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“Though they’re statistically abnormal, startup founders seem to be working in a way that’s more natural for humans. I was in Africa last year and saw a lot of animals in the wild that I’d only seen in zoos before. It was remarkable how different they seemed. Particularly lions. Lions in the wild seem about ten times more alive. They’re like different animals. I suspect that working for oneself feels better to humans in much the same way that living in the wild must feel better to a wide-ranging predator like a lion. Life in a zoo is easier, but it isn’t the life they were designed for.” -Paul Graham of Y Combinator
I couldn’t have read this quote on a more fitting day–the day before we visited our friends Elisha and Gord in Laguna de Apoyo. Aka the jungle.
Even before I experienced the jungle, I understood and agreed with Mr. Graham’s statement based on my own feelings I have now that I’m working for myself. When you’re working on something that’s your own creation, it’s different. You change. Everything in your life becomes more vibrant and alive as it all becomes a potential opportunity for more creativity, adventure, learning and success. It could be a simple conversation, a walk on the beach, a night out with friends, a book, a magazine article, a website, a bus ride… anything.
When I then experienced animals in their most natural state the next day, this quote was playing over and over in my head. The Howler monkeys were loud because they could be. They were protective. They were swinging from tree to tree. Very different than how I’d seen them behave in the zoo. The babies were curious about me when I stared at them, not scared. Happy.
Colorful birds were abundant. Butterflies were as big as my hand and my favorite ones were vibrant blue. At 4:30am, the jungle woke up and came alive. And I couldn’t help but do the same with all of the beautiful noises going on.
It’s kind of like waking up in New York City to the loud city noises, but different. Obviously. But perhaps they do have one thing in common–they are both sounds of the beginning of productivity. However, in the jungle, productivity isn’t confined to an 8 hour day or a small cubicle. Productivity here runs wild.