“May your every wish be granted.”_
Ancient Chinese curse

Wishing is a dangerous business, especially when our context is so different from the one clients we want to reach actually experience.** It’s human nature to not really understand what we actually wish for, and all of the ramifications of such a wish being granted.

In the classic (possibly apocryphal) example the colonial British government of Delhi, wishing to reduce the number of cobras, offered a bounty for every dead cobra. This looked like it was a good move; large numbers of snakes were turned in for the reward. 

However, they soon figured out that enterprising people began to breed cobras for extra incomeNow wishing to forget this idea ever happened, the government hastily scrapped the program. This of course prompted the cobra breeders to release the now-worthless snakes, which further increased the cobra population in the wild, and with it, the initial problem.

This probably could have been avoided if they took the time to think like their “clients”. I think it’s a great idea to scrutinize your most important wishes and try to set up a few scenarios on possible knock-on effects or unintended consequences they could have on your business, health, and sanity.

If I can offer any final words of consolation, whatever your wishes may be, they are highly unlikely to result in more cobras.


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