I continue to search for that magic app that allows me to do less and less, not more and more. I believe more is the enemy of business wisdom and less is the key to efficacious entrepreneurship.
Simplicity allows time and perspective to absorb the big picture. It allows consideration of the new and the disruptive in terms of the global forest, as well as of our individual trees. And I think creative businessmen will increasingly come from the ranks of committed generalists, not techie savants.
For that reason I think we should all be reading voraciously. And not in our niche specialties, but in everything. In newspapers, in novels, selectively online. In poetry, politics, philosophy, science, and even in sports. At Tim’s business school no-one would be allowed to consider case studies, marketing, analytics, P&Ls, etc. till they first immerse themselves in the why and what for of existence. Human existence, not business existence.
For example, let us consider sports. For me, one of the best essayist in the world today is Jason Gay. Jason Gay writes about sports for the WSJ. Yup. You probably haven’t heard of Jason Gay but he is imminently worth reading if you want creative thinking that is truly out of the box, funny, and acutely attuned to a nuanced understanding of conundrums in the zeitgeist.
Which brings me to today’s topic—Running Naked. Gay wrote a wonderful article on May 29, 2014, WSJ (p. D-6) entitled “How To Run ‘Naked’—And Really Love It.” Not once does he mention business, but for me it was all about meaningful business.
“Running naked” means running without your sports technology. Gay decided his tranquil running hobby was no longer offering him tranquility because of his addiction to his gadgetry. He writes,
“This is not some anti-technology screed. I’m as addicted to gadgetry as anyone. I tweet. I text. I am. If you took away my iPad, I would curl into a corner and moan like a lost poodle. But running with all that tech was turning me into an anxious robot. I would get out the door and glance at my fitness band and worry if my headphones would stay in and panic if there was enough power for my playlist. I disconnected from nothing. I reached a point at which I would stop sometimes to check my email. I believe the running police can arrest you for that.”
Maybe for me “running naked” is like an organic app to reconnect to meaning and mindfulness. Like an app John Mackey might sell next to the organic eggplant in Whole Foods. An app that simplifies and focuses life, that allows God to move in mysterious ways.
Gay concludes his article like this: “For now, I am enjoying the sound of the pavement beneath my feet, and hearing my body talk to me, even if it’s only telling me I am slow. It’s a peace that no device can offer, and it reminds me why I loved to run in the first place. In fact, when I get home, I might not even tweet about it.”
Me too. Thank you, Jason Gay