For the next 50 years

Today's while talking to one of the interns that work with me (HS), I told her, "I have all the time in the world for the people that I want to be with for the next 50 years."

And once the conversation got over, the gravitas of the statement hit me. Hard. In my face. 

Lemme repeat it. And decode it for you. 

"All the time in the world"
In a world where attention spans are reducing by the minute second and time is increasingly becoming THE most important commodity asset (if it weren't already), its impossible to commit "all the time."

"For people that I want to be with"
This is easy. People that I want to be with.

"With" means people who I work with. People I live with. People I eat and drink and sleep and make merry with. People that I travel the world with. People I want to make memories with. The ones that make me better. Push me. Nudge me. Disagree with me (and yet stay with me). And vice versa!

People who I've known for years. People that I will to know in the next 50. And more.

"For the next 50 years."
To give context, I am 35. I dont even know how 50 years look like. The longest "relationship" apart from my family has been with a friend who I know since I was 7 or 8. Thats 27 years. The second-oldest friend, I know him since I was 17. Thats 18 years.

And the number of people (apart from family) that I know for over 20 years and I am in touch with is not even a handful. And here I am talking about being together for the next 50! You see the challenge?

But, but the thing is, the statement is the sum total of all that I have learnt over the last 35 years! It means that...
  • I care deeply for my people. So much so that I am willing to make large commitments. And public ones at that. 
  • I am in it for the long term. 50 is as long as they come. 2/3rd of the average lifespan of humans. And "it" means things I do. 
  • I am more aware and mindful of the commitments I am making. Because as we go along, the only currency that we'd have is our reputation. And that gets built over time. With consistency. And delivery. 
  • I understand that relationships are hard work. It takes a LOT of effort to nurture relationships and I am willing to do the hard work required. 
  • I am aware of the fact that if I have to make a dent change the world make the world a better place, I can't do it by myself. I need people to back me up and stand by me. 
  • And I want to share the rewards. There is no way that great things wont happen if people are together for 50 years. More than anything else, we would be happier and healthier. And that would enable us to do more for others. I dont know if there is any other meaning to life. 
  • We (my people and I) can tackle problems that would take 50 years to solve! This essentially means that we can take on large challenges. Which one do I want to attack right now? I want each human being in the world to realise their potential and live happier and healthier. Large. And scary. You get the drift why I need long-term orientation? 
There is more. There has to be. Will discover as I go along. 


Thing is, while I was talking to her, I wasnt trying to be someone who I am inherently not. It just came out naturally and I stand by the statement. I mean it. I can make a promise that I will stick around for long. Really. 

And looking at this from the other side, each person that chooses to work with me, they need to be oriented for the long run as well. If long-term is not your thing, we probably will not gel well together.

Why long term? 
Because anything worth doing usually takes long!

Plus if you want to make impact at a scale, it WILL take long. Unless you are extremely lucky. Which I will probably get as I work alongside great people with the long-term orientation. 

Plus remember that quote? That "compounding is the 8th wonder of the world"? If I stick with people for long, our relationships WILL compound and WILL create a giant unfair advantage for all of us!

And finally, if people like Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, Prof Bakshi, Jeff Bezos and others believe that long-term thinking is advantageous, I am not questioning them.

In fact I was seeing this video by Ray Dalio's where he talks about his principles for success (SEE THIS VIDEO NOW - 30 minutes and totally worth all the time) and the belief in the long-term orientation got reinforced. Since I saw it just yesterday, the thought was fresh in my head and it came out in my conversation with HS! 

If you still need more evidence about long-term thinking, I'd just say that Rome wasnt built in a day and I will leave it at that! That's about it for the day. Over and out. Lets go build our Romes. While we are together for the next 50, time is less. 

Any you know why that cover image? It's from Whole Earth Catalog and it speaks about how you ought to Stay Hungry and Stay Foolish. And I really think that if I am to walk the long road and make the world a better place, I need to have some great people walking alongside me.

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