Be Inspired – even if it kills you.
NYE – a moment of reflection, projection and wistfulness.
2016 – what a year. I am not going to get started on all the celebrity deaths, the Syrian crisis or any of the other tremendous and startling things that went down this year. I am sure there are many blogs dedicated to every one of them for you to read, should you wish.
I will observe that it was a tremendous year. A year of endings, some of them great, some of them launching us into new things, and some of them from which I know with absolutely certainty, I will never fully recover. It was a realty check, through and through.
But for all that I carry a wary hopefulness.
I know with more certainty than ever before that I am strong. I know that I can make anything happen, if I set my mind to it – even seemingly impossible things like getting diplomas, publishing first novels (no matter how bad it is) and getting promotions at the day job.
I have written a LOT of content for the internet this year – not nearly as much for this blog as I would have liked to have, but please feel free to look at my online portfolio if you feel lonely and like you need to know what I’m doing.
Through my research for various papers I started to notice a trend. It’s a subtle thing, something so simple that you don’t notice it at first – this is it – the public don’t want to buy your bullshit anymore. People are associating themselves with brands, communities and companies who tell the truth about who they are and who appeal to their higher nature. People need to feel inspired, or they aren’t interested. How do I know this? Well I am people too. I observe people all day every day. What I see is less and less giving a shit about being cool and more caring about real things. Did this product get tested on animals? Is this organic? Forget what does your company do and how do they do it (although these are essential details), we want to know why you do it and who you are.
What I have realized is that no matter who you are or what you do – whether you’re a stay at home mom, a street sweeper, an executive, a big brand or a student at school – you have to stand for something. You have to believe in something. You have to have a higher goal and it has to be the passion that drives every other thing you do.
It doesn’t have to be realistic, it doesn’t have to be achievable – it just has to be inspirational. You may find yourself achieving the un-achievable or even something else that is equally wonderful and unexpected.
You see the thing with having a driving passion – is that it must light a fire inside of you and everyone else who comes close to it. These are things that will keep you going through the bad times.
When Margret Hamilton wrote the code that sent the first men to the moon she was not working to achieve the attainable. She was working to realise a dream. Another lesson we can learn from her is how she dealt with being over shadowed in her achievements by the men who actually landed on the moon. She didn’t kick up a fuss and demand recognition for what was ultimately her achievement – no. She just soldiered on with her next project, started her own company and became incredibly successful through her paradigm of Development Before the Fact (DBTF) for systems and software design.
In other words – she got an idea in her head and went out, and with passion and determination, she effing designed, developed and created systems and things that were unthinkable, unrealistic, and seemingly unattainable. However, she never let that stand in her way.
Perhaps that is too abstract an example.
Maybe I should be keeping it closer to home, it’s just that I think Margret Hamilton is pretty awesome and somebody should mention her before the year is over.
Remember folks, Martin Luther King didn’t have a five year plan – he had a dream. He succeeded not because he was the smartest or the bravest, but because he truly believed in that dream and he inspired others to believe in it too.
So for 2017 I wish you a dream. I wish you a passion and an inspiration which is so in your face (and heart) that you just can’t ignore it. I wish you the fire to inspire those around you and I wish you the strength to hang onto your dream, your “why” through whatever comes your way. May it guide you, may it help you survive the heart ache and the sorrow and the generally mundane. Let it keep you going strong. Happy New Year.
(Special thanks to Simon Sinek who first articulated this concept for me so well)