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Cut The Crap

Business Consultant to CEO: Sir, the results of our 7S framework analysis tells me that there are inefficiencies in your supply chain.

CEO: Cut the crap sir, tell me what to do and not what I already know. My kid would tell me that.

Of late, I have started using the phrase too many times and people get offended by this.  I remember going to an interview, where the interviewer asked me to tell him something about Varanasi, the place where I have studied for good 5 years. I wanted to portray myself as an intellectual and I started blabbering about how diverse the culture is. He asked me to think again. I explained him, how I have never seen such diverse group of people at one place and the laid back attitude of the local people. He told me that I am like a Brazilian footballer never really trying to score a goal but dribbling around the post. He wanted to hear the real deal, about the temples, the ghats and dirty roads. My interview just ended there and I had no idea why I was shown the door. However confusing and harsh that experience was, I was basically told to CUT THE F**** crap.  After an year, I see that as a very valuable advice and a memorable experience.

In many situations in our lives, the image or the idea we create in our heads about different things or experiences is, often, far different from the reality and these mismanaged expectations hit us hard when we face the real deal.

I pity the guys who love the idea of being in love and start a relationship imagining the magical romantic dinners and “jaanu” moments. I pity that poor soul when he discovers the emotional bandwidth of his girlfriend once every month, or the testing times of long distance relationship and the endless fights. Well, that’s the reality my friend. If you cut the crap, love is just enjoying the company of each other and a lot of perseverance too. Most of us love the idea of being a rock star or a celebrity, because the media just shows us the high life and keeps reminding us everyday of the average Joe we are. But, if you cut the crap and really want to be a rockstar, be prepared to master the art and also endless hours practicing, be prepared to be insecure, be prepared to never walk on the road and have a panipuri again peacefully and be prepared to be financially independent by doing the odd and dirty jobs before you actually become a celebrity.

The “idea” of passion is a dangerous idea. Passion is when we do not notice the time spent in mastering a particular hobby or working towards a specific cause and it just comes to us naturally, which also means, we are fully ready to challenge the forthcoming difficulties in the process. The idea of passion is to attribute a quality called “passion” in our heads, to something which you would normally enjoy doing on a weekend or something to relax. It’s a dangerous idea because it is devastating to find out that you have built a whole load of crap in your head, about how passionate you were about painting, only to find that the fearless horse you thought you drew looks like a donkey to me. I’d say, “You are so cute, but, I like your confidence by the way”.

It is all the more devastating because, now you feel depressed that you don’t have any real passion and that you are actually a pretty average Joe and have to slog your ass just like everybody else to earn your roti, kapda and makaan. Instead, keep it simple, cut the crap and do the thing that you enjoy doing no matter what. The results, fame and the money might follow if the thing you enjoy doing has a tangible economic value in the market and more importantly, if you are damn good at whatever you do.

The fad on the social media about “entrepreneurship” and “social leadership” also makes us fall in love with these phrases and the idea about having our own enterprise, being your own boss and running the business from hip coffee shops. Nobody talks about the ability but everyone jumps around shouting like headless crows, “follow your passion”. It’s the result or the idea we are in love with and not the process. I can’t make peace with the fact that entrepreneurship or social leadership can be taught in business schools or academia. If you really want to start something, cut the crap and make a minimum viable product or an un-crappy way to put it is a simple workable demo of your product. If you think of yourself as a social leader, pick that paper on the road and put it in the dustbin to start with.

If you really want to work in development sector, especially in India, be mentally aware and understand why you want to be there. Observe things around you, open up yourself to hard hitting realities and the opportunities and be prepared to deal with unorganized management structures, sorting through endless paper files and the mosquitoes in the field. Most importantly, realize the BIG PICTURE of your actions. Otherwise, there’s really no incentive to work in this sector except the occasional praise from your friends like “you are doing the real thing and you are bringing about social change”.

That’s when I tell them – “Cut the crap .The real deal is very unsexy and I like unsexy”.

Aditya Kiran

2016 fellow, placed with Rangsutra in Bikaner, Rajasthan as part of his fellowship. Working on strengthening the artisan collective and improving the value change of handicrafts through forward linkages.

14 thoughts on “Cut The Crap

  1. I like the part where you say that we fail to see things for what they really are. I very distinctly remember when the Indian newspapers went “Sindhu’s performance equals a gold” and things instances where we could not accept the reality that she lost albeit the excellent performance and won a silver. The same trend follows when we see the elements of oppression like the burkha or the entry of women into temples, and call it ‘liberation’. We need to cut the crap and see and call things for what they are really. It gets even worse when we start lying to ourselves, probably the worst thing one can do to oneself.
    Excellent post Aditya!

    1. The olympics was indeed a lot of drama. It happened with the greatesr of the cricketers too. Rememeber where they attempted to burn dhoni’s house or burning sachin’s posters during his bad form.
      Dravid, ganguly and yuvraj were heavily criticized too.
      We are a bunch of hypocrites and we expect all the laurels without even remotely understanding the amount of hardwork put in. We are yet not mature enough to accept defeat.

  2. Those last few lines though. My friends tell me similar things too, I used to tell them to be careful what they wish for. Sad that no one talks about the follow ups and excel sheets and a lot of unsexy things here.
    Nice article, Loved it.

  3. Brilliant post Aditya. Have already read it twice. Each para is a story in itself and still connects overall. I’m sure we have all been fascinated by the ‘idea’ of passion, and that’s fine as long as we know that the reality is different.
    Dealing with unorganized structures and paper files alike. It’s fun, to say the least 😛

  4. Aditya very well written blog. Totally agree with Anupama that this blog needs to be shared with future fellows!! All those who are living in the light of the romantic idea of “NGO mein kaam karengey udhaar karengey” need to read this.

    Good Job!! Really proud!!

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