Confining, Defining and Uber

“How many persons confined to the torture of solitary confinement have gone mad-simply because the thinking faculties have lain dormant”!  Jules Verne

Let me ask you: Is the “what you want” the “what you want” or just the “what you want” until the “what you want” wants you?

For the last 18 months, I’ve been fairly busy holding workshops, coaching clients and functioning as the opening act for better known speakers. And, as a means of building a reservoir of stories for an upcoming book project as well as picking up a few mazuma along the way, I became an Uber driver.

Uber. What a concept! It’s a confluence of gizmos and intellections powered by some insane algorithmic coding to form an absolutely revolutionary, cohesive transportation alternative.

If you are a people-person, you will love driving for Uber. I found 99.8% of my passengers were terrific! There were maybe 2 riders that were less than great. Perhaps, they were having a bad day or maybe, a bad decade.

So many passengers opened up to me and completely shared their life’s story, their ups, downs and the lessons learned along the way.

The best part: nothing said ever comes back to hurt, haunt or impugn them in any way. First off, that is not my style. Plus, all I ever knew was the passenger’s first name and their final Uber destination. I call it the “veil of anonymity.” In this setting, people feel comfortable and are very revealing.

After the ride had ended and if their story was interesting, I’d pull out my trusty digital recorder and recount what was said to me.

I have collected so many stories that it is time now to write a book about what I have learned from passengers as well as my own Uber experience. So, in another 6 months, be on the lookout for “Ride-Share Secrets” coming to Amazon or a bookstore nearest you.

A quick Uber overview: Founder, Travis Kalanick devised an amazing system. However, he and his HQ cohorts can go a long way to perfecting their social skills. It is a system that, for the most part, is good for the passenger but certainly lacks any perceptible element of “swell” for drivers and the Uber staff.

If something goes wrong, Uber will get back to you-eventually. Fast, easy and compassion are irrelevant terms. And, under their current coding protocols, those words lack meaning and don’t compute. On a scale of importance, communication issues lack scant consideration; unworthy of concern or discussion in the Uber world.

Based on a recent experience, noted Author/Speaker Jason Jennings expressed his displeasure with Uber. In attempting to update his account information, every effort to input and revise his personal data was met with rejection and repeatedly unaccepted by their system.

In a recent podcast, Jennings made a very interesting observation. He concluded: when it comes to organizational progress, size is not the driving force. Today, the crown jewel of success is based on speed and how quickly an institution adapts to and implements change.

It would be quite easy to do a complete knock on Uber, especially in light of recent events. They certainly do have their faults but this piece isn’t the right platform for that undertaking. This is more about how I allowed their system to govern me.

For a long period of time, I became so immersed in acquiring stories for the upcoming book that I failed to realize how Uber driving was pushing me further away from my original purpose while, at the same time, draining me of energy and stifling whatever creativity I could muster.

Talk about a zombie. I had become one with no one to blame but myself. I lulled myself into acquiescence and submission; similar to the lobster in a pot that is slowly coming to a boil.

My goal was fading and without a dream, you give up on life and purpose. I had confined and defined myself by inaction.

I lost sight of my endgame. I took my eye of the ball. Worst of all, I had settled for the calm before the calm.

Perhaps you have been there. It is not a matter of overcoming obstacles. That is life. It is a matter of conquering self-imposed barriers.

Recently, I had a “Bardo experience”-the Tibetan-Buddhist expression for a state of consciousness between death and enlightenment.

No I wasn’t dying. But, I was sure as hell felt brain dead.

I was in “existing mode” of my own making; neither succeeding nor failing while steeped in a state of not-so-comfortable desperation and personal dissatisfaction.

Finally, I asked myself: Is the “what you want” the “what you want” or just the “what you want” until the “what you want” wants you?

In other words, I was ready to get out of my own way and shift into advance mode to achieve my original goal.

What I have learned is never allow the incidental to mitigate and diminish the essential, the original intent. It burns up too much precious time

I am way over the age of 50. No one is looking to 9 to 5 employ me.

For many, I have entered into the land of the conspicuously invisible and unseen. So, in order to again become a visible force to be reckoned with, I must create and re-create demand for who I am and what I do.

Entrepreneurship is my calling card. I am an Author/Speaker and Coach and very good at what I do.

Let’s face it, at our age, who has the time nor the inclination to buy into a pathology that supports incompletion and indecisiveness. I am not looking for a 5th place participation trophy.

I am ready for the “what I want.” And, I readily accept the invitation of wanting what I want right now and going for it.