On Option

How not having enough option can be leveraged for your advantage.

Being without option

I like having options and I believe I have benefited immensely from having different options. However, not having an option or having a finite and near-zero option has also been a great blessing to me.

Being without option might seem terrifying but it breeds innovation, creativity and open-mindedness if you so allow it to do so. Your other option aside these 3 things is to be fixated on your lack of option and therefore refuse to act.

The options I have heard or have, I created them in my time of lack of options. I was creative, innovative and open-minded. These days, I still leverage on those options. And you can guess, I have struggled lately to accelerate the number of options opened to me. Yes, being with option can also now demotivate you from creating more options.

Looking within and experimenting is my best approach to increasing option. I usually tell a friend of mine any time I see her to double up on the number of experiments she does per time.

Experimenting tends to give you more option. This is so because experimenting involves risk-taking. It takes you out of your comfort zone, and place you on a pedestal of possibilities.

One of the options crucial to me is my network. And constantly, I seek to improve the quality of that by adding one more person to it, adding value to existing ones, or finding a synergistic opportunity within my network. Now, I being from a typical “no one knows your father’s name” syndrome, doing that at scale with value may be tough. But I experiment with it a lot.

Such an experiment have added people from all works of life to that network and it is still adding. Today, depending on my need, some C Suits are just an email or a call away. Or some peers who have incredible market in-demand skills or juniors who have skills I can make use of depending on need.

It should be reiterated again that the process of multiplying my option all started when I had a zero or near-zero option. Creativity, innovation and open-mindedness are what not having enough option supposed to birth in you.

Experimenting gives this. But experimenting at scale means you must be ready to fail at scale as well. And yes, I did fail in a lot of my attempts.

These days though, I have learned and minimized greatly my downside risk with potential compounding effect on my upside risk.

You must have the mind to fail. And mind to fail is such that will seek forgiveness above permission. Permission limits the number of experiment you can carry out. Forgiveness unleashes you to an unbounded world.

People ask me a lot of questions that by its tone, I could tell that they are trying to increase their options through experimentation but they are seeking permission on this process.

Permission is not the way to go about life if you want to leapfrog and multiply your options. Forgiveness is.

Forgiveness has a foundation to it that is wired in the human nature; survival of the fittest. Our pre-community era shows this more.

In a brutish, nasty and short paradigm as theorised by Thomas Hobbes, you don’t go around seeking permission, you wouldn’t survive such environment, because you will always be dealt with cards that are not in your favour.

Now that we live in a society that has transcended what Hobbs described, should we still live with the same mentality of Forgiveness above Permission? That’s not the question. The question is what mentality still drives our conduct in society? You are right, it is still survival of the fittest in a more modern way; capitalism.

Increasing your option is crucial but not being without one is not a curse. It’s a blessing in disguise.

Not having option forces you to be creative, innovative and open-minded if you are serious about your pursuit.

The way to multiply your option is to experiment at scale. Experimenting at scale requires that you look beyond permission and seek for forgiveness (if need be).

Experimenting is tough and gruelling that’s why people seek for permission. A way of validation to affirm that the process is worth it. If you are being sorted for permission grant it.

I understand the limitations inherent in this though. One can only grant permission to the extent of the authority confined on such.

That’s why even though you may have to sort permission on some fronts, be the type that favours forgiveness above permission.