• Marwan Eleskandarani

Your Company is Dopamine Fasting; Now What?


Photo by Amateur Hub from Pexels


Why Silicon Valley’s latest fad “Dopamine Fasting” is hitting companies as well as individuals, and what to think of this situation?


During this crazy time, and any other time when the whole world has seemingly ceased to exist and operate, when the roaring industrial engine is silent for once: companies, enterprises and startups are going through a similar thing, a metamorphosis of some kind, a transformation that only leaves the brave and stoic surviving.


BREEDING GROUND


Silicon Valley is known to be the breeding ground of new initiatives and ideas; and as such I was doing some reading into the latest trends there these days and happily stumbled upon a new term called“Dopamine Fasting.”Although I’ve always been a proponent of all manners of fasting – intermittent and otherwise – and been preaching such techniques to practically everyone I meet (or those poor innocent souls who have no other choice but to listen), this trend doesn’t seem to have hit the global scene running yet and has come to a full stop as people’s attention drifted elsewhere.


Let’s define what dopamine fasting is on a fundamental level: dopamine is the chemical released by the brain through the neurotransmitters when something particularly good happens in your life, rewarding you for what you have done, seen, heard, experienced. While of course, in the traditional sense, fasting is giving up of food for a period of time. So, naturally, dopamine fasting is just a stretched period of time where people give up the release of dopamine by eliminating pleasurable activities in the noble pursuit of “resetting the brain” and appreciating the things that they may have been so used to (such as TV, friends, family, food, etc.)


My hypothesis with the introduction of a global pandemic, companies going out of business, firms not spending, and people being uncertain about their future, is that companies are going through a dopamine fast.


COMPANIES ARE PEOPLE, THEY TAKE THINGS FOR GRANTED


How many years were the majority of big companies on the top of the food chain with nothing but charts pointing upwards in the near future? How much did companies spend on marketing, advertising, and perks & benefits and not on infrastructure and initiatives that held them firm? How many opportunities did companies pass up because they thought they were fine just without that fancy high-speed network infrastructure that is of extreme value now? How many startups were on the rise before the market decided to stop spending? All these questions are just scratching the initial surface of a much larger issue: what will it be like after all of this is over?


Companies were so used to luxury, comfort, and security that they practically forgot how special these things really are to them, they took it for granted and executives and C-Levels counted on cruising by until their eventual retirement, their eventual acquisition or really just stopping all together.


But it is like the universe conspired against all of us, not to punish, but as a slap to the face to show the true value of what we failed to appreciate before, our existence as individuals and as businesses that add value.


We are stripped away of everything now: physical meetings, handshakes, smiles face to face, spending time with loved – and often unloved – coworkers during lunch time, socializing, improving, achieving greatness together, building remarkable products, traveling for leisure and work, going on seminars, taking a cab to your next meeting and socializing with the driver, and even innovating and coming up with new ideas.


FEARING THE FUTURE


We are scared now, terrified of what’s to come, but why is that?


I urge you, do not let the fear consume your thoughts, accept the reality of the situation, and move on.


If my hypothesis is true, then this means 2 things:

  • This will all end soon, and we will get to finally smell the metaphorical flowers and taste the metaphorical food and consume our metaphorical entertainment

  • We will have to cowboy-up or shoulder shrug do the things that need to be done during this dopamine fast

Fasting by no means implies slacking around, giving up, and not looking for new ideas and innovations to drive the local economy and yes, humanity forward; when we fast from food, we still have to take care of our responsibilities don’t we? We have kids to take care of, parents to call, bills to pay, errands to run, and most importantly ourselves to take care of. On the same note, as a company, it is your utmost duty to carry on and push forward when the odds seem against you: take care of your employees, manage your clients’ relationships, be brutally honest with where your company is going, and keep building new ideas and applying them as if you were operating normally.


I cannot stress this enough, step back and see the big picture staring at you.


Be bold and don’t be afraid of investing in new ideas & technologies, because this is where the future is heading and I promise you it’s those who see that long term turn up ahead are the ones who will outshine and outlast the competition


LIFE IS EVER-CHANGING


As is the nature of everything in this complex universe, nothing is permanent, nothing lasts forever, not even a global crisis such as this one because change is the only constant; the forests burst into flames to clear the deadwood and allow for new trees to sprout. Luckily, the land is ready, and the seeds are planted, and it is time to take in that sunlight and shoot up like no company has shot up before.


Take it upon yourself to fight through this with an iron will, dwell in your uneasiness now, so that when we come out of this, you and your company will appreciate the boring tasks and the day to day, and maybe this will give you the confidence to venture a little further in adopting new ideas and technologies.


MY FAVORITE QUOTE

“Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.” – Marcus Aurelius

A.I. Territory Manager Marwan Eleskandarani on What Companies are going through during this pandemic. Synapse is a data science and AI company based in Egypt. Synapse Analytics

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