Is another world possible?

Jorge García Palomo

As the brilliant Groucho Marx used to say, “These are my principles. If you don’t like them… well, I have others.” Joking apart, it’s a good idea in life to build values and attitudes so as to grow into upright individuals and better meet the challenges of the future.

Happiness, confidence, innovation and overcoming problems are essential concepts for the Artiem team. Inalienable signs of identity in the face of a frenetic day-to-day existence the requires a certain amount of reflection and high-mindedness in these changing times.

Happiness, what a pretty name

In previous editions, Fresh People Mag has shared many recipes for being happy. The philosopher Bertrand Russell appealed to enthusiasm, but to each his own. “Basic happiness depends above all on what we might call a friendly interest in people and things,” the master declared. Maybe happiness doesn’t exist, just happy moments. In any case, (almost) everything depends on each one of us. On how see the world.

How many people around you consider themselves “a happy person”? That’s how the comedian Luis Piedrahita described himself in an interview in the magazine Godot: “A happy person. It’s not a common word but that’s what I feel like. I feel fortunate to be able to do anything I like. I feel happy from still being able to write a book and go on stage, of still working in television… I like it so much that it’s precisely what I do in my free time.”

And you? How do you spend your free time? Shouldn’t we change the chip to put life in perspective and humbly seek happiness each day?

Thanks for the confidence

How many times have you heard that expression? Beyond being polite, we really have to be thankful to someone who has confidence in us.

It’s calculated that there are some 7 billion people on the planet, with the result that the human race is unclassifiable and that for every ten good deeds there is a bad one… And it’s the one that has an effect, wounds someone, makes us lose hope in humanity. And why should we have confidence in someone? A fellow called Ernest Hemingway gave the answer: “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” And isn’t it true, sadly, that it’s easier to destroy than to construct? Confidence grows stronger with each step, but losing it is easy. Thus the importance of other principles, such as coherence, respect and loyalty. Other times, mistrust is lurking there because we don’t have confidence in ourselves.

Don’t do to someone that which you wouldn’t want them to do to you. Take a chance and trust, which is no small thing. The legendary Chinese master Lao Tzu said it most clearly more than a thousand years ago: “He who does not trust enough will not be trusted.” Have you ever stopped to think why people trust (or do not trust) in your words?

Leadership, the authority of excellence

If we were to think about universally-acknowledged leaders, one of the names that would come up most would be Steve Jobs. If we disregard polemical biographies, the founder of the all-powerful Apple has gone down in history for his excellent and innovative products but also because of a virtue: charisma, personality, persuasion… And absolute ideas: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

Why is leadership fundamental in both daily life and at work? Because every ship needs a captain, a rudder to guide its course without any hesitation, and the capacity for taking the initiative. And let’s remember that the real leader doesn’t radiate magnetism just because he’s in authority, but because of his excellence and exemplary attitude. Again attitude, not just aptitude.

Novelist Daniel Defoe said that “it is better to have a lion at the head of an army of sheep, than a sheep at the head of an army of lions.” And we know that not everyone is qualified to create a multinational company out of a garage or to play a certain role in life, but we should invoke the lion of the aphorism when circumstances demand it. And as consultant Francisco Alcaide says, our capacity to learn is our principal asset. Why not learn from the best? And who knows? Some of the best may be in your own surroundings.

Innovation… when mental flexibility prevails

There is always someone who remembers the words of writer Eugenio D’Ors: “What isn’t tradition is plagiarism.” Nevertheless there continually appears something or someone who breaks the rules, people who change things… and not quite like Lampedusa did. Disruptive thought, a diverging view or creativity can be implemented in many areas of life.

Are you familiar with Jorge Cuevas “El Buscalocos”? When he was 17 they told this Mexican that if he dedicated himself to writing he would die of hunger, but today he is a guru of invention. He has published several books, some of them bestsellers. A media phenomenon who can be heard on The Kama Sutra of Innovation, a program he directs in which with great enthusiasm –and what enthusiasm!– he offers help in finding solutions. Because, Cuevas jokes, you don’t need great physical flexibility but mental flexibility. One innovates so as to again feel pleasure, create an exciting atmosphere, or lose one’s fear of failure.  In other words, inventing doesn’t just consist of getting answers but of asking questions. And to cite some random names in Spain, there are some people –like Ferran Adrià in cuisine, César Bona in teaching, Gema Climent in technology, Jordi Évole on television or Guardiola in football– who have revolutionised their respective fields. But even without reference to these big names, in your own family you know someone who’s luminous, different, heterodox. And as with leadership, remember that in this aspect, for you and for other people, that you could be that guide.

Improvement: almost nothing is impossible

Yes. We can think of hundreds of admirable people and anonymous heroes who achieved a difficult goal because they didn’t know it was impossible. Or nobody told them. Or they overcame all kinds of obstacles. Overcoming obstacles is another of those basic values necessary to keep on growing. Alone or in a group. Here everyone meets his challenges. For example the old man who tries to come back after a fall, the child who studies harder to improve his grades, the girl who decides to go live away from home in spite of the uncertainty… The planet is continually inviting us to better ourselves in the face of endless, more or less complex adversities. The best thing would be for inspiration to strike when we’re working, or that we take note of the best examples. Without going further, find out about the life of the Paralympic athlete Gema Hassen-Bey. Left paraplegic by an accident, her perseverance and success has made her an icon of inclusion. And now, with her eternal smile and boundless energy, she is attempting to be the first woman in a wheelchair to reach the top of Mount Kilimanjaro –the highest peak in Africa, at almost 6,000 metres– after having ascended to 3,000 metres on Mount Teide using only the strength of her arms. As she has said on several occasions: “You can always fight for your dreams.” Can anyone do better?

 

Happiness, confidence, leadership, innovation and improvement… Essential concepts for the Artiem team. And maybe for you too. Because they are universal values. Immovable principles –not like Groucho’s– that demonstrate that another world is possible.

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