Love of wisdom. How simple and nice can a definition be? In this case, it applies to philosophy. Questioning life and why we are running around on this earth are a great way to spend time together with like-minds. I remembered I asked these questions to my father at 16 but never got a satisfying answer. One of my best friends was a big Nietzsche fan (at 16 you are too young for that) and he gave me answers I didn’t understand. So I decided there was no real good reason apart from multiplying.
I discovered something else that I kind of liked a lot and that was to make something that people, including myself, liked. In art school I started with drawing and each time the teacher put up another still life or a bust of the many Greek and Roman Gods, I had this eagerness to draw. Not just draw but make the best drawing I could make. I discovered purpose for myself. Create and show. The pleasure of the creation and later the comments were my food to continue and each time a new challenge was there before me to finish. I didn’t have any philosophers in mind to help me explore and understand myself. I was just happy with doing what I liked.
Later I got interested in philosophy and we are now in preparation of a program around philosophers and philosophy. At the moment I feel like we are in a kind of a 2nd Renaissance time where we see yoga and mindfulness and purpose hitting big on our screens in newsletters, newspapers etc. Although I remember the ’68 period had also some of those ingredients (yes I am old enough). The purpose was and is more self-exploration and finding a path. When I see “purpose” in Sudan or Maslak area in Istanbul I see big differences. It goes from survival, call it a primary purpose, to how to spend my time because I already have everything. One thing they all have in common. When purpose or need are defined you see people with bright stars in their eyes pursuing their goals. And that is the beauty, the road to happiness as happiness is never a destination but a temporary satisfaction.
The big brands try to recuperate purpose now to stay relevant. Startups, on the other hand, can build this in their DNA from the start. Not as a slogan, but as a fundamental building block of their project. Therefore I encourage startups and investors to think further than money success. You will be surprised by the impact in time and how meaningful choices can be, even at a point where you do not see an immediate return. Nietzsche will become very clear at that moment.
Neil Young. One of the icons in modern music. His song “Tell me why” has a nice phrase: ‘Still the searcher must ride the dark horse. Racing alone in his fright’. I am not sure if it is a dark love song or a wrangled soul search but it is another brilliant song of a brilliant artist. Listen here. There is also a great cover from Nora Jones here.