Where does excellence start? Surely it begins by knowing the fundamentals and then incorporating them into your decisions before executing with discipline?
Beautiful actions = [understand the fundamentals] + [incorporate into decision-making] + [execute with discipline]
I want to live a life filled with beautiful actions. Actions that are rooted in the fundamentals. It's also frustrating that it often feels like we live in a world where things are ungrounded.
Take South Africa, for example. It is so unstable, without a foundation. Debt levels are too high; basic education is a mess; infrastructure is outdated, absent, or broken. We're fundamentally an uncompetitive country. Half the population have no hope. We're in trouble.
Another area where things are often baseless is in marketing and branding - mostly, businesses behave randomly. The equivalent of ugly actions. A mess. There's no link between operational capability, brand positioning, marketing activity and sales prospecting. The chain link is broken, and the revenue is unstable.
I recently decided not to replace my car after I had to sell it. My wife and I now make do with one vehicle. After investigating the local car market, I found the fundamentals are not there. South Africa is a dump-yard for second class engines and old technology by international vehicle manufacturers desperate to squeeze the last value from their internal combustion engine plants whilst pivoting towards electric for the first world. How can I buy old technology for my future car? It makes no sense.
We should ask ourselves more often what the fundamentals are surrounding our circumstances. What can you do, and what can't you do? What makes sense, and what doesn't? What are the laws dictating your chances of success? Can you even win, as per my previous blog?
Of course, I'm not perfect or this great decision-maker. I do many things that make no sense. I'm a massive hypochondriac, so most of my decisions around my body are clouded with extreme emotion, often baseless. Foundation-less.
We all make stupid decisions. We all act ugly.
But more than ever, in these times of so much uncertainty, we should aim to get back to basics regarding how we decide and act - take a bottom-up approach.
Maybe it's a worthy goal to act beautifully today.