If you are reading this blog, even for the first time, then I can safely make some assumptions about you. One of them is that you are slowly making your way towards the person you will end up being. Let’s hope it’s the very best version of yourself.
It’s not just you and me who are moving along – it’s all of us. It’s our businesses and our political systems and our culture. It’s our families, our friends and co-workers and the people we don’t know but with whom we share a city, or a province, a state or a country. We are always moving and changing, we hope, towards a better us.
Take nothing for granted. Not your health. Not your government. Don’t ever think “that could never happen here, or to me, or to us.”
Are you more loving and generous than you were five or ten years ago? Are you more confident, more aware, more willing to explore yourself, your thoughts or your planet?
Or have you become more cynical, more selfish or more fearful?
“Cynical old man” isn’t a place you begin; it’s a place you end up.
Do you intentionally choose the optimistic path? Do you seek out possibility? Are you enthusiastically more open to change and discovery?
Every day you will make the decisions, the hard decisions, that build a culture, an organization and a life.
Since yesterday, since last week, since you were eighteen, have you been making deposits or withdrawals from the life around you?
People don’t become selfish, hateful, bigoted or closed off in one fell swoop, not even the worst of us. They do it gradually, from the inside out, like rot. When the cracks appear at the surface, it’s too late.
Consider the dystopian worlds depicted in some films and fiction. Are we closer to those outcomes than a generation ago? Do we find ourselves taking actions that make our conversations more considered, our arguments more informed, our business engagements more civil, our work more artistic and genuine? Or are we doing exactly the opposite because it’s easier or because we’re not paying attention?
Your brand, your company, your community has so much potential. Is it stuck playing the short game, looking for the quick score, the win-now-at-any-cost strategy?
If our great great grandchildren could arrive by time machine to our present, what would we show them? What would we hide from them? Would we show them famine? Would we show them inner-city poverty? Would we show them the news? Would we assume they’d see it our way and understand, or would they be devastated?
You are always becoming, and you can always make the choice to start becoming something else, if you care.