The Surest Path To Failure Is To Be True to Oneself. So Why Am I Smiling So Much?

Posted on January 5, 2015


TheDividedSelfA decision has been made. Of that much, I am sure.

In the past few weeks, however, I’ve read enough “popular” neuroscience to know that “I” did not make this decision, if by “I,” one means the self-conscious inner monologue that most people equate with “I,” and which is mostly responsible for most of the words I put here.

What’s more, I am also certain that the certainty and conviction, which has arrived hand-in-glove with this decision, is not the logical result of careful and rational deliberation. The “certainty” light in the dashboard of my brain is rosily lit, but not for any reason that can be connected to reason because what I have in mind for the future will almost certainly fail.

This is not false modesty. It is the brutal reality of entrepreneurship. Almost all entrepreneurial projects end in failure. Period. To make matters worse, the idea that I am pursuing lies on the plausibility scale somewhere between foolish and silly because it originates in a hunch that flies in the face of all logic, reason, and experience, but, nevertheless, rings true to me.

Unfortunately, thanks to the logic of the market, the surest and most certain path to failure is to be true to oneself. The market only ever favours and rewards that which has mass appeal, and never that which is unique and idiosyncratic. Or, at least, so it seems.

And yet, my pleasure centres are firing like they haven’t fired in a long time. The dopamine is running like sap in Spring. Undoubtedly, some much less rational part of me has decided that this is the right — nay, the only — way forward. Dopamine never lies, right?

Ultimately, the path forward isn’t terribly romantic. I will keep my costs low, work to develop some revenue streams, and see what happens while my savings last. Seems simple enough, but so does rocket science — I mean, that’s just sticking humans in a metal pod on top of a giant exploding stick, right? In practice, how hard can that be? Right?

Are you pursuing — or thinking about pursuing — a crazy idea that doesn’t have a snowball’s chance of succeeding in hell’s market. I’d love to hear about it. The more the merrier! Why? Because I know, if you are like me, you are having — or about to have — the time of your life, and who wouldn’t want to share in that.

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