After several relationships, coming and goings, and some very interesting chats with fellow biz partner Tomas Garcia, I came to several conclusions of why or how some relationships do work, or do not work at all.
Sometimes we’re so desperate in finding ourselves, criticising ourselves, or so anxious for that “next big thing” that we delve into things we shouldn’t, or crap on opportunities that are actually good, but we can’t really visualize or get a grip on.
After some hours of thoughts, and some hours of introspection, I came to these three pillars.
1- Cosmic Connection
You probably know what this is, and it explains for itself. It’s that moment when you’re talking to someone and you both say “Oh, that’s right! you’re so right! I feel the same way!”. It doesn’t have to relate to the intelligence of any of the two people involved. It doesn’t involve their IQ, even their own tastes in music, movies, whatever. It just means that both have had the same experience, in different moments, and that both have the same view/perspective to that same experience. If one likes Reggae, and the other likes Heavy Metal, that doesn’t matter. Of course, it might matter if you’re a musician, and there might be some exceptions to the rule. But it mainly is not focused on “tastes.” That’s less relevant than what happened to you in your life and how you chose to accept/view/interpret it.
2- Feeling of Home
Well, this Talkin Heads’ song says it pretty clearly. What is that “feeling of home”, really? Well, I gave this some deal of thought. Basically, “feeling of home” means being taken care of. Whoever you are, you probably have this “feeling of home”, in someone. Maybe it’s an older brother, your fathers, maybe a close friend who was there with you whenever you needed her. Someone who is there to pick up the pieces when you break. We generally relate to this feeling of home to our own homes, when we were growing up, whichever that is, be it a foster home, a good ol’ fashion american family home, or boarding school. I’ve always remember this awesome conversation about “home” in Spielberg’s Munich (around minute 2:00). And it’s so true. Everyone needs their home. And it’s a truth in all mythology and the monomyth that one really starts to grow up when our infance’s home ceases to exist, for whichever reason (that very cinematographic scene in Star Wars when Luke gets home only to find both his uncle’s burned up in flames, or that chapter in Treasure Island where Jim Hawkins finds his parent’s inn (which served as his home, the Admiral Benbow) all destroyed by all-mighty pirates). Once we lose that first home (when adolescence is gone), we are off to seek a new one. And we generally deposit or search for it in our relationships. To wrap it up, it’s basically to feel taken care of.
If there’s no sex between two people, and you get along, and you date, and you eat, and… whatever… then you are friends, not an actual relationship. Sex is healthy for every relationship, it deals with letting go and be controled, and at the same time to control someone else. It’s that play of coming and going… pulling and pushing. It’s the histeria and mystery all wrapped up into one same act. It also represents and embodies the possibility of pregnancy, of having actual offspring. It’s the friction that makes existence possible and so exciting. Be mindful that I left “histeria” and “mistery” out of all pillars, except in sex. Because I honestly feel that when people are histeric, and simply generating a “fake mistery” about themselves, they are simply not connecting with their fellow couple (point number 1) and are not really generating a real sense of home (point number 2). That only works for sex. We as primal beings NEED the mistery, we NEED the histeria, simply because it’s something more… psicological, than anything else. We need to -not- have something, to want it. I honestly think that sex plays an important part here in this sense. If this same thing happens in Point number 1 and Point number 2, most probably that relationship won’t last more than a month, as it doesn’t create any sense of “trust”. Also, these are the things that make sex good, but point 1 and 2 bad.
Now, how the heck this applies to business?
Let’s give a closer look.
1- Cosmic Connection
The idea of finding a life partner has many times been related to the notion of finding a business partner. You share life with your biz partners, and you certainly must look as the business as your own “son”, and of your partners as a “couple” or “real couple” relationship to work.
In point number 1 we basically said that you need to find someone who has had similar experiences to you, and who has reacted to them in a very similar way as yourself. One might not seek in a partner someone who has had the exact same experiences, but yes someone that reacted to them the same way you would’ve it they would’ve happened to you. Meaning, that you both share one same point of view. Which, seems a bit idiotic and obvious whenever you start a business… but it might not be as obvious for many.
Also, in many start-ups, you wind up getting lots of pressure from new things, that you never knew that would happen. Or you must do things that you never did before. So, you’re quite unprepared to what’s going to happen. BUT, if you share this cosmic connection with your partner and, bottomline, you both feel the same about “life” in general… then everything should be alright (at least for point 1).
