, speak of a happiness personality test, and end with a hierarchy of happiness (Maslow style). I’ve used happiness here as the pleasant emotional sensation or feeling that comes with, and because of gratification or the anticipation of it.  

The happiness for enjoyment:- Because of activity and participation; as getting a fix. E.g travelling, dancing, knitting, drugs, sex, drink, sports, games, marriage, etc.  

Could she still be happy without enjoyments?  

The happiness for possession:- Because I received, have, or own some one or some thing. E.g, cars, connection(s), gifts, girlfriends, friends, boyfriends, experiences checked off the checklist, celebrity status, spouse, friend, degrees, trophies, houses, etc.  

Could she still be happy without possessions and enjoyments?  

The happiness for events:- Because something that pleased you happened. E.g. birthdays, weddings, news of passing exams, visitors, and general good news, D. Trump wins? etc.  

Could she still be happy without pleasant outcomes, possessions and enjoyments?  

The happiness for achievement:- Because I finished or was rewarded. E.g. degrees, awards, promotion, meeting goals, hitting targets, putting your kids through school, marriage, wedding, etc.  

Could she still be happy without achievements, pleasant news, possessions, and enjoyments?  

Looking at our happinesses, which of these four has supplied most of them at various periods in our lives. 

According to your lifestyle, if you were to rank these in order of power, permanence, or personal significance, how would you arrange them — top to bottom. That tells us where we are, in a way. Or, perhaps, where we might want to ‘improve.’ Like a happiness personality test.  

Why did we order them the way we did? Nature, or nurture? I’d say that nurture started it all, with ‘life happening’ as an accomplice, and volition plastering it on nature. 

Finally, considering the foregoing, and following the pattern of Maslow’s hierarchy or needs, here is my hierarchy of happiness. (First choice: PosEvAchEn; second choice: PoAchEvEn.) The first choice, in order of need:  

Possessions:- Happy for what you have, that you have, or that you are. 

Events:- Happy that some thing happened.  

Achievements:- Happy that you made something happen.  

Enjoyments:- Happy that you participated in something that tickled you.  

A love-hate-love relationship

First you loved her, then you hated her. And then again you loved her, and hated her after that, even more so a little later. Then you loved her again, coming to hate her eventually some time later. And finally, you loved her, accepting your choice.

At first it was easy, then it became a little challenging, slowing you down. A little later with a spurt of will, you picked up pace and continued, seeking to be diligent, but it got harder. It demanded persistence and you gave it that, until you hit a brick wall and got quenched. You came back again to climb over the wall in a breakthrough, going on for a while and slowly getting weary. Finally you let go and say, “I love you anyways.”

The Growth That May Not Show

What do you call growth? Increase in size and scope of operations? What is the hope in this kind of growth? Increase in market share? But market share is relative, meaning that you can’t grow larger than 100 percent, the pure monopoly. Is it continued increase in profits — the proper motivation for the growth obsession? One can also imagine a limit or supremum to how much profit can be made, even in a perfect monopoly, because resources are finite. So when you tank at 100 percent market share and are very well profitable, what is left is to leave, expand your portfolio, maintain your position and/or become totally tyrannical. It’s a nice place to be.

But if the structure of society/nations doesn’t permit that, you could either try to restructure society and the nations, and/or enjoy the vagaries of competition and chance in business. The point we’re making is that everything tanks somewhere or at some point. So we ask, is it possible to chose your size and maintain ‘successful’ operations despite the operating environment? What conditions would be necessary for this.

Most organisations have a growth obsession, and perhaps, rightly so. Because growth may be translated to profit. And even where it doesn’t translate to profit, a ‘good’ objective is to have minimal competition, insuring dominance and long term profitability and existence. Every going concern has to have a strategy to remain so. Every one, we assume, wants to be successful. And more, to be seen to be successful. These are the origins of the growth obsession: power, pride, survival.

If survival is the primary and overarching motive, then business growth, as is commonly understood, isn’t a necessity. How many profitable one-man or small businesses do you know or see around that have been operating for decades without visibly growing. On a bigger scale, the Semco group of Brazil deliberately control their size, minimizing the temptation to get acquired or to acquire new operations. It is said that they’ve implemented sales and human resource policies that have ensured profitable operations in their environment without over-expanding, for decades.

Could we choose where to tank per time whilst ensuring sustained success, without the pressure to survive and complicate management by expansion. It would at least mean respecting our abilities and capacity as a person or organisation, understanding the competitive and operating environment, potential/likely industry trajectory, and committing your objectives to wisdom.

This brings us to the notion of ‘invisible’ growth, something akin to maturity and the realities of our human experience. We all stop growing physically at some time, but our bodies continually regenerate cells, flushing out the old and bringing in the fresh. We also grow in knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. So that there’s a constancy to our appearance and a growth within that can be seen in the fruit we yield and that we still live.

If we hold on to that which is true, our tenacity keeps us from falling; we’re growing against a decay, so that people see a constancy. The underlying growth is hidden. Therefore, it is an attribute of growth to not regress from our current states when true and good. We may thus regard the act of maintaining sound practices as growth in itself. This growth is the growth of renewing and refreshing (i.e. a cultivation), not of change in height or status. Clearly, creating and maintaining some special relationships require the cleverness of renewing and refreshing those relationships (as with CRM). That is cultivation that leads to growth, a growth within constancy or permanence.

This is a growth where one is still: we aren’t stagnant since the cells of your bodies are continually renewed even while one greys. Procter and Gamble have rebranded a lot of their products countless times. It helps to keep and renew a product in the face of the people to keep it going. That’s the benefit of having traditions. It keeps hope alive. Products and services do not need to suffer from the decay that is of nature. They can be cultivated and made into a full grown tree, bearing fruit in its seasons.

Footnote/Asides:
CRM = Customer Relationship Management.

Growth is always at something’s expense. So we may choose to consider whether the expense is worth it. A number of environmentalists are of the opinion that the price we pay as a biological system for mining and burning fossil fuels at the current rate is too high for our future to bear.

If like Apple you have tens of billions in cash, most of which you choose not to share, and supposedly more than enough to maintain your competitive edge, what do you do? Buy up/into your supply chain, making you vertically integrated. Buy RIM and IBM if you could? Go into supercomputers? And then what? What about digging deeper roots in order to tank? Perhaps it’s some credit to apple they’ve been growing without radically expanding their their core businesses. And both them and Microsoft etc. are looking for new core businesses—and more importantly, relevance for the future.

Tanking requires strategic positioning and perpetual vigilance; it’s an equilibrium state that is potentially highly dynamic. So situations may not be right achieve and maintain it.

Couldn’t your businesses grow and maintain great market share and profits without necessarily growing its size. Let’s try to be as effective as possible, then as efficient as possible, before probably deciding that we need a new house. But why strain ourselves if we can already get the new place? Probably because we need to have learned some lessons from experience.

The Little Boy Lived in a Cocoon of His Own Making

The woman found out when she reached out that the little boy was neither totally not fathomable nor totally ‘abstract’. It was easy because she noticed he liked carrots and so she created a trojan horse made with carrot that he accepted and ate. Then she found a beautiful soul, though an outlier, he was human still. And he loved her for it. The little boy lived in a very unique cocoon of his own making, locked in until someone reached out.

Doesn’t everyone make their own cocoons and set their sentries at the gates.

Imagine all peoples as a network of variously coloured and intersecting cocoons. Colours reflecting temperaments and personas, while intersections reflect relationships with others to varying degrees. Colours at the intersection may show potential for influence within the relationships … . Picture a world of intersecting bubbles; an interesting and beautiful work of art if you see it so.