The Zen of Age





Have you ever been frustrated by a decision made at work?  Have you wanted to scream during a meeting?

Some  years ago after a lengthy strategic debate, a company board member told me, "You are always right, just two years early." At the time, I did not find the ethereal compliment to be very comforting.  It did not change the company's decision and I watched as we stumbled through and money was lost.  During my years of research and development, I would find myself in the same scene over and over again.  It is difficult for many to look objectively outside of their own comfort zone and understand the larger context of business and technology.

The hard reality of  life is that destiny requires that people learn the lessons of life on their own. Some will never learn those lessons.  Some will find humility along the road.  Some will become trusted peers and associates.  But the journey is a double-sided blade. Each crossroads affects both parties.  You are also affected by those decisions in life and you also must choose how to accept those moments.

Age brings an element of Zen to the passions.  Zen is not comfort.  Zen is not revenge. Zen is acceptance of  the moment and a confidence in your own knowledge and experience.  I know the path ahead.  I know where it will lead.  I am on my own journey.

Not too long ago, our team was working within a set of difficult circumstances, and during a meeting, I simply said, "You cannot save a man from drowning, if he doesn't not want to be saved."  The quote made it on our white board and stayed for several years.

Zen is understanding the difference between shared visions and our personal journeys. In the very beginning of my career, an older veteran gave me some sage advice.  When the day is dark, focus on your resume.  Focus on your portfolio.  It is yours and only yours.  It is the destiny that only you control.

Finally, the best advice of all comes from a poet.

"I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."

Robert Frost





About Sprawlgeek.
A Seasoned Technology Visionary possessing a deep understanding of technology and business processes.

Doug has accumulated over 35 years of experience in the technology and media markets. His broad career has ranged from leading Research and Development work for a 300+ million dollar company to an E-Government startup. His efforts have been recognized by major trade associations as well as Tier 1 clients.

Doug is now a private consultant and continues to provide his insights to the industry.