Reach out to a pioneer

Only when you have worked alone — when you have felt around you a black gulf of solitude more isolating than that which surrounds the dying man, and in hope and in despair have trusted to your own unshaken will — then only will you have achieved.” – Olivier Wendell Holmes

When young startup founders set out into careers on their own, unconnected with what they’ve been doing so far, it’s often in response to a call from deep within. This initiative, many a time, meets with rebuke from all around. Some may be sincere, concerned and arising out of fear for the immediate future. But most are insincere, mocking chides with a sharp reaction that translates into a “no-way”. It’s quite difficult to ignore it altogether, but the founders have a choice of being indifferent to it. If someone (pioneer) in your family or friends circle is venturing into something new, do not reprove.  Understand.

Everyone – you, me, average Joe – all have a thought universe. The pioneer crafts a thought universe for herself in her mind and it’s a mistake when early judges attempt to mark it up as sensible or weird. Some universes like the pioneer’s, see the possibilities in an intuitive suggestion she encounters, bump upwards, and leave the glass of mediocre society to rise and meet the higher world; and most universes submit to rebuke, get beaten badly, and bump downwards to lose themselves to mediocrity.  Take your pick.

Lives are enriched by seriousness of purpose. Strong lives are motivated by dynamic purposes. A desire for success is necessary to keep life in motion. Success demands singleness of purpose and is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which (s)he has overcome. The pioneer seems different because (s)he is. Let the pioneer be since her strength lies in that difference, not in similarity.

So much of the pioneer’s time is preparation, so much is routine, and so much retrospect, that the path of her genius contracts itself to a very few hours. The best one should do is to lend her their ears. I think everyone needs the ear of someone else from time to time. It clears up doubts. So too is occasional self examination that clears up a lot of mist. It’s just a sub-conscious stimulus that springs out of existential self doubts that occur to all of us – and not to be confused with a psychosis that calls for any specialist to meddle in. If her need is for a sounding board that reacts, even passively, be her trusted friend.


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