Adam Robinson is an author, US Chess Federation life master and co-founder of The Princeton Review. When speaking with Tim Ferriss on his podcast, Adam said that he lives his life trying to delight other people. He said, “If you’re going to a meeting with a venture capitalist because you’re looking for funding for your startup, or you’re going on a date, or you’re going on a job interview, forget the fact that it’s an interview; you’re going to delight the other person. That’s what you’re there for, first and foremost and to make a connection. And if you do, if that’s your focus as opposed to getting the job or getting the funding, then you get magic and miracles. That should be your primary focus. And what it does is it gives you infinite power because you want nothing, and you’re offering everything. All I want in this moment now, with you, sitting in front of you on your couch, is to connect with you and to delight you.”
This was an ‘a-ha’ moment for me. It made me think how differently we might act in a given situation if we were not thinking about the outcome. Not worried about whether the presentation would produce anything except the delight of those in the audience. How liberating might that be?
Another guest on The Tim Ferriss Show, Soman Chainani, filmmaker and author of The School for Good and Evil series of books, spoke about seeing the flaws in our heroes and how that helps us find our way. He said, “Like I said, Disney was somebody that I admired so much that I came to a point where once you start admiring someone and studying them, you start to see your flaws. And that’s where you start to see the seeds of your own career. Because I think once you have an idol and you study them long enough, and you realize their weaknesses, you think oh, wait, I can come in here with my own voice and do something totally different that’s going to ultimately be its own thing.”
I simply adore that idea. Seeing that perfection is the enemy of good. Humanity is flawed. And we are part of humanity. So, we must embrace our weaknesses, learn from our failures, and bring our own story to the table. Because we are the only one who can tell it. And may we delight all those who hear it and make that the only goal we are striving to achieve. And then, wait for the magic.