Everyone deserves a secret

It is the 10% that is hidden which makes the open 90% valuable

For quite sometime, I embraced the spirit of openness. I always shared whatever opportunity came my way, and when I felt my voice wasn’t loud enough, I would try new mediums to better spread my word.

The reason why I did this is because I believed that community grows when opportunities are equally shared. I remember a time when certain doors were locked from me and only private networks gained the best tools. I remember how it felt unfair to keep barricades — preventing the possibility of free flow of knowledge in the system.

So ever since this regret stuck in my head, I utilized every avenue possible to slowly yet gradually change the system. I was lucky many times to find the right people by my side to better spread the word to all corners of our institution. With each passing year, more started accepting the spirit of openness and hiding information for personal gain was accepted to be unacceptable. Or at least that is what I believed in.

Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

Sounds like Utopia to you? It certainly did for me. Yet, even this system had flaws that could not go unnoticed. When you openly share everything coming your way, treasures are discovered far too often and people begin devaluing things. Somehow we disrespect what comes for free yet value what one fights for. To be worthy of receiving the object was far more important that acquiring it I realized.

Goodness were at all corners but now no one was actively striving to maximize it. What once was deemed rare and highly valuable was now freely being distributed — taken for granted. Appreciation began to diminish and in essence, the incentive to openly share started to fade gradually.

Another fault in this system was that everyone knew what everyone else was up to. If they did not, an indirect guilt conversation would cause anyone to open up. On one hand, this created accountability in system — people knew who was good at what, and plenty of options were available when it came to figuring out whom to reach out for help.

On the other hand, however, constant discussion and queries made everyone feel sensitive of their actions. Each day, someone would inquire of your progress, sometimes in jealousy. In time, your mind space gets occupied with thoughts of what others think about you and in time, you loose the ability to intensely focus on your skill. Constant comparison and the possibility of being pulled down by others makes one feel vulnerable every day.

One might argue that most of these points have a root problem of not having a firm attitude and being easily affected by others words. It is all in the mind, you would say and to an extend that might be right. But beyond ones imperfections, such an open system will struggle to thrive without constant judgment from the peers.

After a while, you become predictable and the system goes dull. As someone once said:

It is not the destination that matters, but the journey that makes all the difference

These are the root problems of openness that plague my pursuits. The constant doubt of perception from the public and the growing struggle to stay positive and not let negative thoughts flourish in the mind is indeed quite the struggle.

So what is the secret? For every 3 values you openly share, keep 1 in your private network and 1 just to yourself. Some might call you selfish for doing that but the reality is none of them will sit back with you when you do not flourish in your domain.

Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

Everyone deserves secrets. You need to silently hone your top skill without drawing too much attention. Value your mind space and let time reward you for your persistence. As my Senior Nikita Mallya used to say:

It is what you do in the darkness that brings you under the (spot) light

So starting today, I am going to be less open about the stuff I discover. Let people come and ask, for only then would it be valued. Let me avoid constant fear of thoughts that others may have. I hope to keep quite and secretly develop my skills as the surprise in the end will make it all worthwhile. If everyone keeps a secret, then it is alright. Problem rises when the naive ones crib about being kept out of the loop while the truth is they did not maximize what even came that way to show that they give it due importance.

I would like to conclude by saying that do something today in silence that you will be proud about a year later, when the whole world applauds for you.

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Uncovering value in testing times | joelvzach.co | Reach me at howdy@joelvzach.co

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Joel V Zachariah

Joel V Zachariah

Uncovering value in testing times | joelvzach.co | Reach me at howdy@joelvzach.co

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