“Paradise or no paradise, I have the very definite impression that the people of this [Big Sur] vicinity are striving to live up to the grandeur and nobility which is such an integral part of this setting. They behave as if it were a privilege to live here, as if it were by an act of grace they found themselves here. The place itself is so overwhelmingly bigger, greater, than anyone could hope to make it that it engenders a humility and reverence not frequently met with in Americans. There being nothing to improve on in the surroundings, the tendency is to set about improving oneself.”
~ Henry Miller
A system that depends on growth can survive only if we progressively lose our ability to make reasoned decisions. After our needs, then strong desires, then faint desires have been met, we must keep buying goods and services we neither need nor want, induced by marketing to abandon our discriminating faculties and succumb instead to impulse.
You can now buy a selfie toaster, that burns an image of your own face onto your bread — the Turin Shroud of toast. You can buy beer for dogs and wine for cats; a toilet roll holder that sends a message to your phone when the paper is running out; a $30 branded brick; a hairbrush that informs you whether or not you are brushing your hair correctly. Panasonic intends to produce a mobile fridge that, in response to a voice command, will deliver beers to your chair.
Urge, splurge, purge: we are sucked into a cycle of compulsion followed by consumption, followed by the periodic detoxing of ourselves or our homes, like Romans making themselves sick after eating, so that we can cram more in. Continued economic growth depends on continued disposal: unless we rapidly junk the goods we buy, it fails. The growth economy and the throwaway society cannot be separated. Environmental destruction is not a by-product of this system. It is a necessary element.
The environmental crisis is an inevitable result not just of neoliberalism — the most extreme variety of capitalism — but of capitalism itself. Even the social democratic (Keynesian) kind depends on perpetual growth on a finite planet: a formula for eventual collapse. But the peculiar contribution of neoliberalism is to deny that action is necessary; to insist that the system, like Greenspan’s financial markets, is inherently self-regulating. The myth of the self-regulating market accelerates the destruction of the self-regulating Earth.
[…] There is no environmental rescue plan: to admit the need for one would be to admit that the economic system is based on a series of delusions. The environmental crisis demands a new ethics, politics and economics.”
– George Monbiot
I was on an email thread with a handful of smart sales leaders, and one person said the best sales reps are selfish and don’t spend their time helping their own teammates.
While I agree it’s important to prioritize one’s time, I’d argue the best reps are actually selfless and show care to customers and colleagues alike.
Our top sales performers are helpful, empathetic and have a heart of service. It’s inherent in the nature of the greatest salespeople, but you can’t be a human built on service and only show it while selling.
Simply put, in modern sales a heart of service is the best way to deliver value to your customers.
Case in point is someone I really admire – our Enterprise Sales Executive Kevin Walkup. Kevin is one of the kindest, most selfless and most caring salespeople in the world. His colleagues continually praise him for his empathy and how he much he gives. He’s also our top producer – two years strong! – and has generated us over $3mm ARR. Those who know him would say it’s bc he’s focused on serving ALL those with whom he interacts.
Selflessness is infectious, bringing joy and success to those around you both inside and outside of the workplace.
Can a sales professional be a success even if they are selfless?
~ Kyle Porter, CEO of Salesloft
Four hundred years ago, almost no one on Earth had tasted coffee. It was too difficult to move things a few thousand miles.
A hundred years ago, if you wanted a cold drink in the summer or needed to ice an injured knee, you were largely out of luck. It took millions of years of cultural and technical evolution to get to the point where people had a freezer in their house.
The industrial revolution was mighty indeed. It paved the Earth, created the middle class and changed everything. And it was a powerhouse for generations, incrementally changing what hadn’t been changed yet.
The TV revolution followed, introducing mass marketing as a force that could change our culture.
Then, the 60s brought the computer revolution, which involved large devices capable of sorting, calculating and processing things that were previously unsorted.
We’re living right now in the connection revolution, one powered by the internet, in which people connect to people, computers connect to computers and our culture changes ever faster, daily.
The next two revolutions are right around the corner:
The biology revolution, which has had some fits and starts, will transform our bodies and our planet. Once computers are able to see, understand and modify living things, the same acceleration of the last three revolutions will kick in.
And the AI revolution, in which we engage with computers as much as with each other, is showing itself now too.
Faster, ever faster. Moore’s law ratchets technology, technology changes the culture, the culture changes the economy and it continues.
Revolutions are impossible, until they’re not, and then they seem totally normal.
Iced coffee, anyone?
~ Seth Godin
Professional wrestling is fake.
The blood is fake, the lack of physics is fake, the arguing with the ref is fake, the rivalries are fake… it might be professional, but it’s not real.
This willful disregard for reality is at the heart of pro wrestling. It’s a juvenile fantasy, come to life. An opportunity to make up the rules, ignore authority, and exert bullying force on others, merely because you can.
So why is Billy Corgan (of Smashing Pumpkins) one of the most successful musicians of our generation, running a pro wrestling organization?
He says it’s because it’s one of the last transgressive arenas left. That it’s a morality play, a microcosm of the human condition, a chance to put on a show that highlights our fears and our avarice. He knows that it’s fake, authenticity is a foreign concept in this world.
And what lesson can we learn from politics importing pro wrestling’s mindset? Once you see it, you can’t unsee the connection. Worth noting that one of the key narratives of pro wrestling is the fake within the fake–someone is always claiming that the outcome is rigged. (In wrestling, of course, it is rigged. And so is the complaining.)
Pro wrestling works as a play and a medium because the people who are part of it realize that it’s fake.
It turns out that modern media is a perfect match for the pro-wrestling approach. You can put on a show, with your own media, as often as you like. And that show is, to many, remarkable, and so it spreads.
And there lies the danger, the opportunity for pro-wrestling thinking to corrupt our society: When the fans, or worse, the participants, don’t realize that it’s fake.
In real life, the laws of physics actually work. In real life, blood feuds rarely end well. In real life, accepting the ref’s decisions is the only way to have civilization…
The filter bubble creates an echo chamber, and reality stars are pushed to be more like cartoonish pro wrestlers and less like responsible human beings. If it bleeds, it leads.
You probably work with people who are living in their own pro wrestling universe. These are people who are so in love with their version of reality and their goals that they view the real world as an affront, an intrusion on the way they insist things turn out.
Reality remains our common ground, the best one we have to work with.
~ Seth Godin