30 May, 2019

Is that Ok?

My 3 year old said she wanted to be an astronaut, and I said she had to study hard, go to collect, learn a lot of science, and take a physical fitness test, and she shrugged and said, “That’s just 4 things.” So she’s basically a nonchalant motivational speaker.” – Jennifer Dziurza

Tokyo, Melbourne… I’m not sure about you, but I wake up every day wanting to break free. Spend some time on an island, learn a wellness course in the mountains somewhere. I think I just might be an escapist at heart.

The hardest thing after a trip whether for work or play, is getting back into the grind. Try imagine returning to the gym after a 4 week absence and you’ll get what I mean. People say the grind is where the magic happens, but on days where I’m at a loss for inspiration (or rather, motivation), the grind is what it is.

I suppose it’s about firing up the momentum again and giving yourself grace when you’re anything but enthused about life. It’s been a full-on couple of months behind the scenes at Mmerci Encore – and it’s felt like with every project or plan, something comes along to set us back a week, half a year… Projects or tasks that seem so easy and banal on paper (“it’s just four things!”) but are far more complicated in practice.

Momentum is described as mass in motion, so I guess I have to put my mass into motion. Some days though, when operating at maximum capacity, I think: how much more? When I was younger, I couldn’t help but think perhaps these challenges, tests or hardships are preparing us for an extraordinary destiny. I still do, in a way, but how much more do we need to give? What is ok?

While in Japan two months ago, we lined up for a whole host of small but exquisite hole-in-the-wall (read: unbookable) restaurants. Like many others in line with us, a 50 minute wait time in the dark, rain, or cold didn’t seem to deter us as we were determined to try the sweet fruit of patience, be it uni bowls or yuzu-infused ramen.

Perhaps in a huffy/efficient Singapore-inspired moment I thought, why don’t they take reservations? This literally seats 8 people here, why aren’t there more tables? Why don’t they have more branches? But it only takes one mouthful of food to realise they don’t because it’s the only way to keep to a high standard of food and service; to really respect what they’re doing, and be all in, in that moment.

I left a little bit more inspired and encouraged by that. Growth is great, progress is amazing, but at what cost to quality and presence?

As Ricardo Semler, CEO of Semco Partners puts it: “There’s no such thing as perpetual growth. Yet that’s what traditional business people crave. But what is growth meant to achieve? If Oxford University is so successful, then why isn’t there a branch in Washington, D.C.? If a symphony is successful with 120 musicians, why not even more so with 600? “To grow bigger” is not much of an effective business strategy at all.”

I am an Ok person, giving it her best, and that’s enough for today. x Alli

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