Dude, where’s my… why?

Today I went to a “Summit” about Big Data and Business Intelligence for my day job. Summit, is, apparently, the new way to describe what used to be called a “conference.” It wasn’t particularly earth-shattering (or awe-inspiring, like, say, the summit of a grand mountain) but I did come away with nice nuggets that may apply to my life outside my current gig.

First, for a conference where there was a LOT of conversation over providing great visuals, there was certain lack of visually oriented, story telling visuals used by the speakers. A lack of “TED-ness” if you will.

Second, I learned about something that has, apparently, been part of business lore for a long time. It’s called, “Dude’s Law” and was proposed by a guy named David Hussman, master of productivity. According to the speaker at the conference, the model was popularized by (and got it’s name from) the 1998 movie The Big Lebowski (if you haven’t seen it, go check YouTube or NetFlix).

The minute I heard what it was, my mind raced, not to my current business challenges it could solve. but to my LIFE. Dude’s Law basically says “v=w/h” or VALUE is equal to the WHY of what you want to do divided by the HOW you do it. Or, the way I thought of it, the WHY you do something is MORE important to multiply your value than HOW you accomplish what you want.

How did career-counselors and mentors and my dad never tell me this? My Dad was great at pithy advice, one time telling me (quoting some famous writer, not sure who), “If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck and hangs around with other ducks, there’s a da** good chance it’s a duck.” It was in relation to some mean-ish girls at school, who, ironically, I might now be friends with on Facebook.

If I had a nickle for every time I made a decision more closely aligned to a how… like “How am I going to buy food once I graduate from college?’ as opposed to my why… as in “Why am I not doing something more exciting and worthwhile if I’m going to get paid this little or drive this far?”… I’m still refining that last “why” question.

And third, well, I’ve got more to think about. I found this quote by Will Rogers, trying to find the attribution for my Dad’s wisdom:

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment. — Will Rogers

And “experience” I’ve got in droves. 🙂

— Krista

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