The wildest idea

You probably know them, economists who prefer to be a concert pianist, accountants who wanted to hang as a painting in the ‘Stedelijk Museum’ and tax consultants who prefer travelling over the world looking for tax havens. What do those unfulfilled dreams say? Is there a middle between head and heart?

It was my father who wanted to prevent me from the study philosophy. ‘Can you earn a living with that?’ he asked. At the same time he admitted he wanted to go to college after high school, unfortunately there wasn’t enough money.

Seven years later, we had the same conversation. I finished my college and wanted to go out into the world. Adventure was possible in that time. The Internet and mobile phones didn’t exist yet. I promised to call my mother once a month. I will never forget the chatter of a scintillating counter in a telephone post in the Amazon. Like a machine gun it  was carrying, it and devoured my budget for that day in a few minutes.

After six month I returned home after all my adventures. I needed money and ended up as a writer in business life. It went so well that I gathered a team of colleagues around me. Later it became a private company. I became manager increasingly and that was galling. What did I want to do with my life?

I wanted to be a literary writer. In high school I worked for the editorial board along with Hermine de Graaf, she was a rising star of the Dutch literature. My father was a friend of Bertus Aafjes, with him I talked about Spinoza and poetry in our living room. However, it took long before I learned to write. Business journalism proved to be a special learning school. I got into all sorts of worlds and looked in many kitchens, from ministries to multinationals. So called real journalists watched it with suspicion. But I knew: they had ten percent of the information and used it completely. While I got ninety percent and ten percent of them I used for targeted PR. After I had explored the universe of Intellectual views in college I learned to know the real world through entrepreneurship.

It was a milestone when I learned to bring work and philosophy together. In 2000 I wrote the book ‘the Vision Web’ of the eponymous company in which all five hundred employees were director and determined their own salary. My own office was based on similar principles. We turned out to be pioneers in new organizational forms. Philosophy and practice were suddenly extensions of each other.

The Vision Web was the wildest idea of four young guys from the school of Eckart Wintzen. They taught me to embrace the wildest ideas. At the same time I realized that my wildest ideas had nothing to do with entrepreneurship. They had to do with the feeling which I had when I wrote stories and poems in high school. The discovery that you can create your own world on paper and that you can bring in an audience. At school I wrote under a pseudonym. If the new school newspaper was available, I walked through the hall and saw all those people who read my texts. Which was again an exciting experience. The sense of putting yourself at stake and exploring all vulnerability to where your wildest ideas may take you.

Five years ago I made ​​the decision. I sold my company and my spacious house and started as I once was begun: self-employed. And see: the wildest ideas presented themselves. I only had to sit behind my desk, and they came up in my head. The story of a man who makes a mega-pilgrimage (around the world from Santiago to Santiago) and thereby discovered the theory of everything and changes the world. Complex philosophical considerations. Books along with former governor Léon Frissen about the future of Europe and the ‘Rijnlands Model’. And to cap it all, this year the so far wildest idea of ​​humanity that suddenly stands on the mysterious edge of an universe without stars.

The crazier the idea, the better. If this world get saved, it will be by insane ideas. At an early age, I knew I had only one life. That is also an insane idea. One life to discover you own voice and to act to it. Does this mean that you have to follow your heart? No. Only when head and heart come together, one institute is created to ripen and made your voice heard. Wild ideas are worth nothing without an intelligent package and presentation. The idea that you can lift a trial balloon, and it will be fine, is an idée fixe. Wild ideas require discipline,  pigheaded and humor. Rarely I experienced much fun while working out my latest wildest idea. I laughed and thought: this isn’t possible at all. I was left to prove that it is possible. You’ll see.

Govert Derix is a philosopher, consultant and writer of the highly acclaimed philosophical thriller Sterrenmoord (ea. Zomertip of De Wereld Draait Door, The Optimist/Ode and the Digital University magazine of the University of Utrecht).

More information at www.govertderix.com

This article is translated from Dutch to English by the Editorial Board of Asset | Accounting & Finance.