Dilbert - Happiness and Dreams


Scott Adams penned a thoughtful piece on the secrets to happiness with more sensible pragmatism than the industry of self-professed self-help gurus out there. His post ‘Happiness Engineering’ includes the concept of that semi-remote ‘dream’ that is always essential having in your back pocket…

“Make it a habit to have at least one project brewing at all times that has a non-zero chance of changing the planet, or making a billion dollars, or both. Creating Dilbert was just one out of several dozen projects of that nature. As I write this, I have plans for Dilbert.com that would uncap its potential while helping a number of other people at the same time. That’s a good feeling to wake up to. I’ve also contracted with an Indian company to turn one of my ideas into a website prototype that could change the nature of advertising. Or not. Probably not. The point is that it feels good to know it’s there. When that project doesn’t work, I’ll put another dream into the slot. (I don’t put much time or money into the long shots.)”

That description best characterises my own personal ‘non zero chance’ project – Maldives Complete. What started as a favourite destination combined with compulsive researching, evolved into a reputation, expertise and a big spreadsheet of data. That then turned into a fun project to play with technology and coding again. Now, it is reputedly the #1 website on Maldives Resorts.

I am presently concluding my second research trip where I visit a different resort virtually every day. One of the first questions I get from the growing legions of fans is ‘Why do you do this??’ It makes no money (I have no advertising, sponsorship or selling). Yes, I get kind invitations to visit and special tours and treatment, but I still spend in a week about what I would have spent on a well researched and planned holiday. Adams’ post is probably one of the best articulations of what drives me.

Yes, it is a hobby and what hobby doesn’t consume lots of time and money? It is great to make your hobby your dream project. Because if the dream never hits the jackpot, then you have the perfectly fantastic consolation prize of hours of fun doing what you love.

The same could be said about this blog here. I’m not sure what the ‘jackpot’ would be. I have made some great friends and networking opportunities like Bret Simmons, the Glory of Failure group and Lead Academy.

Just a side note for the Leader/Manager side of this blog (and nod to the comic at top) – The Leader bets on the ‘non-zero chance’ upside, while the Manager recognizes that a lottery ticket is not a business plan.