MANIFESTO 2017 – PROBLEM DU JOUR and what I plan to do about it
Sunday Jan. 1, 2017
My year begins, as it does for most people in the western world – with hope the year ahead will be abundant with good things. For third world people dealing with simple survival, in ignorance and poverty, amid the absence of everything we might call normal or healthy or safe or peaceful – they have no time for such idle notions …
Joy, not pain.
Prosperity, not pain.
Good health, not pain.
Success, not pain.
Growth, not pain.
What a dichotomy – for all of us, in that we cross our fingers in hopes that everyone in our world will be well – that nobody will die or suffer horrid disease, that nobody will lose their job or their business or their marriage or their mind – all the while knowing those issues in modest ratios are part of life and probably more likely to happen and that we (the collective and universal we) will keep not a single New Year’s Resolution.
More likely than we will be fit or lose weight or resolve our ‘problem du jour’.
PROBLEM DU JUOR, or opportunity to solve a problem du jour?
What will I do?
Will I plan? Yes. Will I write down a target income number? No. Will I write an expense budget? Yes.
What will I do for fun, for intellectual stimulation, to make the world a more interesting and perhaps better place? A new activity, not sure I can do this every day, but I’ll try.
I did a ‘poem a day for a year’ once … that worked out alright. I resolved to do ‘a short story a week for a year’. I failed at 52, but I succeeded at 36! I’m thinking about a number of things. Actually I thought about them on a Sunday afternoon, Dec. 11th, with pen and pad in hand while I had a leisurely tub soak I wrote this:
Trust people you work with completely, or not at all. Plan a trip, build a tight expenditure budget, plan what I can count on (i.e.: finish project in progress) and count on nothing else – just plan to be open to what shows up. Be kind. Help others. Finish things. Start fewer things. Start smarter things. Worry less about money and more about creating value. Deliver less detail but more understanding and interpretation. Build things that last. Team-up more. AND, pitch a BHAG a day.
What, some might ask is a BHAG?
It’s a BIG HAIR AUDACIOUS GOAL.
Pitch it to who/whom? I’ll pitch ideas to people who can enable them, I’ll pitch projects to people who fund projects, I’ll pitch ideas I have and ones I don’t have yet. So, I need to get busy putting some new idea OR new party to pitch into my dream-hopper filter every day. I’ve got a few in mind, but those won’t get me far or move my project along for many days. I’m not going to publish what I do, what I pitch or who I pitch it to. It doesn’t really matter to anyone but me – and I’ll be my harshest critic. Can I do it? Can I stick with it? Maybe it’s like saying ‘I will be my ideal weight by July 1st’ … maybe I will, maybe I won’t.
What are you goals?
What are your resolutions?
What BHAG’s are you sitting on, thought about, but never acted on?
What, or rather ‘who’ are you waiting for?
It’s just up to you – nobody else.
And not everything, not every day, needs to be BIG. Everywhere we go, there we are – our eyes can see problems that need solutions, our ears hear about causes and people in need, our feelings are touched by the challenges people face, and we quickly realize our own problems are tiny and of minor consequence compared to the needs of many. We cannot single-handedly solve every problem we encounter, but we CAN choose not to walk obliviously by all of them …
Do something, please. Everyone do one something … and realize that is the least you can do – and if you do, you will indeed have a Happy New Year.
And if you are already doing something, or doing lots, do a little bit more please …
To everyone I know already, and to all those I’ll meet in 2017 – and I know I’ll fail, stray from this aim and miss the mark often – I wish for you, for us, that our every action and interaction will leave you feeling we took a step forward, a step onward or upward or perhaps just ‘away from where we were’ to make something, anything; any little thing, any large thing, any real thing, any imaginary thing … better. And we do that not by thinking ‘a little better is OK’ but by leaps and heaps on a BHAG-scale of better.