If you want to go in one direction, the best route may involve going in the other. Paradoxical as it sounds, goals are more likely to be achieved when pursued indirectly. The name of this idea? Obliquity.
Obliquity is characteristic of systems that are complex, imperfectly understood, and change their nature as we engage with them: The most profitable companies are not the most profit-oriented. The individuals who are most successful at making money are not those who are most interested in making money. And so, the greatest happiness is rarely achieved by those who set out to be happy.
Outstanding success is the product of obliquity…
I think Kay’s brilliant and insightful essay offers a lot of food for thought. And, in doing so, raises at least a few difficult questions for any of us. Don’t you think?