Here we are, in the new year, and some of us choose to make resoutions. Fine if you like to, but for many it is better not to, writes Chuck Blakeman.
Instead of resolutely setting goals, I went to follow a faint calling to examine and re-discover what am I still longing for, silently, at the turn of the year. Yes, there it was, as always, noticed and celebrated rarely in the rush of getting things done.
These longings are personal, I am sure you have yours, and no, you need not look for any now, or even reveal, just as some of mine may not resonate with readers, and some other may not be good to put in public. So if you long to know what are mine, ask in private.
Discomfort, a compass for passion
Discomfort is my companion when trying something new, and realizing this might not work. I try it anyway, and more often than not, it does work in the end, someone sees value in it, and we have another working innovation. This was a recurring fun part of my professional career, and I am grateful to work in a company for fine people who are also managers (in that order of importance) that allowed and supported experimentation, development and failure, preferably once only. Being in the right market at the right time certainly helped to grow the organization from 30 to 3000 employees in 20 years.
Why so many people and organizations have trouble with innovation may stem from discomfort of starting anything new against the inertia of an organization designed to reduce and mitigate risks. Or from the discomfort of learning something new, because it makes your prior knowledge much less worth and makes you feel beginner in the new unfamiliar environment. The discomfort of "I do not know." Or "how can I learn?"
I guess we better learn to live with such discomfort, embrace it as a compass for where our passions are, because if not we then others will find new ways to innovate, faster and better. As we always have. Industrialism may be on its way out, see The Icarus Deception and the shift is accelerating, see The Power of Pull. Many of us work hard/smart/yourchoice to make it so. So let's learn.
Stopping to look closer and discover
In December, I did read my advance copy of Seth Godin's newest The Icarus Deception. It is a book he wrote written not to sell, he had done it already through Kickstarter funding, butto encourage you to make your art as only you can and to make it known.So I was primed to discover how to make my art.
Been on this e-mail list of the Shift Network for almost two years. First time this Dec 31 that I clicked through a mailing to a video. (Earlier, I had clicked a few other links, but they were for faraway events or nearby books that did not click with me).
So I listened and I stopped. Thinking. I mean: "I stopped thinking." Not: "I stopped, thinking." (What a difference a comma makes.) Was not my first time to stop this way, yet profound to trust a person I never met, virtually appearing via a recording on my screen for the first time, and to follow the invitation. And I did trust myself enough to listen to the silence within, as Gangaji puts it in 8 minutes of artful conversation.
To me, finding self, and passion, and what is not, are elements - necessary, but not sufficient - of growing tribal leadership. Thank you Dan Mezick. Some call it emergent collective consciousness. Thank you Venessa Miemis. Thank you to many others who make this possible. Without you, no one would be here virtually to read this.
Glad to see more people do stop and look for themselves, discover, create fresh passion and go make it happen. This may be a happ(en)y new year indeed.
And if my longing for 2013 resonates, you may have a longing or two, too. Want to play?
Photo by author: Traditional new year's decoration at Shokakuji, Yokohama.