Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What difference are you making?

This is Paul Watson, founder and President of the animal rights and environmental group Sea Shepherd Conservation. Paul has dedicated a greater part of his life to protecting our planets mammals; whales to be specific. In the face of international politics Paul and his team can often be found in the middle of the relentless sea being peppered with water cannons, smoke bombs and rammed by massive fishing vessels. The team has managed to change their perception from rogue tree huggers to marine wildlife conservationists in the span of a decade.

We should admire anyone who takes it upon themselves to make a difference in the name of the betterment of our planet.

We hear people whining about their circumstance every day. Bitching, moaning, talking but stopping well short of any meaningful difference making effort. We're so used to it, we haven't noticed it's become a bad habit. There are fewer and fewer examples of difference makers like Paul and his team.
They say we're not compelled to action unless the right conditions are in place. Those conditions include fear, greed, crisis and/or love. Fear and greed because they play to our ego's. We've reached a point in time where we can actually manipulate our environment to elicit the outcomes we want.
We see people band together during periods of crisis, but unlike Paul's team saving whales out of love and respect, our cooperation and movement are normally reserved for events such as national disasters.... and we don't often forget to grab the selfie of our participation.

I'd like to see more love based difference making. I think the world needs more love. I think more love can help us see all the opportunities we have to make a difference. So perhaps it's a self audit asking ourselves what difference we're making? Difference being what are we doing over the next hour, day, week, year, to make others; family, friends, workplace, community, city, province and country.... better. We must identify those things that matter and  ensure we're giving back something, anything to make a difference.

Let's aim to be our own small / medium or large version of Paul Watson and make a difference. 


Friday, February 21, 2014

Do we always need to make it "bigger"?

An American businessman was standing at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish.

"How long it took you to catch them?" The American asked.

"Only a little while." The Mexican replied.

"Why don't you stay out longer and catch more fish?" The American then asked.

"I have enough to support my family's immediate needs." The Mexican said.

"But," The American then asked, "What do you do with the rest of your time?"

The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life, senor."
The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds you buy a bigger boat, and with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats."

"Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the consumers, eventually opening your own can factory. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise."
The Mexican fisherman asked, "But senor, how long will this all take?"

To which the American replied, "15-20 years."

"But what then, senor?"

The American laughed and said, "That's the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO (Initial Public Offering) and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions."

"Millions, senor? Then what?"

The American said slowly, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos..."

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

It's YOUR life!

"When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and you're life is just to live your life inside the world.
  • Try not to bash into the walls too much
  • Try to have a nice family 
  • Try to have fun and
  • Try to save a little money.
That's a very limited life.

Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.

Once you learn that, you'll never be the same again!"