I think Jeff Bezos absolutely nailed it when he said ‘you don’t choose your passions, your passions choose you’. It is not something you can just force upon yourself. The complexity of a passion is derived from a multitude of diverse influences from genes to cultural memes, most of which you simply aren’t introspective to, and therefore cannot really ever truly understand or have control over. What this means is that when it comes to your work and productivity, it is no use deliberately trying to force yourself into something that you are not intuitively interested in, just because it might be socially or monetarily suitable. Your mind just doesn’t work like that. A much better strategy is to try and find a way to turn your passion into something that is of value to other people.
This is what we are really trying to achieve with Gravity, which just recently turned a year old! We wanted to find a way to turn our ever-growing fascination with the behavioural sciences into a viable service offering that could be of real value to businesses and non-profits. This has been a complicated exercise to say the least, since nothing of the sort really exists yet, or at least not in SA.
Nonetheless it has been an incredibly rewarding experience, and a successful year for the business as a whole. We have worked with a variety of clients from established companies such as Capitec, Southern Charter and Securistore to exciting start-ups such as Travel Guardian and Inside & You’re Out. We were also fortunate enough to do some really exciting educational work with the post-graduate students at Red & Yellow and an incredibly successful pro-bono project with The Big Issue, to uplift the lives of their vendors.
All-in-all the first year of Gravity has been challenging yet extremely fulfilling and if anything, possibly a small source of evidence for Bezos’s elegant pearl of wisdom.
Hopefully 2015 will bring more of the same.