The Law of Ensuement – Direct vs. Incidental Goals

The greatest things in life cannot be pursued directly. They must happen incidentally. 

The greatest rewards in life cannot be pursued – they must ensue. 

I call this, ‘The Law of Ensuement’. 


The Thousand Doors Theory


My central framework for journeys through life is understood as the Thousand Doors Theory. The theory suggests, we use the Thousand Doors System to reach the most remarkable places because the most remarkable places live in the unknown. 


When we turn down one ‘door’ or one opportunity in life, we so often fail to recognise that it is the First of a Thousand Doors – the other nine-hundred and ninety-nine lie behind the First Door…


But we can’t see them when faced with the first opportunity. 

We don’t know where the Thousand Doors ends up, but we know by following it, it will end up somewhere incredible. We are sure that instead of linear path with linear returns in life, we will have an unconventional path with compounding returns. 


But first we need this system to help us deal with uncertainty. 


Direct vs. Incidental Goals


Want to make money? It will be hard to do it directly. 


The best way to make money is to make a lot of money. The best way to make a lot of money is through investing or a huge startup. To make a lot of money in investing takes time and requires some money to start out with. 


So if going through the avenue of startups and businesses, you’ll need to find a gap in a marketplace – a new way of creating value. But if focused directly on money, you’ll compromise customer experiences to cut costs and improve margins. 


And, you can never guarantee in any business or startup that you will or do continue to make money. The greater the risk, the greater the return. So by being focused on a financial outcome, you will want to reduce the risk of not making money – which lends itself to following what others are already doing. This means less money, for less risk undertaken. 


If you were Richard Branson in the 1980’s, you were in the record business. And, from the record business, you had a bad service experience on a flight. It was completely ridiculous for you to consider starting an airline to make more money. 


Huge risk. 


And if you’re Elon Musk and you’re trying to make more money after you sold Paypal, you’re best off getting into Venture Capital. Your brand and public image are great, you have all the skills. 


If you want to make money, don’t start a car company. No car company has successfully started in the USA since 1925. 


And if you want to make money, don’t start a rocket-company. How do you monetise that? 


The best way to make money is to care about people and then make money incidentally. Not to pursue, but let it ensue. 


Want to find a loving partner? It might be hard to do it directly. 


If you want to find a loving partner, you might be pushing a bit too hard. 


You’ll go through the world with a lot of confirmation bias. You’ll focus on the milestone at the expense of the quality outcome. 


Want to get married? Sure, there are desperate people everywhere. But do you want to be married to someone who is a poor fit? 


Do you want to be married to someone for the sake of being married, even if the experience is bad? 


This is why dating apps are limited – filled with people who want to push a square peg through a round hole, who start a slippery slope to desperation that makes them unattractive. 


Is the point to find the first one that comes along, or the best one that comes along? 


A better way of finding a loving partner might be to simply place yourself in more scenarios and more rooms where you meet more new people, more often. Then the odds might start to improve. 


Maybe it is better to let ensue, than to pursue. 


The greatest things in life cannot be pursued directly. They must ensue. 


Would this piece ‘open a door’ for someone you know? Why wouldn’t you share it with them? 


Remember, the best way to open a thousand doors for yourself is to open doors for others… and let it ENSUE for you. 

With Joe Wehbe – The Podcast

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