You feel the same way about charity? War? About racism? About culture? About life, in general? Do you share the same values, when it comes to family, art, almost everything really? That would be a cosmic connection needed for business. What happens if our company gets sued? What happens if our company gets the possibility to delve into a new business which isn’t the one we planned for originally? Are our views lined up? Or do we think different? This is what the Casual Connection should definitely please.
2- Feeling of Home
Again, the feeling of home is more of “feeling taken care of”, rather than anything else. So, this means that you must seek a partner, who will take care of your defects. I think I said this too bluntly, let me explain. When you are a young boy or girl, at your home, you’re starting up. You walk, and you fall to the ground. You eat, and you get chucked. You go play, and you make a mess of yourself with all dirt inside your ears. And what does your big brother, mother, stepfather (what have you) do? They help you (clean you, get you up, etc.) and then they teach you.
Many would relate this notion to the idea of “finding a good mentor” in business. That’s probably close to this notion, but it’s not really. Why? A good mentor will NOT clean you up, will NOT pick you up (unless he’s a business partner of yours, in that case, that’s fine). A good mentor will probably teach you and give you solid feedback, before and after you make a mess. But they won’t pick you up when you fall down.
The ones that will do, are your partners. And the metaphor here is that, your defects, is what your partners should “take care of” and make you “feel taken care of”.
Meaning, find a partner who does what you do bad, great. And give them the power to make the choices and decisions in those areas, where you… simply are still a spoiled little kid playing in the playground.
Well, before making this post into some “controversial” post, no, I do not have sex with Tomas Garcia. It’s more about the concept of sex we stated before. The to-and-fros, the friction, that coming and going, pushing and pulling thing that sex has. That sense of being in control and being controlled. Fighting. But always fighting for a common cause, to get to a same place. And that same place would eventually lead to the born of a child. Also, the “sex” (now in between commas) is that moment of *attention*, of grasping the other’s attention, and deeply connecting with your mate. Which relates to a notion and concept I’ve studied form a very interesting book by Oren Klaff, Pitch Anything, where he states a very interesting formula, which is: Attention = Yerning for something (desire) + can’t have it (tension). Here’s an extract from the book:
To control attention, I have always felt that it’s important to know what it’s made of. (…) How did I find what the ingredients are? I didn’t have to. Researchers with brain scanners and hardcore neuroscience chops did the work. What they’ve worked out is that when a person is feeling both desire and tension, that person is paying serious attention to what’s in front of him or her. (…) It comes down to the presence of two neurotransmitters: dopamine and norepinephire.
Dopamine is the neurotransmitter of desire.
Norepinephrine is the neurotransmitter of tension.
Together they add up to attention.
Oren relates it to pitching, to trying to win a case, to trying to win someone over with an idea, or your persona. Basically, it’s that simple idea of “histeria” we talked about earlier. You can watch it, but you can’t touch it. So that, when you finally “touch it”, there’s a sense in the brain of “oh, finally I got there!”.
This tension, this build up tension, is actually pretty healthy. Why? Because it helps one introspect himself, it brings everyone to “mature” and “learn from themselves and the other” a little bit more.
Also, because in a business, as in any other type of cooperative endeavour, two brains think better than one. And why is this? Simply because more perspectives, and fresh perspectives, give “aggregated value” to any endeavor. The more perspectives there is to something, the better chances that something will have in succeeding. (Of course, as long as the perspectives are true and honest to themselves and align with the overall objective/karma of the project in question, which deals with Point 1 (Cosmic Connection).)
So, what I do I really believe? I think that this pillars can be constructed if missing, and can be dealt with… if they are weak, they can be strengthened. If they are not there at all, well, maybe there’s a way to find them. But, as with everything… it will take time, dedication, and patience, to get a pillar “right off the ground” or to simply heal it, or strengthen it. It will all depend of how committed you are to the project/endeavor you’ve delved into, and how much time you have on your hands to try everything and turn it around, and build strategies around it.
Or, of course, if you find a partner who already has all this conditions, then… the easier it would be for you. Sometimes’ it’s about searching for that great partner in life. Or sometimes it’s about making the best with what we’ve got… since, most times, the best things in life are not particularly “gifts”, but something we had to bust our asses for to get.
"A man makes his own luck"
I think someone in Titanic said this, but quoting him would really make this post quite juvenile. Oh, already did. Well… hope it helped the same.